‘Nana’s Naughty Knickers’ Opens Tonight

Rehearsing a scene for the Brooke Hills Playhouse production of Katherine DiSavino’s comedy, “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” are, from left, Michelle Turneer, Taylor Pannett, Cindy Quinn and Sierra Mortimer.

When the Brooke Hills Playhouse production of Katherine DiSavino’s comedy, “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” opens at 8 p.m. today, director Chelsey Barnhart of Wellsburg is promising a “fast-paced” show, “where something is always happening or moving to keep the action alive.” The play continues at 8 p.m. Saturday and next Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 18, and June 26.

“Nana” is Sylvia Charles, Bridget Charles’ sweet grandma, with whom Bridget will be staying while she attends law school in New York City, not knowing that Nana runs an unlicensed boutique that sells sexy undergarments to senior citizens.

As a director, Barnhart says she identified with the characters in the play because of her personal experiences. “I have a really close and great relationship with my grandma and it seemed that way with the grandmother and granddaughter in the play,” Barnhart explained.

Barnhart noted that she gets a lot of support from her grandmother, Diana Mendel, and her mother, Julia Barnhart, both of Wellsburg, in her theatrical endeavors. “They are two of my biggest supporters and I look to them for guidance and assurance, she said. “They also tell me when something doesn’t look right or if I might want to reconsider something,” she added.

Barnhart concluded, “They made me the woman I am today and I couldn’t do any of this without them.”

In “Nana’s Naughty Knickers,” the lingerie of the title plays a vital role in the story, and the script required a variety of ladies’ underwear. “We are gathering ‘naughty knickers’ from anywhere we can, with cast members contributing them, along with some purchased items, Barnhart said.

Barnhart reported that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Cindy Quinn of Follansbee, who had been slated to portray Sylvia Charles, the “Nana” of the play’s title, will now take on the role of Clair Schmidt, one of Sylvia’s major clients. Barnhart, originally cast in the part of Clair, will continue as director of the comedy, while Diana Mendel of Wellsburg will step into the character of Sylvia.

Auditions will be held Saturday, June 17, at the Playhouse for the last two plays of Brooke Hills’ 46th summer season, “Txt U Later,” a comedy for younger actors and audiences. The play will take the stage July 28-30 and Aug. 4-6.

Auditions for the final comedy of the season, “A Farce of Nature” will start at noon on Saturday. The show will run Aug.18-20 and Aug. 25-27.

Anyone unable to audition at the scheduled date and times should call the Playhouse at 304-737-3344 by today to make other arrangements.