Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 23, 2013

Play set to open

Natalie Fultz

CAIRO — The world premier of “The Invasion” is just a few days away. On March 8, 9, and 10, “The Invasion” will be featured at the Zebulon Theatre.

Jeff Lovett, Georgia-based playwright, wrote “The Invasion” after watching a scene in Rambo.

“The Invasion” is a single set, 120 minute long comedy about four National Guard members in the fictional Texas border town of Dermont.  

It is just another typical weekend for the four guardsmen when they hear a report that the Mexican Army is about to initiate a full-scale invasion on their town.

But none of the four character’s have ever seen actual combat.

The play focuses on their attempt to prepare for battle, the tension that rises, their true feelings about each other, and their fears and phobias.

Lovett describes “The Invasion” as a “hilarious look at what happens to people when faced with their worst fears and the extremes that they will go to when their world is turned upside down.”

Instead of directing his play, Lovett asked Emily G. Wellman to take charge. Lovett also hired Keri Clark as stage manager.

“I wanted to have a fresh perspective,” Lovett said.

Wellman, 23, graduated from FSU with a theatre degree.

“I love the idea of facilitating actors, and I also love show performance,” Wellman said.

Wellman and Lovett began preparations for “The Invasion” at the end of 2012.

“Holding auditions was a huge aspect,” Wellman said. “We chose four actors who have never acted in a show before.”

Matthew Pipkin, who plays Trevor White, is ready to debut his acting career.

“Trevor is a full-on nerd,” Pipkin said. “He has had one family member involved in each of the wars since the Revolutionary War, but he couldn’t join the Army because of his eye sight.”

Pipkin says he is “nothing” like his character.

“It’s fun to play someone I’m not,” Pipkin said. “I have to think about how he would act, not how I would.”

This marks the 13th published play Lovett has written. His short and full-length plays have been performed in more than 40 areas of the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East.

He has worked as an actor, director and playwright in community and professional theatre for more than 25 years. Lovett has also written a three volume fiction series entitled The Handlings.

“Writing a play takes a lot of mental exercise,” Lovett said. “It’s a lot different than writing a novel. A play is only dialogue. All the feeling has to be implied.”

“The Invasion” will premier on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Zebulon Theater. There will also be shows on Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and six dollars for students and seniors. Tickets are available for purchase at Miss Myrts 377-4278, Center Drugs 377-2777 and at the Zebulon Box Office.

“The Invasion” is rated PG-13 and may not be suitable for children.