Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Aldersgate Church Community Theater Dearly Departed

By • Oct 22nd, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Dearly Departed
Aldersgate Church Community Theater
Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alexandria, VA
Through October 26th

This is the Show Biz Radio review of Dearly Departed performed by Aldersgate Church Community Theater in Alexandria, Virginia. We saw the performance on Sunday afternoon, October 19, 2008.

Dearly Departed, written by David Botrell and Jessie Jones, is a story about a dysfunctional Southern family, the Turpins, who are brought together for the funeral of their “mean and surly” patriarch, Bud. With the entire family together, chaos arises when issues turn up about unemployment, children and infidelity.

This comedy was filled with cheap laughs and stereotypical rednecks. While there were a few funny bits, the southern hick humor got old quickly. The players were dedicated to their roles, and managed to keep their familial problems hidden from one another. The funeral at the end of the show allowed for a happy ending.

The grieving widow Raynelle, played by Anne Paine West, took her husband’s death well, and was the most sane member of the family. She looked past the superficialities of her extended family. Ray-Bud (James Senavitas) and his wife Lucille (Lynn Katchmark) were sympathetic as they tried to coordinate the funeral plans without spending an enormous amount of money. Suzanne (Liz Owens) Raynelle’s daughter-in-law, was married to Junior (Tim Pullen). Her constant complaining and belittling of Junior made you understand Junior’s dalliance in the K-Mart parking lot. Tabitha Pullen was perfectly cast as the “walk-on” character during the reception.

Mary Fettes‘ costumes were well chosen, except for Rev. Hooker’s (Bill Kitzerow) Episcopalian collar. Being in the south, a regular suit for a Southern Baptist minister would have been more appropriate. Most of the male actors had mullets, playing right into the stereotypical Southerners being portrayed.

Dearly Departed ran 2 hours ten minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday, November 1st, Friday and Saturdays at 8:00, and two performances on Sunday the 26th, at 3 and 7pm, at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment here on our website at ShowBiz We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.

Producer’s Notes

If you enjoyed watching “Mama’s Family” on the Carol Burnett Show you will enjoy Dearly departed. The Turpins live in a small southern town and have gathered for the funeral of Bud Turpin. Like most families they have problems – one son drinks to much, another couple have money problems and too many children, one couple wants children wants children and have not been able to have them. Just as most of us do thy handle these problems with laughter, and hope for the future. Our director, Chris, Kirk, brings wonderful additions to our story with music, lights, and interesting scene changes. Sit back, enjoy the show, and y’all come back now, ya hear?

Photo Gallery

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Photos by C. Evans Kirk.


  • Bud: James Senavitas
  • Raynelle: Anne Paine West
  • Royce: Michael J. Fisher
  • Marguerite: Gayle Nichols-Grimes
  • Lucille: Lynn Katchmark
  • Ray-Bud: James Senavitas
  • Suzanne: Liz Owens
  • Junior: Tim Pullen
  • Reverend Hooker: Bill Kitzerow
  • Delightful: Rachel Morrissey
  • Veda: Cindy Spain
  • Norval: Nicholas Digby
  • Nadine: Liz Owens
  • Clyde: Bill Kitzerow
  • Juanita: Cindy Spain
  • Special appearance by: Tabitha Pullen


  • Producer: Shirley Bolstad
  • Assistant Producer: Jayn Rife
  • Director: C. Evans Kirk
  • Choreographer: Kyndra S. Kain
  • Co-Stage Managers: Leighann Brehrens & Marg Soroos
  • Set Design: C. Evans Kirk
  • Set Construction: Stuart Travis
  • Assisted by Bill Austin & Sam Schrage
  • Set Painting: Mary Hutzler
  • Assisted by: Jim Hutzler, Bill Austin, Stuart & Pat Travis
  • Properties: Deborah Jones
  • Assisted by Sandra Edens
  • Sound Design: Anna Hawkins
  • Assisted by Alan Wray
  • Lighting Design: Nancy Owens
  • Master Electrician: Nancy owens
  • Assisted by: Liz owens, Eileen Doherty, Elizabeth Herbst & Bailey Center
  • Costume Designer: Mary Fettes
  • Hair & Wigs: Mary Fettes & C. Evans Kirk
  • Assisted by Eve Young
  • Makeup Designer: Mary Fettes & C. Evans Kirk
  • Usher Coordinator: Peggy Bedwell
  • Program: Leighann Behrens
  • Publicity: Bill Austin, Bobbie Herbst & Rachel Hubbard
  • Photography: C. Evans Kirk
  • Tickets: Bailey Center, Bob & Marilyn Berry
  • Double Tech Dinner: Roseina’s
  • Opening Night Party: Ronnie Hardcastle & Benny Robles
  • Refreshment Chairs: Lindsay & Bill Austin
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