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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Clintonville troupe sets ‘Replacing Linda: A Virtual Play’


Phoenix Players, Inc.

Play logo.

CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) – Phoenix Players, Inc. will present the comedy “Replacing Linda: A Virtual Play” as a livestream presentation at 1 p.m. Oct. 11. Info: phoenixplayerswi.com.

According to a press release: Due to the coronavirus COVID-19, the single performance will be held entirely online.

In the 30-minute play by Kimberly Barger, Megan is a nervous mess. The best administrative assistant has quit just as the business she co-owns with her partner Wade is expanding. Desperate to fill the big shoes left behind by Linda, Megan and Wade conduct a series of virtual interviews for her replacement, in front of the company’s board of directors – the audience.

Even though the first two tech-savvy candidates seem to know their way around social media and technology just fine, the twentysomethings don’t seem big on work ethic, common sense or common courtesy. And Wade isn’t much help, either, seeming most concerned about replacing Linda’s delicious cookies that she used to share with the office.

Performing are newcomer Stephanie Miller as Megan. Seasoned actors are Brandon Byng as Wade, Marie Newton as Ashley, Amy Steenbock as Jackie and Mary-Beth Kuester as Linda.

“We are so excited to be experimenting with a new way to keep the arts alive in our area by offering a virtual play,” said Brandon Byng, who also serves as the play’s director, “We have all missed acting and working on a project, and we hope that this will provide a short but fun distraction for our patrons during this time when there are too few in-person arts related events available.”

The play is rated PG.

Kimberly Barger is a playwright living in Harrisburg, Pa. She has written five small-cast plays. Based in Clintonville, Phoenix Players is a relatively young community troupe, though founders Brandon Byng and Mary-Beth Kuester have considerable experience in the region.

The troupe’s first production was in December 2017.

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