Fleetwood Community Theatre presents Tom Smith’s “Drinking Habits,” a farce comedy that takes place in an American convent of The Sisters of Perpetual Sewing.
The outdoor performances will be held at the Evergreen German Club, 415 Hartz Road, Fleetwood, on Aug. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. Those in attendance must wear a mask walking around the venue, but masks can be removed while sitting at the tables for eating and drinking. This is an outdoor venue under a pavilion.
Sister Augusta and Sister Philamena started a side business of making grape juice from the grapes grown in the property’s vineyard, selling it for extra money to keep the convent’s finances in the black. A few bottles were left in the pressing room too long and turned into wine, which became much more profitable, as the town started to buy it by the case. They try very hard to conceal their side business from Mother Superior because she despises anything to do with “Satan’s aperitif.”
Sally is a news reporter dead set on writing the article exposing the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing as the winners of a local wine making contest so she can make a name for herself as a serious reporter. Sally and her co-reporter, Paul, who has a different agenda, go under cover as a priest and a nun to get the inside scoop. Little do they know, news has come from Rome that non-essential churches are being investigated, and possibly closed. Father Chenille adds to the confusion by asking the convent's groundskeeper to keep an eye on Father Paul by also acting as a priest.
Under the direction of Cathy Leibensperger of Hamburg, the Fleetwood Community Theatre cast is full of well-known community actors.
Steve Miller of Fleetwood plays “Sister Philamena” one of the nuns making and selling the not-to-be-mentioned wine. A computer teacher at Executive Education in Allentown, Miller has been on stage with FCT since 2010 as Bundles in “Annie.” He has been in “You Can’t Take it With You” as Donald, “A Few Good Men” as Corporal Howard, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” as Vanya, and his favorite role portraying Vera Carp in both “Greater Tuna” and “Red, White, and Tuna.”
Cindy Rohrbach of Fleetwood brings much laughter to her character Sister Augusta as the sneaky leader always telling Sister Philamena what to do, so they don’t get caught by Mother Superior. An employee at Teleflex, Inc. in Reading, “Drinking Habits” is Cindy’s second show with Fleetwood Community Theatre, having just been in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”
Mother Superior is portrayed by LeAnne Zettlemoyer of Kempton, a music teacher for Reading School District’s Northwest and Southern Middle Schools. Zettlemoyer has played Marion Paroo in “The Music Man,” Sonia in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Mrs. Corry in “Mary Poppins” and Rona Lisa Peretti in “The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Tara Sands of Fleetwood plays Sally Andrews. Rarely on stage, Sands is usually found behind the scenes as a designer, manager, or director for the theater company. Her last on-stage role was as Bethe in “Boeing Boeing” in 2014. She has directed Fleetwood’s productions of “Mary Poppins,” “A Few Good Men,” “Lend Me A Tenor,” “On Golden Pond” and many others. Sands helped with the technical aspects of productions for Reading Community Players, Reading Civic Theatre, and Genesius Theatre. She was the program coordinator for the Reading FilmFest in 2016.
Randy Miller of Pennside plays Paul Billings, the counterpart to Sally Andrews. Miller was the director of Reading Community Players production of “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.” His most well-known role was as Jack/Stephanie in RCP’s production of “Leading Ladies.” He has also played Paul Sycamore in “You Can’t Take it With You,” Santa Clause in “The Happy Elf” and Lt. Jonathan Kendrick in “A Few Good Men.”
Emilee Cooper of Antietam plays Sister Mary Catherine, a novice sent to the convent by Cardinal Redding. Cooper was in numerous shows at Antietam High School, and first appeared with FCT in “The Producers” in 2015 as Ulla. She took a hiatus for a few years and was most recently Marcy Parks in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” She recently finished EMT training and works with Western Berks Ambulance Association.
The parish Priest, Father Chenille, is played by Jim Hoffmann of Alburtis, a regional sales manager for KAB, Inc in Emmaus. This is his first non-musical role. He has regularly performed with The Macungie Minstrelaires, Munopco, and Catasauqua Area Showcase Theatre. His last role with FCT was as Northbrook in “Mary Poppins.”
Panaylotis “Pete” Clauser of Exeter plays George Donnelly the convent’s groundskeeper. A graduate of Exeter High School, Clauser has been seen in many productions throughout Berks County, including Genesius Theatre’s “The Little Mermaid” as Prince Eric and as Sky in their 2019 production of “Mamma Mia.”
Tickets are $15 through Aug. 20 and are available online at www.onthestage.com/fleetwood-community-theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the door only on the day of performances for $18. Cash or cards accepted.
Fleetwood Community Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer organization of theatre lovers in their 33nd season. Visit fleetwoodcommunitytheatre.com or like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fFeetwoodTheatre.