Talking With: The Cast of "Southern Hospitality"

October 31, 2022

You’ve probably seen them around town,
t-shirts vibrantly emblazoned with the state of Texas,
a swing in their step, a twinkle in their eye…

If you didn’t know better you might think they were…actors?

Well, you’d be right! The cast of our upcoming community theater production is hard at work, putting the finishing touches on the hilarious comedy, Southern Hospitality, opening at the Matthews on Friday, November 11.

It’s a hambone of a show for sure.  The Futrelle sisters and their zany friends are back at it in the final installment of the laugh-out-loud farce that started with Dearly Beloved and continued with Christmas Belles. This time the clan treats us to a bizarre Fayro Days celebration, an awkward engagement and a visit from “the meanest women in twelve counties.” It all adds up to a barrelful of belly laughs and we’re counting down the days to opening night!

We caught up with a few of the performers to get the scoop on the down-and-dirty process of pulling together a hit comedy. It’s time to meet local actors, Amy Ruff (Twink), Matt Woodard (Buck Stickland) and Jim Hoff (Raynerd)…

MOH: So first things first. Of all the shows in all the world, why Southern Hospitality?

Amy: I love this group of peeps!

Matt: I’ve been wanting to do more plays. Plus, Max. I really like working with Max.

MOH: That’s really sweet, guys! How about you, Jim? Why did you want to be involved in this show?

Jim: Because I’m so talented.

MOH: Wow, you’ve really got that humble actor bit down to a “T”…

Jim: Shy is my middle name.

MOH: Okay, then, what’s been the most challenging part of bringing the script to life?

Jim: Making myself as smart as Raynerd.

MOH: … Can someone else weigh in here?

Amy: Well, for me the most challenging part is learning my lines.

MOH: Thank you, Amy. Yes, learning lines is definitely challenging for a lot of performers. It takes time and repetition and patience. I’m sure that sometimes you need a break from working so hard! Do you do anything special when you get five minutes to yourself during rehearsal?

Amy: I go over my lines.

MOH: That’s real dedication, Amy. Do you ev– 

Matt: I listen diligently to Max.

MOH: That’s…great, Matt. You must really think a lot of Max.

Matt: Yep.

MOH: Is there anyone else in the show you admire? Besides yourself, of course, which actor in this show is going to blow people away?

Matt: John Curtis played by Gerry Bennett.

Amy: Oh! Don’t forget Geneva. I mean, LeeAnn Paananen. She’s wonderful!

Jim: I like Brother Justin played by actor Casey Hibbert. He’s almost as good as me.

MOH: Right. Okay, time for a challenge. Describe the plot of this production in only four words. Go!

Amy: Family tries saving Fayro.

Jim: A laugh a minute.

Matt: Redneck hilarity, family rules.

MOH: Well done! Sounds like a show we definitely want to see! You’re obviously having a great time together in this show. And that’s a good thing, too, because putting together a quality performance is all about teamwork. How can actors help each other succeed in their roles?

Jim: Help them learn their lines and be supportive.

Amy: Supportive, yes! And offering constructive hints.

MOH: Do you have any advice for new actors?

Matt: Play the role big and always commit to the bit!

MOH: Well said, Matt. Okay, final question. The one we’ve been dying to ask, the thing that keeps us up at night… does pineapple belong on pizza?

Amy: Yes!

Jim: No!

MOH: Matt? What do you say, buddy? Pineapple on pizza?

Matt: … In this country, people have the right to have their own opinion. Even wrong ones, like pineapple belonging on pizza.

Thank you, Amy, Jim, and Matt for that behind-the-scenes peek at Southern Hospitality! We can’t wait to see you on stage together. You’re quite a team! 

If we have any advice for audiences, it’s “Get your tickets early for this show.” Southern Hospitality opens on Friday, November 11 at 7 with additional performances on November 12, 18 & 19 and Sunday matinees on November 13 and 20 at 2 pm. For tickets, visit the event on our website or call our box office at (605) 642-7973.

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