By Sarah Kinney
If by chance, you happened to wander inside 921 Main Street, the former Congregational Church, you might become a bit confused and start browsing. The set of “Yard Sale,” Jonathan Dubey's latest play, is ready for its season of performances.
Built by Dave Dubey, Jill Dubey, Patrick Galligan, and the cast, the set is incredibly detailed, down to the gingerbreading on the porch.
On a lawn of green grass several folding tables are covered with the remainder of Aunt Irene's belongings, everything she couldn't bring to assisted living. There is a wide assortment of items: crystal bowls, a bean pots, cast iron pans, lamps, a family of rubber ducks, Halloween and Christmas decorations, and a big wheel.
Great-nephews Dennis (Mario Molina) and Robert (Tanner Cote) are packing up her house where they used to spend a month in the summer during their youth.
Now, the lattice work on the porch is a bit cracked and the curtains on the front door are dated.
The yard sale brings back lots of fond memories for the brothers, but it also immerses them in the zany world of yard sale people, for which they are not completely prepared.
“I always found the people watching experience to be more valuable than the treasure hunting,” Dubey said of his childhood experience shopping at yard sales with his mother.
The brothers in the play meet 21 yard sale shoppers, each with their own spin on stereotypes.
“Other than those two [Dennis and Robert] there are 21 customers. Giving them all names would have been overload to both the actors and the audience,” said Dubey. Eleven actors play the different shoppers.
Sam Kilbride plays a grumpy old man with a propensity for semantics, a woman obsessed with “Antiques Roadshow” and convinced something would be much more valuable if sold at auction, and a single mother shopping with her young son (Shaun Goyette).
Pamela Abbott and Danielle Robichaud play women who aren't “early birds” but are “old birds.” Abbott also plays a kleptomaniac, and Robichaud's second character offers to buy everything left at the yard sale for $40.
Dubey, writer and director of the play, acts in three roles: as a friend of Kilbride's auction fanatic, a man who thinks the aunt's things are just fabulous, and cowboy-like singer.
June Desmond plays a husband looking for nails even though his wife (Miranda Brazier) tells him he already has a basement full. She also plays a neighbor who allegedly lent Aunt Irene a butter dish.
Drea Chevarie plays a woman who comes to the yard sale only speaking French to the brothers, and Kelly, the girl-next-door of the boys' youth.
Natalie Mae played a man running a competing yard sale, and wife to Dubey's “fabulous” character.
Amelia Kendall saves the day by solving a problem with a Christmas decoration that just will not stop singing.
“It's catchy,” says Dennis of the song.
“So is lice,” retorts Robert.
Reilly Wood plays a guy who absolutely refuses to pay $5 for three cast iron pans, even though he stops Kendall's character from buying them. He also plays a silent hippie-guitarist.
Other members of the cast include Lori Korzga, Tyler Fowler, and Sheri Goyette on lights.
“They are a very talented cast, and it is always fun to push limitations,” said Dubey. “I believe that there is almost nothing that some of these people can not do on stage.”
There is certain to be lots of laughs watching Dennis and Robert deal with the bizarre social “rules” and people of the yard sale experience. Anyone who has ever held or been to a yard sale is sure to recognize some of the character tropes.
“There is almost no better feeling than seeing an actor speaking the lines I've written,” said Dubey. “Except one thing: hearing an audience laugh at a joke that I have written.”
Intertwined with the wit and jokes of the performance, there is also heart.
In the process of the yard sale, the brothers must put a value on the past, both their own and their aunt's. Dennis muses that everything Aunt Irene had was only now worth $317.
Through the play, Dennis and Robert learn that there comes a time to let go of people and things.
The atmosphere of the play is different from Dubey's play last summer, “Arthurian.”
“'Arthurian' was a passion project, a story that was very close to me since childhood,” he said. “[This year,] I wanted to do a show that would be a familiar concept and hopefully draw a crowd.”
Dubey requested yard sale stories from the public, and some made into the script.
Others were left out because of the technical difficulty of trying to put them onto stage.
“One example being a recommendation that baked goods would be sold in the show and subsequently a seagull attack would occur,” he said.
During the dress rehearsal, Dubey thanked everyone for their support and attendance.
“Live theater is kinda dying out everywhere,” he said, “and we need to keep it going.”
“Yard Sale” will be held August 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and on August 17 at 4:30 p.m. with doors opening at 3:30 p.m.
Admission is pay what you can, with a suggested donation of $10.
“People of this area have done a great job in the past supporting local live theater, and it is time to do so again. Not just out of the goodness of your heart, we are offering something in return: a laugh filled night of entertainment,” Dubey said.