Charlotte Players move forward with two events in September

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With extensive COVID-19 precautions in place, Charlotte Players is continuing its 2010-21 season with two big events in September.
First up is A Shot in the Dark, a mystery-comedy set for seven shows from Sept. 11 – 20 at the Langdon Playhouse, 1182 Market St. in Port Charlotte.
Adapted by Harry Kurnitz from the 1962 French play L’Idiote by Marcel Archard, A Shot in the Dark is an ingenious “whodunit” and cheeky comedy with a very dramatic outlook on love and passion. This classic French farce has plenty of surprises throughout the show that will keep you guessing to the very end.
In this play, a maid is suspected of killing a chauffeur, and only a romantic magistrate believes her innocence. The setting is Paris in the chamber of the examining magistrate. Ken Crisp is directing.
A Shot in the Dark originally opened at the Booth Theater on Broadway in 1961 and ran for 389 performances. The original cast included William Shatner, Julie Harris, and Walter Matthau, who won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.
Tickets are $22 for adult and $11 for students, and may be ordered on the Charlotte Players website (www.charlotteplayers.org) or by calling 941-255-1022.
Next up in September is Comedy for a Cause, the Players’ premier fund-raising event. Now in its eighth year, the event features community and business leaders presenting improvisational skits in the manner of television’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?”
Due to the ongoing virus concerns, Comedy for a Cause is being held at the Langdon with an “all-star” cast of past participants and a limited audience this year. It will be broadcast live on the Players Facebook page at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25. The new format was adopted by Charlotte Players executive director Sherrie Moody, Comedy for a Cause director Dr. Chris Constance and executive producer Steve Lineberry.
“We felt that with a different type of cast and different type of production, we wouldn’t miss a beat for the 2020 season,” Lineberry said.
“We wanted the Charlotte Players to be able to give back during this tough time,” said Dr. Constance. “We thought that doing a virtual event, opening it up to the public and letting anybody watch it who wants to, would provide a welcome respite from the negative news. And if they decide to donate or participate and help out, that’s wonderful, but we didn’t want this to be a year without Comedy for a Cause and we thought it was so important to be able to deliver for the community.”
Sponsorships start at $100 and offer a wide variety of opportunities to local businesses. The sponsorship deadline is Sept. 21. Another major source of revenue will be the “Curtain Call” online silent auction coordinated by Jessica Cantwell, business development director for Life Care Center of Punta Gorda. Cantwell is seeking items for the auction such as gift baskets, gift cards, retail items, trips, etc. Auction items will be available for bidding from Sept. 19 through Sept. 25 on the Players Facebook page.
For sponsorship and auction information, contact Lori Wagner-Ryan at [email protected] or call 941-255-1022.
“We are practicing social distancing at the Langdon,” Moody said. “We are taking audience members’ temperatures at the door,” she added, “and we have extra ushers and other personnel on hand to sanitize restrooms and wipe down counters and door handles.”
Moody used a COVID-19 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota to acquire preventative equipment, including a disinfectant fog machine, which is used in all areas of the theater between shows. Other devices in place include a half-dozen touchless soap dispensers, a pair of touchless forehead thermometers, 20 floor-distancing stickers, a half-dozen clear acrylic guard shields, and nine wall-mounted hand sanitizers.
Audience members are seated far enough apart to meet COVID-19 recommendations and are provided with masks. Additional information is available at 941-255-1022.
“We want audience members to feel comfortable knowing we have done everything we can to make sure they can enjoy the show,” Moody said.
For more show info, visit online at www.charlotteplayers.org.

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