Blue Jay Stage Company will present the comedy “Dearly Departed” at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26, in the Needville High School auditorium.

All seats are general admission and cost is $5. Tickets are available at the door or online at www.needvilleisd.org; click on Needville High School under the “Schools” tab, then “Menu”, then “Theatre.”

In each performance, Gabriel Ellis portrays Bud, the Turpin family’s oldest child who drinks himself silly when his dad dies and the funeral bills mount. He’s only one of a cast of hilarious characters sure to make everyone enjoy themselves.

Additional family members and friends are played by Owen Wyatt as Royce, John Michael Sloan as Junior, Kaitlyn Kostelnik at Raynelle, Katie Ashburn as Marguerite, Finnley Brandt as Suzanne, Saul Morales as Norval, Sydney Jeske as Lucille and Faith Nash as Delightful.

During the matinee performances, Spencer Cole will portray the Rev. Hooker, Lizzie Rule is Nadine, Jayna Willaimson is Veda and Wendy Pena is Juanita.

For the evening performances, Hunter Aguilar will play the role of the Rev. Hooker, Ava George is Nadine, Reagan Johnson is Veda and Crystal Hackstedt is Juanita.

Under the direction of Blue Jay Stage Company Assistant Director Jackie Kana, the play revolves around the beleaguered Turpin family whose members return home for the patriarch’s funeral as they attempt to deal with each other.

Included in the midst are everyone from monstrous kids to a spinster sister to a brother drowning in debt.

“It’s really, really fun and I think no matter who you are, you’re going to somebody on stage whom you avoid at a family reunion,” said Blue Jay Stage Company Director Curtis Barber. “The kids have been rehearsing this since Aug. 2, so they gave up a portion of their summer to help get this show ready so early in the school year. They were willing to come in before even teachers were back at work, so that is definitely significant.”

Barber said the Theatre Arts Department traditionally only performed two shows per year: a musical in the fall and a competition show in the spring. He and Kana wanted to add a third show to give their students more opportunities to perform on stage.

Proceeds help provide the Blue Jay Stage Company with such things as costumes, props and lighting for the production of future shows like the musical “Annie,” which is set for Dec. 3 and 4.

“It will feature a huge cast, including a live dog, and will be incredible,” Barber said. “Mark your calendars now.”

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