ST. CLOUD - Pioneer Place Theatre Company is closing out its season with the third installment in the Tuna series written by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams. Mark Bergren returns as the director to the Tuna series, as he directed the "Tuna Christmas" productions.

He says, "This particular one takes place on the Fourth of July in this town, and there's about twenty plus characters. They are all played by two men." 

A lot of the characters are coming back from the previous two installments. Bergren says the hardest part of his job was casting two actors for twenty characters.

Actors Lee H. Adams (left) and Peter Simmons (right)
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

"I've got two great actors, Peter Simmons and Lee Adams," says Bergren, "Knowing that those guys just have a wide range of characters they can play, and we can toy around with how Bertha, one of the older women who is going to get married in the play, as opposed to Aunt Pearl, who's about ninety, and played  by the same character, how that's different." 

Lee H. Adams has been acting in comedies for thirty years, and playing multiple characters isn't new to him.

"Three, four characters in a show is pretty common. Ten is really tough especially with the speed of the costume changes in this show," says Adams.

Adams says it almost feels like he's being mugged when he goes off stage to change characters.

You are immediately met off stage because you've got thirty seconds to go from overalls, cowboy boots, hat, mustache, to skirt, blouse, vest, wig, earrings, [and] glasses. You have dressers backstage, so it's like you step off stage and people just run at you.

Adams says the other challenges of playing multiple characters are all the different voices.

"You generally have a couple of stock southern voices," says Adams, "This play takes place in Texas, so I'm ten characters, they all have a southern accent, but they have to be different. That's hard." 

But Adams, and his counterpart Peter Simmons, have taken on these challenges, and are ready to hit the stage. The show hits the stage tonight (Friday), and runs through May 10th. This is the final show for the season. Look below for a full list of next season's productions.

Actors Lee H. Adams (left) and Peter Simmons (right)
(Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

SHOW DATES AND TIMES
Friday, April 24th - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25th - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 26th - 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 30th - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 1st - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 2nd - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 3rd - 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 7th - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 8th - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9th - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 10th - 2:00 p.m.

 

NEXT SEASON'S SHOWS - Click each play for more information
Pump Boys and Dineettes: September 11th - 27th, 2015
Laughing All The Way VI: November 27th - December 20th, 2015
The Gin Game: February 5th - 21st, 2016
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: March 11th - 27th, 2016
Boeing Boeing: April 22nd - May 8th, 2016