Sawdust Theater

Actors mingle with guests Saturday during the opening of the final seasonal show of “The Great Milking Machine Caper" or "Catch the Chicken Thief" marking the end of the 53rd season of shows at the Sawdust Theater in Coquille on Saturday.

COQUILLE — The Sawdust Theatre wrapped up its 53rd season in Coquille on Saturday evening to dozens of audience members who came out to celebrate the last showing of “The Great Milking Machine Caper" or "Catch the Chicken Thief.”

This year’s co-directors and playwrights Lynn Kindred and Marty Brennan agreed this season’s production was one of the best they’ve seen in years. The writing team and next door neighbors, Kindred and Brennan have collectively been a part of the Sawdust Theatre for about 40 years.

Some of the castperforms Saturday during the final show of the season at the Sawdust Theater in Coquille on Saturday.

“I can’t tell you how great it has been this year being directors of the play,” said Kindred. “The cast has been absolutely wonderful. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people.”

Brennan, who wrote the play while Kindred edited, said the traditional melodrama-style play was written to be funny and interactive. The duo, which has now co-written three plays together, both wanted to make the play understandable for folks so they could follow along from start to finish.

“It’s just been so nice to hear how ecstatic people have been about the play,” said Brennan. “Although, we’ve had our plays featured before, this was the first time we directed.”

From actors to crew members, it takes about 100 volunteers each year to put on the summer production, said Brennan. With the play being double-cast, Brennan said each showing is a bit different as the actors put their own spin and style to the characters they’ve written.

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“The cast makes our play,” said Kindred. “The best thing we did this year was we gave the cast the opportunity to make the character their own.”

This year also featured assistant director Alex Goble and Olios co-directors Maureen March, Kaili Chavez, Kathi Chard and Susie Breuer-Tyner. Audiences were treated Saturday with the theatre’s traditional live music and dance performances.

While the summer season is over, folks can still watch the theatre’s winter melodrama play, “The Plight Before Christmas” this December. A production from the Missoula Children’s Theatre and the Coquille High School drama class is also scheduled to take place later this year and in January.

“We’ve always encouraged local students to get involved in the theatre,” said Kindred. “We’ve invited the schools to hold their plays here and use our theatre at no charge.”

For the 54th season, the Sawdust Theatre will feature another Kindred and Brennan original, “The Lost Mine on Budd Creek" or "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” Anyone interested in auditioning, becoming a volunteer or learning more about the theatre can visit the website at www.sawdusttheatre.com or email sawdusttheatre@charter.net.

“It’s been a fun season,” said Kindred. “We can’t wait for the next one.”

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.