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Zubler’s play set to open Friday at The Chief

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 By Kassie Ortiz 

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It is not often that the Suwannee Valley Players get to give the inaugural performance of a show, but for our next show “Jack and Grace,” SVP will have just that opportunity. In Jack and Grace, after a recent break-up Grace is excited to land her first job and begin a new life as a home health attendant in a new town. But she was not ready for how her patient, Jack, would change her life forever.  Terry Wines, an experienced actor, will be playing Jack, and Lydia Hunt will play her first leading role as Grace.

The play, which was written and is directed by Suwannee Valley Players member Michael Zubler, has been a labor of love, as he has been working on the script for more than a year. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Michael and asked him a few questions about Jack and Grace.

Kassie: "Jack and Grace" is an original play by you. What was your inspiration?

Michael: Both my aunt and mother in-law suffered from Alzheimer's, and they are both a part of Jacks personality.

Kassie: Can you give us a brief idea about who Jack and Grace are?

Michael: Jack was a man who always thought he had time to spend with his wife when he retired and was shocked and guilt ridden when she died in an accident. Grace is a very naïve young lady who is looking forward to her new job, not quite understanding the emotional challenges she is about to face.

Kassie: You’re directing this play as well as being the writer. What do you think the advantages or disadvantages of that are?

Michael: I know what the theme is and what motivates the characters, but being too close can cause one to miss obvious mistakes or enhancements that can only be made better by good assistant directors.

Kassie: I noticed during rehearsals that Aidan and Nicholas Messina were playing different instruments during the show, such as the guitar, mandolin, piano and fiddle. It’s unusual to have live music with a play; what was the inspiration for this?

Michael: I heard the Messina brothers play during “Annie Get Your Gun” and I knew their musical talents would only enhance the emotion that audience members will feel during this show.