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Jul 6, 2015

It all begins with a knock at the door. As the curtain goes up for the third time at Stage 9 this season, the Hutchinson Theatre Guild presents The Savannah Disputation by Evan Smith. The production will run July 16-19, and July 23-26, 2015, with Thursday – Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m. A heaven-sent comedy drenched in southern charm and infused with a pinch of hellfire and a dollop of damnation, The Savannah Disputation continues the Hutchinson Theatre Guild’s commitment to diverse, professional productions produced with outstanding local talent. 


A brisk production presented without intermission, The Savannah Disputation tells of two spinsters, Mary and Margaret. Drastically different in practically every way, Margaret and Mary are forced to buckle down together on their deeply held Catholic beliefs when a young, perky Christian fundamentalist missionary arrives trying to save their souls from hell. Melissa, a member of the Evangelical Church of the Holy Spirit Alliance Church, is steadfast her beliefs that Catholics are not, in fact, Christian due to certain rituals of the church. Mary, who wants to win the theological arguments, and Margaret, who just wants to her have peace of mind back, call in reinforcements in the form of their local parish priest, Father Patrick Murphy. In what can only be called a full-blown theological disputation, Melissa, Father Murphy, Mary and Margaret try to make sense of the complex spiritual world which they inhabit.


“The great thing about this wonderful work by Evan Smith is that it always throws in just the right balance of comedy while taking on serious matters of faith,” says Director Denny Vick. “As an audience member, you should be expected to be challenged but also thoroughly entertained by this production.”


Sarah Kovach and Peggy Livingston lead the production as Mary and Margaret. Melissa, the fundamentalist missionary, is portrayed by Abigail Webb. Rounding out the cast is Robert Callahan as Father Patrick Murphy. Kovach and Webb make their Stage 9 debuts in The Savannah Disputation


The production is under the direction of Denny Vick who also contributes a scenic design. Deidre Mattox serves as costume designer. Charles Johnston, Production Coordinator at Stage 9, acts in a dual capacity as lighting designer and technical director. Jordan Hebert contributes sound design and properties are designed by Paula Rothe. Becky Christner leads publicity and marketing with E. Brian Davis serving as stage manager for the production.


Stage 9, is located at 9 S. Main in Hutchinson, Kan. Performances for The Savannah Disputation are July 16-19, and July 23-26, 2015, with Thursday-Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m.


Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for ages 8-14. Children must be eight years old to attend this production. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at hutchtheatre.com as well as at Apron Strings (using cash and check only), located at the intersection of Sherman and Main Street in downtown Hutchinson. Patrons may also purchase tickets at the door starting one hour prior to a performance. 


All seating is general admission. The house opens at 7 p.m. for evening performances and 1:30 p.m. for afternoon performances. Stage 9 seats 85 people and seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Seats will not be reserved, so early arrival is recommended to insure your party is seated together. To check performance availability, please contact the Hutchinson Theatre Guild by email at hutchinsontheatreguild@gmail.com or by phone at 316-350-PLAY (7529).


For more information about The Savannah Disputation or to schedule interviews with the director, cast and/or crew, contact Charles Johnston at 646-628-4353 or via email at charlesajohnston@gmail.com. The Savannah Disputation is performed by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.