Olympic Theatre Arts’ ‘A Facility for Living’ cast, in rehearsal

Third time’s a charm?

Katie Forgette’s comedy “A Facility for Living” has had a number of starts and stops, but looks to hit the Olympic Theatre Arts stage in early October.

The play, now cast and in rehearsal, was originally slated for the 2018-2019 season, but the show lost its director and had to be moved forward a year. That put the show in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic — forcing a second cancellation.

Now, “A Facility for Living” looks to lead off OTA’s 2021-2022 season lineup.

Set in a darker but farcical alternative reality, the play sees retired actor Joe Taylor move into a prison-turned-elder-care facility not long after the demise of Medicare.

There, Taylor discovers a community of “lovable, irascible inmates, hell-bent on bucking the dehumanizing system in which they have landed,” OTA representatives describe.

“It’s a comedy for our times,” longtime OTA director Christy Holy said. “It talks about trying to remain human in this world where everything is getting more and more technical and automated. I just love the timing of it, and the characters.”

Vicki Miller, who plays “tough love” Nurse Claudia, noted, “We’re poking fun at our inadequacies and our little human foibles.”

Steve Rodeman, OTA Board of Trustees chair and actor, last seen spearheading Dr. Watson’s Workshop, plays Wally Carmichael, a “cranky mush-pot.”

“If you really pay attention to the play and what people say you’ll learn a lot about the human condition, but you’ll do it while you’re laughing,” Rodeman said.

“I was on the committee which chose this play, and I was really pushing for it because it was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time,” said Cathy Dodd, who plays Ditsy’ Mitzi Kramer.

”But it also had that human element that made it relatable to a lot of people. I think that’s why people will find humor in it – there are things that happen that people can relate with.”

New to OTA is Frank Barevich, who plays Kevin, a facility aide whose aspirations exceed his intellect.

“I just like a good, fun story,” Barevich said. “Like any good comedy, it’s really the characters that make it funny.”

Also cast are OTA veteran actor Joel Hoffman, best known for his performance as Willy Loman in OTA’s 2019 production of “Death of a Salesman,” and Rebecca Weston, enjoying her second time on stage after 20 years — the first being in OTA’s recent New Works Showcase; Hoffman plays the rebellious new resident Joe Taylor, and Weston is cast as the soft spoken Judy.

Having just finished co-organizing OTA’s Kings, Queens and Royal Scenes Renaissance Faire fundraiser, Marissa Meek is taking on the back stage duties of Stage Manager.

“I think something that’s beautiful and funny and heart lifting about this play is that even though some of these characters haven’t taken care of themselves they’re willing to go out of their way to take care of each other, and that’s something that we can all appreciate,” Meek said.

A Facility for Living runs from Oct. 1-17. Performance times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. A Pay-What-You-Will show for any and all budgets is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, and the first two Sunday shows offer a “Talkback” session where audiences can stay after the performance and talk with the cast and crew about the production in an open forum setting.

Tickets to this Main Stage comedy are $18 for the general public, $16 for OTA members, and $12 for students with school identification card. Tickets are available at the theatre box office from 1-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, or online at OlympicTheatreArts.org.

For more information, call the theatre at 360-683-7326.

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