CCT kicks off ’20-21 season early with last year’s postponed show

by Cristin Parker

The 20-21 season at the Cherokee Civic Theatre is starting early, to make up for last year’s season getting cut short because of the pandemic.

‘Mama Won’t Fly,’ the Jones-Hope-Wooten romp that was supposed to have ended the 19-20 season is getting its time in the spotlight.

Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten -- directed by Bill Sherman and produced by Judy Faye Garner -- Mama Won’t Fly is “an outrageously hilarious race against the clock as Savanna Sprunt Fairchild Honeycutt agrees to get her feisty mother all the way from Alabama to California in time for her brother’s wedding. Savannah only has one problem -- Mama won’t fly,” CCT’s website states.

The show was originally planned to hit the stage in April and May, ending the theater’s 2019-20 season.

Because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, theater board members opted to postpone the show to help minimize the spread of the virus at the time.

“We are very excited to be back in the rehearsal phase for Mama Won’t Fly, following our “intermission” due to the Coronavirus pandemic,” CCT Board President Josie Fox said. “As we return to the wings, all the volunteers associated with the theater and this production will be going the extra mile to keep all our patrons safe.”

New show times are 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7 and Saturday, Aug. 8; with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Aug. 9, at the Cherokee Civic Theatre, 157 W. Fifth St., just off the square in Rusk.

There will be limited seating for this show. Tickets are now available online via CCT’s website, Tickets will go on sale at the box office three days prior to opening night – call (903) 683-2131, 3-5 p.m., Wednesday-Friday; and will be offered at the door during each production date, as space allows.

Advance tickets for non-members are $10, students; $13 for adults. Tickets at the door are $15, as space allows.

“We will be following guidelines on capacity and ensuring seat vacancies between groups and guests,” Fox said “All surfaces will be disinfected prior to each show. We want to open, as we have missed the thrill of being on stage and hearing our auditorium filled with laughter, but we also want to be safe.”

Cast members of Mama Won’t Fly include Jerry Parker as Denton Crocker/Officer Dugger; Robby Arrington as Cousin Chicken/Ronald; Tony Williams as Spud/Mitch; Brad Gwartney as Uncle Ferd/Kelvin/Red; Deakon Harper as Mickey; Josie Fox as Savanna Honeycutt; Amy McCalister as Norleen Sprunt; Abigail McCalister as Hayley Quinn; Stacy Gwartney as Sybil/Tanya Dudley/Aunt Ardale/Fanny; Jonell Arrington as Aunt Rena Jean/Edweena/Kiki; Brenda Hendrickson as Essie/Great Aunt Pawnee/Teeta; and Sheilah O’Heaney as Juliette.

All tickets are general seating except for CCT members, who may reserve their seats -- one of the many perks of being a CCT member. CCT’s annual membership drive is open, and theater patrons are invited to cash in on the deals, steals, perks and privileges that come with being a CCT member.

“With the price of movie tickets and concessions on the rise, becoming a member of the Theatre really is the best bang for your entertainment buck,” CCT Vice President of Membership Di Parker said.

Just a few of the perks a CCT member gets include discounts on regular season show tickets; can reserve their favorite seats; get discounts on the price of entry into the theater’s special events; get early registration for the annual TnT summer camp; and recognition in each show’s programs.

Memberships to the Cherokee Civic Theatre start at $50. Student and junior memberships are also available.

Call the Box Office, (903) 683-2131 and leave a message; email; or visit CCT’s website, to become a theater member today.

The Cherokee Civic Theatre is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization “dedicated to the dramatic arts.” Its mission is to provide cultural and artistic opportunities in East Texas.