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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/LYNN ATKINS The cast of "Nunsense" rehearses in St. Bernard's Parish Hall in Bella Vista. The cast includes Pamela Marks, Sara McKinney, Debbie Reynolds, Alaina Stroud, Hope Holmes and Mary Solliday.

Although they don't have a stage or their nonprofit status, some former members of the Village Players are planning a comeback. On Jan. 13, "Nunsense" is coming to the Parish Hall at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Bella Vista, and it may be just the beginning.

The Village Players theater group was 32 years old when it disbanded in 2013. There are other groups in the area where some former Village Players migrated, including Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers and Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, but it just wasn't the same, explains former member Debbie Reynolds. So, this year, she got a few of her colleagues together for a comeback.



WHEN — Show at 2 p.m., luncheon at 1 p.m. Jan. 13

WHERE — St. Bernard’s Parish Hall, 1 St. Bernard Lane in Bella Vista

COST — $15 show only; $25 with lunch

INFO — 855-9069 or 531-7468

One problem for the Village Players was a venue, Reynolds says. The stage at Riordan Hall was never large enough, and it could be expensive to rent. For their last few performances, the Village Players used high school auditoriums or White Hall at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Last year, Reynolds started playing bingo at the Catholic church and realized the parish hall could double as an auditorium. She proposed a production of "Nunsense," and the church agreed. The church will benefit from any funds raised, and the cast will take the show to the Pine Bluff area for a second performance.

"Nunsense" is about a group of nuns who return from a mission to find most of their order is dead, victims of botulism. Together they decide to raise enough money to bury their sisters by taking over the grade school performance of "Grease."

The biggest expense for the show was buying the rights to use the script and music, Reynolds says. She had to come up with a name for the new group in order to buy the rights, so now Reynolds and the others are members of Theater Two. Reynolds is willing to change that name if she gets enough people to form a new nonprofit.

If there is enough interest, she's hoping to start looking for grants to finance a new theater.

Meanwhile, she's found some plays that the group can use without paying royalties, and she's hoping the partnership with the Catholic Church will continue so that the group's actors can continue having fun.

-- Lynn Atkins

NAN What's Up on 12/14/2018

Print Headline: Village Players Ready For Their Comeback

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