Kelli Conkin summed up the view of her fellow cast members.
“This one is for Linda,” Conkin said.
“A Doublewide, Texas Christmas” was supposed to be directed by Linda Eberharter.
“She directed many shows, including every show we’ve ever done by this writing team,” Moore said. “She got lung cancer, and I told her I would assist her so she had a backup if things got rough. Unfortunately, the disease advanced rapidly and she passed away in October.”
“A Doublewide, Texas Christmas” has eight performances Nov. 22 to Dec. 14 at Mud Creek Theater, 9740 E. 86th St., Indianapolis. The preview night performance is Nov. 21, where attendees can pay what they want in cash ($1 or more).
“Several of her former cast members are in this, so it’s a labor of love we are doing this,” Moore said.
To honor Eberharter, they will not tear the set down when the show closes Dec. 14. Eberharter’s family, Mud Creek Players and Indiana Renaissance Fair plan to do a Celebration of Life on the set at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Eberharter was the Renaissance Fair Queen Elizabeth for a number of years.
Eberharter, who was Mud Creek Players’ president when she died, directed the first play from the writing team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten at Mud Creek several years ago.
“She was a new director and we try to pair up seasoned directors as their assistants,” Moore said. “I assisted directed then, and I think I assisted directed the second show she did, but that was just because we enjoyed being together.”
The play is about a group of people in a small trailer park who are trying to incorporate into a town called Doublewide. The people in the bigger town don’t want to share county funds to have them.
“The silliness of the show is they are trying to win the countywide battle of the mangers competition,” Moore said. “They also found a yam that looks like Lady Bird Johnson, so they are creating a festival around seeing the Lady Bird Johnson yam.”
Conkin, a Noblesville resident, was in the previous four Mud Creek shows by the writing team of Jones, Hope and Wooten.
“They are crazy, silly comedies,” Conkin said. “It’s like Carol Burnett did on her old show, there are all these crazy characters.”
Lawrence resident Judy McGroarty, who has been a member of Mud Creek for 22 years, also has been in all four productions.
“Linda directed three of them and acted in another one,” McGroarty said. “It’s bittersweet to not have her with us. It’s really sad.”
McGroarty is reprising a character, Patsy Price, that went to a mental institution in another play.
McGroarty said Mud Creek audiences love the plays.
“There is a lot of physical comedy,” McGroarty said.
Caitlin Skinner, a Geist resident and Warren Township special education teacher, is performing in her first play.
“At church, I lead vacation Bible school, so I do fun skits to get them engaged before they go into Sunday school,” Skinner said. “I just felt a passion when I was doing it this summer. I thought if I’m getting this much joy out of it, I shouldn’t have to wait until the summer to do it.”
For more, visit mudcreekplayers.org.