Hickory – In The Foreigner, the comedy by Larry Shue that opens October 6th at the Hickory Community Theatre, the central character, Charlie, comes with his friend Froggy to stay at a fishing lodge in Georgia. Charlie is depressed and worries about having to make conversation with the other guests so Froggy tells the woman who runs the lodge that Charlie is a foreigner who doesn’t speak English. This leads to hilarious situations when other guests have what should be private conversations right in front of him, because they think he doesn’t understand a word of what they’re saying. One of the things he overhears is a plot by two of the less savory characters at the lodge, Owen Musser and Rev. David Marshall Lee. In the Hickory production these roles are played by two local actors who haven’t been on stage for a while, one of them for over 20 years.

Mark Dickerson, who plays Rev. David, hasn’t been on stage since a 1996 production in the Firemen’s Kitchen. He says he was drawn to return to the theatre because of all the local talent that is on display here. Originally from Raleigh, he’s been in the Hickory area for 27 years. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University and currently works as Director of Christian Education for United Church of Christ.

Jay Barnhardt, who plays Owen Musser, also did his last play in the Firemen’s Kitchen, the 2012 production of Becky’s New Car. He is a retired teacher from Hickory who now lives in Granite Falls. Barnhardt was drawn back to the stage by his desire to play Owen again. He had the role 20 years ago in the 1997 production at Hickory Community Theatre.

Performances of The Foreigner are October 6th through 29th, Fridays and Saturdays (Oct 6, 7, 20, 21, 27 & 28) at 8pm, Thursdays (Oct 19 & 26) at 7:30pm, and Sundays (Oct 22 & 29) at 2:30pm. There are no performances the weekend of Oct 13-15 due to Oktoberfest.

Tickets are $18. There is a $2 senior discount for Fri/Sat/Sun performances. Tickets for students and youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday night all adults are $14 and youth/students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wed-Sat from September 27th through October 28th.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Foreigner is produced by Alex Lee, Inc.

Photo (L-R):  Mark Dickerson (left) and Jay Barnhardt play two unsavory characters in The Foreigner, on stage October 6-29 at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets and information call 828-328-2283 or click hickorytheatre.org. Photo by John Koval.