“Nunsense” is an Olympic Theatre Arts production featuring a group of nuns who stage a talent show in order to raise money to bury their fellow sisters after an unfortunate accident. Sequim Gazette photos by Ashley Miller
by ASHLEY MILLER
for the Sequim Gazette
Mother Superior Sister Regina, befuddled Sister Marie Amnesia, streetwise Sister Robert Anne and ballet-loving Sister Leo and mistress of novices Sister Mary Hubert sneak out of the convent one night to play bingo. Upon their return, they find the other 52 sisters facedown in their soup bowls due to accidental food poisoning.
Adding to the misfortune, the nunnery is running low on funds and can afford to bury only 48 of the women. Wishing to give the remaining nuns a proper burial, the sisters stash their friends in the freezer and hit the road to raise money performing.
Olympic Theatre Arts first staged “Nunsense” 18 years ago in the old Howard Wood Memorial Theatre. Larry Harwood directed the production — just as he is now — alongside Marianne Trowbridge as choreographer and Dewey Ehling as music director.
The first performances were so jam-packed that the play was moved to the high school performing arts center for three nights where 300 people attended each performance.
Two years later, Harwood, Trowbridge and Ehling reunited to produce “Nunsense” again with just as much success, staging the play as a dinner theater at the Elks Lodge.
Harwood predicts this rendition, with all the same faces behind the scenes, will be just as popular as the first two.
The new stage at the Olympic Theatre Arts Center can seat 162 people and is expected to sell out.
“Get your tickets online now because we don’t want you to be disappointed if you can’t get a seat at the door,” Harwood said.
Harwood first read about the play in the newspaper and drove to Spokane with his wife to see the “big hit musical” that was getting raves.
“I came back and said, ‘We need to do this show here!’” he said.
Sequim resident Robin Hall, who’s helped produce dozens of productions with Peninsula Family Theater and the Sequim School District, plays the role of Sister Robert Anne.
“This is the first time I’ve been on stage in a while,” she admitted, “but I really love it and I think it is a good reminder of what my students experience when they’re up here.”