Director's Note

 

From Jim Green:

 

 

I am thrilled and perhaps somewhat terrified to be making my directorial debut at the Putnam County Playhouse with Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner,” It was first performed in The Milwaukee Repertory 1983 with the playwright himself playing the lead character.

 

The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by "Froggy" LeSeuer, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time "Froggy" has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So "Froggy," before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should—the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister's pretty fiancée is pregnant; and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn't understand a word being said. That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the "bad guys," and the "good guys" emerge triumphant.

I hope to see veterans and novices alike audition for our production. I can hardly wait to get started. Here are the characters waiting to be taken from the printed page and brought to life on stage.

 

Froggy (Staff Sergeant LeSueur) — His army buddies probably gave him the nick-name “Froggy” because of his French last name, but nobody is more British than this member of the British Army’s bomb squad. Froggy is a good natured character who just wants everybody to be happy. He is particularly concerned about the welfare of his friend, Charlie Baker.(English accent required)

 

Betty Meeks—a widow who owns the lakeside lodge that is the setting for this play. Betty and her late husband have owned and operated this ‘bed and breakfast” for as long as anyone can remember. When her husband died, Betty just kept right on welcoming the summer tourists. She is a motherly woman who has probably never left her home state of Georgia. She is naively excited to learn about anything “foreign”.(Southern accent required)

 

Reverend David Lee—Also a guest staying at Betty’s lodge. The Reverend David Lee is almost too good to be true. He is patient, polite, intelligent, and friends with everyone, but we soon discover that David is hiding something. (Southern accent required)

 

Catherine Simms—a pretty, young debutante, Catherine comes from a wealthy Southern family. She is the heiress to her father’s estate and is engaged to Reverend David Lee. Catherine is a woman who speaks her mind. She has a bit of a temper, but she also has a sense of humor.(Southern accent required)

 

Owen Musser—an unpleasant man all around. Owen is definitely the villain of this play. He is a grown man with the instincts of a play-ground bully, and is using his position as Tilghman County Property Inspector to confiscate Betty’s lakeside lodge. Owen takes advantage of anyone that is weaker than he is, but like most bullies he is easily intimidated by a show of strength.(Southern accent required)

 

Ellard Simms—a “lumpy, overgrown, backward youth.” Ellard is Catherine’s little brother, he will also inherit a portion of the family money, unless Catherine decides that he is mentally unfit to handle it. Ellard seems to be “not quite all there.” He is awkward, shy and easily confused. Everyone in his family has always expected him to get things wrong, and he usually lives up to their expectations.(Southern accent required)

 

Charlie Baker—has a kind heart, but a boring life and a wife who doesn’t love him. He has accepted Froggy’s invitation to travel to America in order to get away from his troubles, only to find that more troubles are waiting for him there. Charlie is a painfully shy man so he and Froggy agree to pretend that Charlie doesn’t speak English so that he won’t have to make small talk with the other characters in the play. (English accent required)

 

I will also be seeking technical support (lights, soundboard, and stage manager) for our production.

Hope to see you there!