October 1934, Hardesty, Oklahoma – Widower Reuben Landers and his daughter Floy Kate are desperately trying to hold on to the family farm, but it’s very difficult when the soil keeps blowing away. Reuben delivers foreclosure notices to help make ends meet, and the Landers also take in boarders. The only business in town doing well is the local bar, run by Oleta, their boarder. Their income is suddenly supplemented when the mysterious Miz Arnette, who saw an ad for the room four months earlier, arrives. Miz Arnette befriends Floy Kate, but Oleta is convinced the stranger is a criminal, perhaps part of Pretty Boy Floyd’s gang, and wants to turn her in to Sheriff Trotter. Who is Miz Arnette, and why is she in Hardesty?
The Walpole Footlighters first production of 2019 is The Mystery of Miz Arnette by Alan Bailey and Ronnie Claire Edwards. Director Marianne Phinney says, “The character of Miz Arnette is actually based on a real person. Playwright Ronnie Claire Edwards’ grandmother was living in Oklahoma and a tiny woman named Miz Arnette lived in the upstairs duplex next to them. She was exotic and mysterious, haughty and imperious, and no one knew where she came from. Audiences will be immersed in the hardships of the mid-1930s Dust Bowl and the struggle for every dollar. They will get to decide for themselves if Miz Arnette is harmless or dangerous.”
Performances of The Mystery of Miz Arnette will be given at the Walpole Footlighters Playhouse at 2 Scout Road in East Walpole. Evening performances will be given on February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 8:00 PM. There will also be matinee performances on February 10 and 17 at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $20 and all seats are reserved. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 508-668-8446 or purchase online at www.footlighters.com. This production is sponsored in part by the Walpole Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
This production has received a StageSource Standing O for their work towards achieving gender parity in New England theatre.