is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

All the way home...


You've seen her somewhere ... in fact, you've seen her somewhere many times before!  Chances are she's made you laugh and yes, she's made you cry...



Her reputation as a consummate professional is respected throughout the theatrical community -- and in person, as on-stage, she's just one of those characters who garners your perkiest attention, no matter what the situation or circumstance.  

The always-busy but ever-gracious Tonda-Leah Fields is yet another star in the celestial line-up for the Midway Play Festival and her role tonight is to watch her actors present the fabulously premised 10-minute play, Violating Uncle Piggy at the festival that is being presented at the Thoroughbred Theatre (details below).


Jim and Melissa Wilkeson play the parents in Violating Uncle Piggy
Fields tells me "Violating Uncle Piggy is a comedy about a boy 'interrogating' his parents for taking money out of his piggy bank (Uncle Piggy) without asking." Fields is delighted to be working with local favorites Jim and Melissa Wilkeson who work their stage magic as the parents, and Dunbar Senior Wilson Shirley, who it tickles Tonda to say "he is SO funny as the boy (Investigator)!  Wilson is the lead in Dunbar's upcoming Women & Wallace, and Jim and Melissa are both in Studio Players' upcoming production of Christmas Belles."


"Since I'm directing both of these...I begged them to play with me on yet ANOTHER project.  So busy....but SO much fun!  Biggest challenge is DEFINITELY coordinating schedules!  11:00pm rehearsals anyone??" she laughs (all seriousness aside :)

Speaking of serious - does Tonda-Leah Fields have a heretofore unrevealed talent?  When I asked her if she did, at first she balked, but then a comical confession was spilt: "Sadly ... not so much ... well ... I can stuff my entire fist in my mouth!  Also, although I didn't go, I was accepted into Barnum & Bailey Clown College during grad school (can you imagine...LOL)!"

Anyone who knows Fields and her work will most likely not be surprised, but I love it that this fine and gracious lady of Lexington theatre is humble enough to admit these things to lil ol' me and let me share them with you, despite her uber-busy schedule.  I know that Violating Uncle Piggy will be just one/seventh of the wonderful works I will see tonight at the festival, but now that she's revealed just this little part, I have a feeling I'll be going, "wheee wheee wheeeee!" all the way home from Midway.

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Tonda-Leah Fields adds that she is very excited to be part of the second Annual Midway Play Festival!  She has worked with numerous theatres in the Lexington area...both as an actor and director.  Recent directing credits include Always....Patsy Cline and The Marvelous Wonderettes at Studio Players, as well as Dearly Departed for Asbury University.  

Tonda is currently directing Women & Wallace at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and Christmas Belles at Studio Players.  Tonda thanks Jim Betts and Bob Singleton "for making this event happen,  to Judd Silverman for creating a wonderfully fun script, and to an AMAZING cast!"

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Violating Uncle Piggy by Judd Silverman 

Mummy............Melissa Rae Wilkeson
Daddy...............Jim Wilkeson
Investigator.......Wilson Shirley

Director......Tonda-Leah Fields



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Artistic Director Bob Singleton: 
“In every way, this festival is a showcase of the great talent we have here in Central Kentucky, and the playwrights that ply their craft all across the US. We’re all devoted to our craft and we’re looking forward to the run of shows, and many future returns for the Midway Play Festival.”


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The Thoroughbred Theatre
127 East Main Street
Midway, Kentucky

October 22-24 & 29-31

8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday
2:00 p.m. on Sundays

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at door

Senior Citizen & Students (with ID): $12 at all times

Reservations: 859.846.9827 

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No Sugar by Philip Hall (Longboat Key, FL)
Directed by Eric Seale
Debbie: Sharon Sikorski
Barry: Tim Hull

The Test by Paula Caplan (Cambridge, MA)
Directed by Tim X Davis
Cleveland: Dmetrius Conley-Williams
Bradley: Emanuel Wright

Saddam’s Lions by Jacob Juntunen (Chicago, IL)
Directed by Jeremy Kisling
Rashida: Stephanie Radford
Jon: Clenton Hollinger

Taken For A Ride by Jan O’Conner (North Hollywood, CA)
Directed by Paul Thomas
Susan: Hayley Williams
Samson: Jordan Pruitt


Violating Uncle Piggy by Judd Lear Silverman (Brooklyn, NY)
Directed by: Tonda-Leah Fields
Mummy: Melissa Rae Wilkeson
Daddy: Jim Wilkeson
Investigator: Wilson Shirley

Blood Grass by J. Stephen Brantley (New York, NY)
Directed by Beth Kirchner
Mary: Martha Bernier Campbell
Guy: Nick Vannoy

It’s Impossible to get fired from Thrifty Drug Aid by Jessica Juhrend (Spearfish, SD)
Directed by Evan Bergman
Nancy:  Jan Hooker
Caroline:  Annie Barbera
John:  Tim Hull








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