WHAT: “Greater Tuna” WHEN: 8 p.m. July 17-21, 2012
WHERE: Huron Playhouse, 325 Ohio St., Huron COST: $17/adult, $16/students and seniors, $13/children under 12, $15/person in group of 15 or more (payment due one week in advance) INFO: 419-433-4744 “Greater Tuna” is not another seafaring tale along the lines of “Moby Dick” or “The Old Man and the Sea.” In this case, Tuna is a small town in Texas (and though it’s not mentioned, it probably doesn’t have a whorehouse in it). What it does have is a lot of unique and quirky characters, all of whom will be played by just two actors – in this case, Huron Playhouse veterans Jim Williams and Geoff Stephenson. “I’m familiar with what Geoff Stephenson and Jim Williams can do,” Director Ken McCoy said. This will be McCoy’s eighth season at the Huron Playhouse, and he makes the trek all the way from Florida each year. “I usually direct, bu I was in ‘1776’ with Geoff,” he said. He also has seen Williams act and direct, and has directed Geoff in “Kiss Me Kate” and “Lend Me a Tenor.” He claims he comes to have a good time and he must enjoy himself to keep coming back year after year from Florida. “[‘Greater Tuna’] was too much fun to turn down,” McCoy said. Obviously he has seen it before. “It has a scrapbook feeling about it,” he said. “A day in the life of a small town, or a reality show feel to it of a small town in Texas. Small town Texas, small town Ohio – very similar.” Williams said he was looking through the 50th anniversary book of the Huron Playhouse recently and that “Greater Tuna” had been done quite a while ago. “We’ll each get to play about 15 characters a piece, including men, women and animals,” he said. McCoy concurs that Williams and Stephenson will be playing 25 to 30 characters, but the true key and magic of this play is behind the scenes, as they will each have about three people helping them with quick changes as some take place in a matter of seconds. There will be approximately eight people backstage to assist two actors. In addition, there will be set changers and the usual crew for props, lights, sound and more. “Greater Tuna” is one of those plays where you realize the value of a good crew — the people who toil backstage are just as important as the actors on stage. There will also be a children’s choir at intermission to entertain those who don’t want to leave the air conditioned auditorium.