Meet the Cast
Jennifer Beall will be returning to the Starlighters stage in the role of Carnelle Scott, a young woman with a tarnished reputation who hopes to win the Miss Firecracker Contest. Beall recently made her directorial debut with last fall’s production of Inheritors. Her last time on stage at Starlighters was as Mary in 2015’s Pride and Prejudice. Recent performance credits at other area theatres include Sally in Drinking Habits at the Coggon Opera House and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility at Giving Tree Theatre.
Alyssa Chapman of Monticello will take on the role of quirky seamstress Popeye Jackson. Chapman’s last performance at Starlighters was as Polly in 2002’s Crazy for You. Since then, she has performed in many ensemble roles for Chicago theatres. She is now back in Jones County where she works as a waitress and spends her free time writing, painting, and playing music.
Heather Sims will be making her second appearance on the Starlighters stage as Elain Rutledge, a former beauty queen now struggling to decide whether or not she will leave an unhappy marriage. Sims was last seen as Mary Ellis in Best of Enemies in 2016. She is a member of Starlighter’s artistic committee and was the assistant director for the recent production of Christmas Dreams. When not lending her talents to the theatre, Sims works as a teacher. She will be applying that experience to her volunteer work at Starlighters as the new coordinator of the Junior Starlighters program for young actors.
Matt English is originally from Anamosa, where he performed in multiple productions at Anamosa High School and four at Starlighters. After serving in the army for eight years, he has returned to Anamosa. He will be taking on the role of Delmount Williams, Elain’s brother who was recently released from a mental institution. In his free time, English enjoys working on cars and playing video games. He plans to pursue a career as a teacher in Eastern Iowa.
Clayton Lubben will be making his Starlighters debut as Mac Sam, one of Carnelle’s ex-boyfriends. Lubben found his way to the Starlighters stage through our new adult acting class. He attended Iowa State University where he performed in the ISU Varieties Show. He now works as a carpenter in Monticello. He plans to move to California in the future to work in film.
Alanna Lawrence is also a student in the new adult acting class. She will be performing for the first time at Starlighters in the role of Tessy Mahoney, the beauty pageant coordinator. Lawrence is a resident of Monticello and has performed in several roles at Monticello High School. She hopes to one day complete the NaNoWriMo novel writing event.
The Miss Firecracker Contest will be directed by Kathryn Williams with assistance from Basillo Light.
About the Show:
The Miss Firecracker Contest is a 1984 play by Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart). It tells the story of Carnelle Scott, a young woman in a small Mississippi town trying to save her tarnished reputation and leave town in a blaze of glory by winning the Miss Firecracker Contest. When her beautiful cousin, Elain, and Elain’s estranged older brother return to town, situations become more complicated in this dramatic comedy. Join this eclectic cast of characters as they attempt to escape their pasts and find acceptance.
"Who but Miss Henley can describe one tragedy after another and send us home smiling?" - New York Times
"It's a comic volcano of a play, populated by offbeat, but vital, larger-than-life characters" - The Hollywood Reporter.
This production is sponsored by Citizens Bank and Produced with special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
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