Popcorn Falls opens Feb 25 at Cookeville Performing Arts Center

COOKEVILLE — A kernel of happiness awaits local theatregoers.

Popcorn Falls opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Cookeville Performing Arts Center, 10 E. Broad St. This high-
energy comedy, written by James Hindman and directed by Matthew Wilson, is the latest production in
CPAC’s award-winning Backstage Series. The show continues Feb. 26, March 1,3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. and
Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.

“This type of comedy has always been my favorite — fast-paced, full of physical humor and absurd situations,” Wilson, who also serves as Cookeville Leisure Services’ cultural arts technician, said. “I have acted in a few plays like this and am glad for the opportunity to try one from the director’s chair.”

The story takes place in the small town of Popcorn Falls, where citizens face a big problem: their namesake waterfall, the town’s only claim to fame, has been dammed. Now bankrupt, the town’s last hope is a large grant that can only be used if citizens produce a play in one week. The mayor and executive custodian lead the enterprising townsfolk as they rise to the challenge of proving that art can save the world.

Two actors — Samantha Raper and Jordyn Strilecky — play more than 20 roles within this world of farce, love and desperation.

“Popcorn Falls is easily the most physically demanding role I have ever taken on,” Strilecky, who also serves as Cookeville Leisure Services’ cultural arts program assistant, said. “It requires intense focus and high energy from its two actors while providing a fast-paced comedy for the audience. Though Samantha and I leave exhausted at the end of the night, we are both Samantha Raper, left, and Jordyn Strilecky rehearse for Popcorn Falls. The Backstage Series show opens Friday at Cookeville Performing Arts Center.

Popcorn Falls opens Friday at CPAC giddy with how much comedic fun unfolds during the show. I truly hope our audience members enjoy Popcorn Falls and find themselves laughing the entire time.”

Wilson said attendees can expect a fun-filled night for the whole family, as the play mixes “comedy, sweetness and just a tiny bit of drama very well.” Also, the actors themselves bring something special to the show.

“I have worked with Jordyn and Sam on many productions, and I wouldn’t want to have anyone else take on this show with me,” Wilson said. “They both bring a unique sense of humor and fun that make directing this show a wonderful experience.”

CPAC’s Backstage Series offers an intimate setting for viewing plays, as audience members are seated onstage with the performers.

“You feel like you are right there with the actors in their universe,” Wilson said. “This series has been my favorite to direct for because it allows for the actors to get across very subtle emotions because you can see everything they are doing.”

Tickets for Popcorn Falls are available at www.cpactn.com or by calling 931-528-1313.