“Time Out for Ginger,” the next stage performance at Rose Theatre opening Friday, is a situational comedy made in part to varying interpretations of a motivational speech.
But make no mistake, there's just one accurate view of what's been taking place at the vintage local theater: a full house.
“It's fantastic,” said Rose Theatre director Hal Robinson about the past two performances that have yielded sold-out shows.
Those include a murder-mystery dinner performance of “Murder Ahoy,” held April 20, and “North Woods Nonsense” in early March.
Robinson said he and other planners with the theater have intentionally tried to attract more of an audience by bringing back some of the most popular shows that have been staged at the Rose over the past decade or longer.
“Time Out” ran at the Rose 14 years ago.
They've also tried to cut back on the length of plays, when possible, in order to satisfy audiences' attention span.
They've also done one more pivotal tactic, Robinson observed.
“We've tried to designate shows that are more family friendly. There's so much stuff on television,” but not many shows with family themes, he observed.
And families long for that genre.
Robinson said the increase in attendance has been particularly “encouraging” in light of the fact that the Rose, like other small theaters across Louisiana, is still operating with fewer grant dollars from the state that cut back when the economy soured.
“We've worked three or four times as hard just to make it,” Robinson said. “It's harder to get sponsorships, yet the royalty fees for plays are still a big expense.”
Time Out includes a 10-person cast that centers around a motivational speech by a banker and father of three daughters who interpret the speech as a call for a refined self identity.
It's punctuated by the youngest girl's intention to play on the school's football squad and the peer- pressure consequences for both the family and the community.
“The play has some serious moments and themes but it quickly gets you turned around to more laughter,” Robinson said.
Page 2 of 2 - “Time Out for Ginger” runs June 20-21, 26-28 at 7 p.m., and July 22 and July 29 at 2 p.m. Call 281.0911 10 a.m.-3 p.m.