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Red Carpet Preview: New Depot makes 'em laugh with 'Greater Tuna'
NDP Greater Tuna July 2015 - Rockdale News - candid Fame IMG 0054

It's a play that's meant to make people laugh and forget about their daily routines, said Amy Simerly, director of the play, "Greater Tuna," opening at the Black Box Theater in Olde Towne Conyers this weekend.

"It's a lot of laughs," she said, "so if you just want to let go for an hour-and-a-half and forget about your troubles, come see the show. There's nothing deep about it. It's just a fluffy piece that makes you laugh.

"I think we can all stand more of that," she said.

The play, which debuted in 1981, is part of a series written by Jason Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard pokes loving fun at small-town Southern life, and includes "Greater Tuna," "A Tuna Christmas," and "Red, White and Blue Tuna."

"It's just a simple play about a little town named Tuna, Texas, and centers around a radio program," Simerly said. "It's a little town of about 38 people."

The play focuses on the radio announcer, the people who call in, and a family who listens faithfully to the show.

Normally, the cast calls for two men to play all the characters in the play, but "I cast four men in the roles to make costume changes easier."

There are a lot of costumes and costume changes, she said. Two people are backstage helping with costume changes because, "sometimes [the actors] have to run off and change clothes, then run right back on."

Joey Fargar, Tyson White, Jeremiah Davison and Robbie Summerour will play the four leads.

Simerly, who previously directed "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," for The New Depot Players, said rehearsing the show has been a great way to spend her summers. "It's a pretty huge production. A lot of people are involved, but it's people who love theater and want to see community theater grow.

"My second family are these people," she said, adding she has been part of The New Depot Players for 20 to 25 years.

Auditions for the Players' next production, "Moon Over Buffalo," directed by Gina Hay, will be held July 19 and 20 at 7 p.m.

Simerly said The New Depot Players are looking for new directors, new actors, new crew members. "We're trying to build out community theater. Anyone who is interested can contact us through the web site at"

"Greater Tuna" opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, at the Center Street Arts/Black Box Theater, 910 Center St., Conyers. Performances will be at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, July 16 through 18 and July 23 through 25, with matinees at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19 and July 25 and 26. Tickets are $20, $16 for seniors and students.

To reserve tickets or learn more about the performance, call (678) 374-3224 or visit