Area playwright premiers play in Monticello

Rick Patrick
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Local audiences have the opportunity to see the world premier of a new play by area playwright, Anthony Lamarr White, from Perry, when his new play The Long Goodbye opens at the Monticello Opera House on Friday, Nov. 30.
Set in Monticello, The Long Goodbye tells the story of Mrs. Pet, who finds denial to be the easiest way to deal with the death of her daughter, Amy. This causes a rift between her and her husband that only gets wider with time. Then a young lady named Jody enters their life. Can this new person help bridge the gap and provide the Christmas miracle needed to help Mrs. Pet heal and move on?
According to the playwright, the story should evoke some very nostalgic emotions. “One of my goals in writing The Long Goodbye was to write something a little reminiscent of the movie It's a Wonderful Life,” said White. “That was one reason for setting the play in Monticello. The town itself has a very nostalgic feel to it.”
White's play stems from a family experience over 30 years ago when a family member passed away at Christmas. This experience led to a skit, written as part of a 4-H project. Over the years, that grew into a screenplay and eventually the stage production it is today.
White was able to further develop his play with the world-renowned, Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, through the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. The Long Goodbye was chosen for the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival Readers Theatre of New Works. Famed actress Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America, What's Love Got to do With It?, Cheaper by the Dozen, The District) read the lead role.
The production of The Long Goodbye at the Monticello Opera House is produced in collaboration with Florida A&M University's (FAMU) Essential Theatre Company. The Long Goodbye is directed by FAMU Assistant Professor of Theatre Evelyn Tyler. After the production in Monticello, the play will be staged in Atlanta by the New African Grove Theatre Company.
The Monticello Opera House production cast includes: Kyonna Floyd, Kimora Lee George, Tevin King, Aubrey Lister, K. Sidney Bronson, Linda K. Stringer, Tyler Wold and Monica R. Woods.
The Monticello Opera House/Essential Theatre Company production of The Long Goodbye opens Friday, November 30, and runs through Sunday, December 9. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and doors open at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 with optional $20 dinner. Due to catering requirements, dinner and show tickets must be purchased no later than 9 a.m. on the Wednesday prior to the show.
Tallahassee's Chef Shac, a 2017 winner of the Food Network CHOPPED television show, will cater dinner for The Long Goodbye's production at the Monticello Opera House.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit monticellooperahouse.org, or call (850) 997-4242.