“Bakersfield Mist” is what director Josh Sutcliffe calls a “dramedy” inspired by true events between two characters who come from very different worlds.
“The clash of worlds with these two very different people is always an engaging spectacle to watch,” Sutcliffe says.
Olympic Theatre Arts presents Stephen Sacs’ “Bakersfield Mist,” a show that runs from Jan. 18-27 in the theater’s gathering hall at 414 N. Sequim Ave., with talk-back conversations following each show.
Sutcliffe was last seen in “Starting Here, Starting Now,” and this is his second show he’s directed at OTA. He says it’s the unlikely characters that meet in this show that drew him to direct it.
The story revolves around Lionel Percy, an elite art scholar from New York played by Steve Rodeman, who flies to Bakersfield, Calif., to meet Maude Gutman, played by Sara Nicholls. Gutman believes she’s found a million dollar painting from a thrift store, and is eager to find out from Lionel if her painting is an authentic piece by Jackson Pollock.
“Maude is very different from anything I’ve played before,” Nicholls said. “It’s fun.”
Maude is described as a foul-mouthed, “salty” 50-something woman who lives in a trailer park while Lionel is a proper, cultured, elitist from the East Coast.
While Rodeman has experience at OTA as part of the stage crew, he says this is his first theater debut in about 40 years.
“This is my first show since high school,” Rodeman says.
While the actors give off some strong first impressions about their characters, they begin to reveal their true selves throughout the show.
“The characters start off as two-dimensional, and then you learn of other dimensions as the play goes on,” Sutcliffe says.
Sutcliffe says he is excited to hear the audience’s feedback about the show during the talk-backs held afterward.
Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for OTA members and students with school ID available online at olympictheatrearts.org or at the theater box office from 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 414 N. Sequim Ave.
Pay What You Will night is set for Thursday, Jan. 24.
For more information about the production, call Olympic Theatre Arts at 360-683-7326.