Island Players presents ‘Beyond a Joke’

Island players
From left, Daniel Coppinger, as Vicar, tries to enter, but Jeffrey Steiger, as Geoff, tries to keep him out as Caroline Cox, as Sarah, is unaware of what’s happening. – Tom Vaught | Sun

ANNA MARIA – The Island Players’ production of “Beyond a Joke,” by Dereck Benfield, opens Thursday, Jan. 11.

James Thaggard directs this comedy about murder. The play is set in a country house in England where six people have died in unfortunate and embarrassing accidents. When a young guest arrives for the weekend, conversational confusion leads him to believe these deaths were caused by sinister circumstances, and he fears that he is next.

The cast includes Sylvia Marnie as Jane, Heiko Knipfelberg as Andrew, Caroline Cox as Sarah, Daniel Coppinger as the Vicar, Judi King as Audrey and Peter Ruscoe as Edgar. Island newcomer Jeffrey A. Steiger plays Geoff and Sarah Klipper plays Sally.

“Beyond a Joke” runs from Jan. 11-28. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 each, available at the box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. On performance nights, the box office opens at 7 p.m. and for Sunday matinees, it opens at 1 p.m. Visa, MasterCard or Discover are accepted. For more information, call 941 778-5755.

Auditions for the season’s next play, “The Curious Savage,” by John Patrick, will be held on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the theater. The play, which runs from March 8-25, will be directed by Kelly Wynn Woodland and co-produced by Bortell’s Lounge.