On Aug. 3 and 4, Theatre Longview is promising a good time — in rhyme.
The community theater’s next production, “The Saga of Katy and the Gamblin’ Lady,” has been dubbed a “popcorn theatre,” during which audiences are encouraged to throw, instead of eat, their treat.
It’s a different kind of fundraiser from the Broadway reviews the nonprofit organization has presented in the past.
“I really wanted to do something different, something that was a little more performance-based,” said Christy Morris, Theatre Longview’s board president who also is directing the production. Morris was familiar with the play from her days in high school theater.
“It’s very cheesy and over the top,” she said. “It’s all in rhyme.”
Enter the popcorn.
“The reason we started calling it a popcorn theater is because ... we do want it to be very interactive. We do want the audience to cheer and boo when it’s appropriate. We will be selling little bags of popcorn,” Morris said, and audience members are encouraged to throw it at the production’s actors. “It gives them a chance to have fun and be better able to interact with our actors.”
The play is short and in one act. It centers around Katy, who runs a saloon, and what happens when a “gamblin’ lady” by the name of Lou cleans everybody out.
The play will be presented twice. Admission is $5 to the first performance, which is appropriate for all ages, at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at the First Lutheran Church at 3901 Bill Owens Parkway in Longview.
The second performance is for ages 18 and older at 9 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Rainbow Members Club, at 203 S. High St. in Longview. The community theater isn’t selling tickets to the second performance but instead will have a silent auction, raffle and other activities to help raise money for Theatre Longview.
“We have asked two of their resident drag queens to play the saloon girls,” Morris said.
Theatre Longview is in its sixth year and working to establish more name recognition in the city.
“I’m still surprised at how many people are surprised that we’re here,” Morris said.
That’s why the theater group has different activities planned in the coming month compared with previous years, to draw more people to Theatre Longview and raise awareness and funds to support the organization.
The group will mark Halloween with the presentation of the one act play “Ten Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” A “Best of Broadway” review show likely will be planned as well. Theatre Longview’s improv group, “Duck. Duck. Moose!”, is planning shows at the Longview Community Center. Dates will be announced later.
“At the heart of what we do is promoting live theater in Longview,” Morris said. “That’s kind of the mission of Theatre Longview.”