ACTS show ‘The Good Doctor’ opens tonight

Some are poignant. Some are slapstick. Some are more on the serious side.

One is even a musical number.

Either way, the audience members will find something that suits their taste in Actors Community Theatre of Seymour’s production of “The Good Doctor” by Neil Simon based off of short stories from Anton Chekhov.

The show opens tonight and also will be staged Saturday and again March 18, 19 and 20 at the theater, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 208, at Shops at Seymour.

Jeremy Hendrix, an ACTS board member, serves as the unnamed writer in the show.

“I was in the show back in college, and I fell in love with it then,” he said. “We actually performed it and toured it around the state for a year. I had a connection to it. It was just one that we hadn’t done here, and it’s a crowd-pleaser. It’s a comedy for everybody. It’s not a thinking show, so you can come in, shut your brain off and just have fun for a couple hours.”

The writer suffers from writer’s block and his own artistic temperament as he narrates several of his stories. He is the one unifying element in the scenes, introducing them, commenting on them and occasionally playing a role in them. Other than that, each of the 10 scenes can stand alone as its own story with its own characters.

Hendrix said Simon wrote the play in the early 1970s, and it’s based on some short stories by Chekhov, who died in the early 1900s.

“It’s supposed to be set in the late 1800s. We’ve updated to the 1970s and taken that element out just to be a little more flexible and have fun with it and some costuming,” Hendrix said.

Most of the 15 actors in the show are in more than one story, and each story is about 10 minutes in length.

“That’s a big cast for us,” Hendrix said. “I would say 10 of them are playing more than one role. I like that it can be a big, flexible cast.”

Five people — Mikéla Disque, Brinna Sharp, Tiffany Lowe, Derrick Maxie and Hannah McGill — are directing two stories apiece, and all but McGill are acting, too.

“We chose to do it that way because we want to get people more experience to direct, to come in and be able to direct a full-length show,” Hendrix said. “That’s kind of a training ground for us to allow that to happen.”

Sharp said she has been an assistant director before but has not been a director.

“I think just directing a couple of scenes is really helpful before you get thrust into a whole show directing,” she said. “You at least know what to expect.”

She has been an actor and done tech work for ACTS shows in the past and has acted in shows for Jackson County Community Theatre, but being able to direct, act and help with tech and also paint nearly the whole set for “The Good Doctor” is the most involved she has been.

“This is the first time I got to cast my own show and then direct it, so I took the liberty of casting mine gender blind,” Sharp said. “What I did was I cast a female to play what’s originally written as a male role because I thought she had the best ability to play that role. I was the only person in the show that cast it that way.”

Her sibling, C. Sharp, acts in one of the scenes with her. It’s C.’s first show at ACTS but not first time onstage.

“I’ve missed the environment of being onstage,” C. said.

Michelle Lawson is in her second show at ACTS, but she has been in many other productions at other theaters, mostly in Jefferson County.

“The Good Doctor” is unique because she shares the spotlight in one of the scenes with her child, Alex.

“It’s a great time. It’s just so funny,” Lawson said of their story and the show.

The show also is a unique opportunity for Zach Thompson and Steve Deweese because they have been in several plays together at ACTS, but this is the first time in awhile they have had a scene together.

They portray men retired from the Russian military — one Army and one Navy — who meet in a park every Tuesday and have a different battle because they don’t know what to do with themselves after no longer being enlisted. In this show, the battle is about the best course of lunch.

This is Deweese’s only story, but Thompson is in three.

“Doing more anthology-style is a lot more fun. You can do a lot more,” Thompson said. “Getting to be a whole bunch of characters rather than just stuck with one for the whole show, while that’s fun, sometimes, it’s good to change it up to multiple ones for different scenes.”

Deweese said he likes that, too.

“I like the way that it’s just sort of broken up into vignettes because I’ve been the lead in a full play and I’ve done little vignette plays, and these are perfect for people who are just starting out because it’s like being the lead in a 5-minute play,” he said. “You get to go out, hit it out of the park and then go to the house. It’s not that pressure of ‘What scene’s next? Do I have a costume change?’ It’s the perfect way to introduce people to it.”

ACTS has done this format with a couple of shows in the past.

“It tends to get people excited,” Deweese said, “and it tends to make people who maybe don’t have a lot of stage experience feel a little more comfortable because they know they are only going to be out there for 5 or 10 minutes.”

If you go 

What: Actors Community Theatre of Seymour’s production of “The Good Doctor”

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and March 18 and 19 and 2:30 p.m. March 20

Where: ACTS, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 208, at Shops at Seymour

Tickets: $12 (available online at or at the door)

Directors, actors and crew: Jeremy Hendrix, Zach Thompson, Alexis Kieninger, Katelyn Sorensen, Mikéla Disque, Michelle Lawson, Alex Lawson, C. Sharp, Chance Russell, Steve Deweese, Jeremy Kinnett, Brinna Sharp, Danny Stout, Tiffany Lowe, Derrick Maxie and Hannah McGill

Information: or