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Stage set for ‘The Fox on the Fairway’ at CCP

posted Aug 6, 2015, 12:24 PM by Donald Fann
*zen golf.jpg

*zen golf.jpg

Bingham (Jason Ross) tells Justin (Chance Wall) to relax and be “zen” while waiting out a rain delay in the big tournament.

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015 1:41 pm

From the Crossville Chronical

Heather Mullinix

A long-standing rivalry and a high-stakes golf match set the stage for the Cumberland County Playhouse's newest comedy "The Fox on the Fairway," which opened Thursday.

"It's about relationships — but not necessarily the three couples you think — and how those relationships develop and drive those people to each other," said Britt Hancock, playing arrogant country club president Dickie. "The raised stakes of the bet drives the relationships."

Author Ken Ludwig, who also wrote "Lend Me A Tenor," defines a farce as a play that focuses more on story than character. Fann said that made it even more important to develop the characters so that the audience will root them on. 

"The characters are really big and what they want is really big, which makes it fun for the audience to buy in to," said Director Donald Fann. "The cast has been so much fun. They're inventive and creative and they build on things to grow the characters. The situations that might seem absurd, aren't. None of them are afraid to be larger than life characters, and that's what you have to have."

In addition to snappy writing and quips delivered with just the right inflection to draw out laugh after laugh, it's also a physical show.

"The set is almost a gym. We tried to find places on the set we could catapult from or throw things to raise those stakes for the characters," Fann said. 

Jason Ross, playing Quail Valley Country Club President Bingham, described his character as a "stuffy" character.

"All these unfortunate things are happening and he's trying to maintain his composure and it isn't happening," Ross said. 

Hancock, whose character is known for his ugly sweaters, said, "He's arrogant and thinks he is more intelligent than he is. The two characters have made a bet when Bingham thinks he has a ringer for the annual golf match only to learn after the wager has been made that the ringer switched sides. 

Chance Wall plays Bingham's new assistant, Justin, who just happens to be a scratch golfer. Unfortunately, Justin is susceptible to stress and, when fiancée Louise (Lindsey Mapes) delivers some disappointing news, he comes unglued.

Bingham and club vice-president Pamela (played by Weslie Webster) try to help the couple patch up their differences before the match resumes, but their efforts are stalled by the appearance of Bingham's wife, Murial (played by Lauren Marshall). 

The show is keeping with the Playhouse theme of down-home comedy, tying the well-known Crossville attraction with Crossville's other well-known attraction — golf.

"Crossville is the Golf Capital of Tennessee. With there being 12 major courses here, all of our volunteers golf," explained Bryce McDonald, associate producing director. "On rainy days, our box office soars because they're not golfing. We've been looking for something for a couple of years that spoke to this generation. We found this."

"We have the perfect cast to do it, and Donald is the perfect director for it."

The play will be presented in the Adventure Theater, allowing for an intimate setting that brings the audience into the action. In fact, the final scene includes putting along a fairway in the middle of the crowd. 

"With audiences on three sides, it put the audience inside the scene. When you enter the space, you enter the world of the play," Fann said. "We've gotten so accustomed to movies and television where there's a distance. When you're that close and you see all the physicality happening, you don't have to suspend your disbelief."

And your cheeks will be sore from laughing throughout the play.

The show is rated PG-13 for mature subject matter and is sponsored by Good Times Wine, Spirits and Brew. The show plays through Oct. 16

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