Community play by Craig author combines comedy, classic myths

CJ Skowronski struts his stuff as Helen of Troy in "It's Greek to Me" during a March 15 rehearsal at the Lutrell Barn Cultural Center. The community theater performance takes place Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

Most heroes of ancient mythology met a less-than-ideal end, but in an upcoming theatrical production, it’s all laughs all the time.

The Luttrell Barn Cultural Center will host two free shows Thursday, March 30, for “It’s Greek to Me,” an original play written by Craig writer David Morris.

Morris taught English and theater for decades at Craig Middle School, with his students performing many of his own short plays.

The retired educator — also a considerable figure in local pottery, among other artistic pursuits — said he still has plenty of material, hence the latest show.

“I’ve backlogged a lot of plays, and frankly, they’re all middle school plays, but surprisingly that works pretty well,” he said. “I wrote it about two, three years ago but never performed it.”

Morris has also put together plays for Grand Old West Days in recent years and arranged with Luttrell Barn organizers to use the space for the shows.

The cast of “It’s Greek to Me” works out details of their show during a March 15 rehearsal at Lutrell Barn Cultural Center. The community theater performance takes place Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

“I’ve been to David’s plays before, and they were great and a lot of people came, so we’re hoping for more of that,” said Sue Lewis, a volunteer with the organization who will also be part of the cast.

Ideally, Morris and Lewis hope the upcoming show will be the first of many at the space, which has also hosted small concerts and open mic nights in its upstairs performance space.

“That’s exactly the direction we’re trying to go in here,” Morris said. “Craig needs theater.”

Morris’s story combines classic Greek characters ranging from Zeus and Hera to Prometheus and Pandora with another mythos, namely “Superman,” as well as supporting characters Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, who are investigating the exploits of ancient Greece.

The fantastic elements of the original myths are there with some of the playwright’s wacky humor.

Kamisha Siminoe and Randy Looper portray gods Hera and Zeus in “It’s Greek to Me” during a rehearsal at Lutrell Barn Cultural Center.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

“Everybody has a little Greek mythology,” Morris said. “At some point or another in school, you’re going to hear one of those stories.”

The close-knit cast and crew consists of about a dozen people, some of whom had Morris as a teacher, such as couple CJ and Kristin Skowronski.

“I reached out to Dave when I heard he was doing this, and I’m so excited to be doing it,” Kristin said. “I love his direction. It’s all up to interpretation, and he’s written a lot of funny stuff.”

She added that she hopes to perform more of Morris’ content.

“He’s got, like, seven more in the bag, so this is going to be a big thing,” she said.

Morris said that while he was a little uncertain of gathering a troupe in a short amount of time, he was pleasantly surprised how quickly everyone joined the effort.

The cast of “It’s Greek to Me” wraps a March 15 rehearsal with a flourish at Lutrell Barn Cultural Center.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

“Amazingly enough, they all jumped in, so getting a cast together was much easier than I thought,” he said. “They’ve been a great cast, and we’ve all been having a lot of fun doing this.”

Shows take place at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 30 at Luttrell Barn Cultural Center, 411 Emerson St. Admission is free with donations to Luttrell Barn welcome.

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