Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Revolving around the hits of the late great country singer, 'Always...Patsy Cline' is the final production of the Fairmont State 2005 Town & Gown Summer Theatre season.

The production, which opens July 15 on the Pricketts Fort stage, stars Stephanie Adlington as the Patsy Cline and Cathy O'Dell as Louise, a fan of her music. The pair bring to life an incident that might have happened during a concert given by the legendary singer and attended by one of her most ardent fans.

Originally produced as a 45-minute cabaret performance, the show has been expanded to include many of Cline's most memorable songs. The play is directed by Troy Snyder, and the musical director is Greg Lauer.

Performances are scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 15-17, and Friday through Sunday, July 22-24, at 8:30 p.m. at Pricketts Fort. For ticket reservations, call (304) 367-4240.

A Texan who discovers Patsy Cline on the radio, Louise cannot seem to have enough of the singer's songs, and she hounds the local DJ to play ever more recordings. Louise goes to a Cline performance and caps her experience by providing the singer with room and board after the show. The central feature of 'Always...Patsy Cline' consists of 27 Cline songs performed by Adlington.

Adlington is currently Artist Teacher with Fairmont State's Community Music Program and a vocal coach at West Virginia University. A Grafton, W.Va., native, her musical talent has taken her far away from her roots--and returned her to them, as well. Trained early at WVU and Carnegie-Mellon University's summer music program, she began her formal college studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where she studied classical voice.

After her sophomore year, Adlington moved to London where she attended the Royal Academy of Music. There, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in music and post-graduate degree in musical theatre. While there, Adlington had many opportunities to perform. While at the Academy, she met Michael Dunford of the folk-rock band Renaissance. Adlington cut several albums with Renaissance -- 'The Other Woman,' 'Ocean Gypsy' and 'A Trip to the Fair' -- replacing Annie Haslam as the band's vocalist.

Adlington began, during this time, to write her own music. Returning to the U.S., the vocalist pursued her music in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles, but it was in Nashville that she was most productive. The singer-songwriter currently has more than 40 students between her WVU and FSU studios.

Cathy O'Dell, who plays Cline fan Louise, received her M.F.A. in Acting from WVU and her undergraduate degree in Theatre and Speech from Fairmont State.

O'Dell has acted professionally at the American Contemporary Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where she portrayed Mary Mallon (a.k.a. Typhoid Mary) in 'Forgiving Typhoid Mary.' She has also acted at the Las Vegas Little Theater where she received the Best Actress in the Sate of Nevada award for her portrayal of Rose in 'The Woolgather.'

Her directing credits include 2001's Town and Gown production of 'Wait Until Dark.' Cathy has also directed several MT Pockets theater productions including 'The Quest For Three Onions,' 'Graceland' and 'Parallel Lives.' She also acted in both 'Graceland' and 'Parallel Lives.' She appeared most recently in Fairmont State's production of 'Everyman.'

O'Dell's other professional experience includes on-camera acting in several national commercials and training films and extensive regional and national voice-over work. She teaches Voice and Speech classes and other theatre classes for Fairmont State, and she also teaches Introduction to Theatre and Movement/Acting for Opera students at WVU.

Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation is a non-profit membership organization with a mission to promote historical, patriotic and educational values through the preservation and development of the historic area of Pricketts Fort through the interpretation of its history. The group has been successfully operating the historical programs at Prickett's Fort State Park since its inception in 1976. The site presents living history interpretation through costumed craftspeople who demonstrate 18th and 19th century pioneer lifestyles to visitors on a daily basis from April through October. For more information on Pricketts Fort, visit www.prickettsfort.org.