Messiah on the Frigidaire

by  John Culbertson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  4m, 3f, 1boy(s)

"Grants a wholly satisfying theatrical experience.” - Centerstage Chicago City Guide
The small town of Elroy, South Carolina is thrust into the evangelical spotlight when what seems to be the image of Jesus appears on a refrigerator in a trailer park.

Read more +

Messiah on the Frigidaire

by  John Culbertson

License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f, 1boy(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

The small town of Elroy, South Carolina is thrust into the evangelical spotlight when what seems to be the image of Jesus appears on a refrigerator in a trailer park. The discovery by Lou Ann Hightower, her husband Dwayne, and her best friend Betsy, sets into motion a frenzy of conflict, communion and good old fashioned commerce. When the National Investigator turns the appearance into front-page headlines, their trailer park becomes a Mecca for miracle seekers, soul searchers and disciples with a decidedly political agenda. At the urging of the towns business leaders, Betsy pretends to get messages from the appliance-based apparition, and the crowds multiply like loaves and fishes. Through the ordeal, the three undergo an evolution in their relationships with each other, and they are forced to come to grips with their lowly status in the caste system of the rural south. In a region where religion is as much a part of life as grits and cotton fields, God surely moves in mysterious ways.
Read more +

Reviews

"Steel Magnolias-esque in its use of meandering conversation, the show is punctuated by laugh-out-loud moments... Messiah on the Frigidaire grants a wholly satisfying theatrical experience.” - Centerstage Chicago City Guide

"I laughed more at this play than I have at anything on a local stage in a long time, And for that many thanks to the skillful playwright and the talented cast that brings this piece to life. You can talk about your playwright competitions, but this new play is just about the best new play I’ve seen produced on a Columbia stage.“ - The Free Times, Columbia, SC

"Finding laughs in the characters foibles without mocking them, a refreshing change for a play set in a southern trailer park." - Mount Vernon News, Ohio

“The litmus test for any drama, especially a comedy, is audience reaction. And on opening night of Frigidaire, the audience was laughing a lot, often quite mightily.” - The Metro Beat, Greenville, SC

“Isn't looking to make fun of hillbilly-style fake piety so much as accentuate the human comedy herein. That's an important difference” - Chicago Tribune

"Many, many congratulations for such a great evening. Who would have thought that a play about the reflections of streetlights shining though trees, could have been so amusing and thought provoking?" - Hertfordshire Mercury, Hertfordshire, England

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: A trailer park in Elroy, South Carolina. The back wall of the set is the front of a mobile home, and the stage itself is the front porch of the trailer.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 3f, 1boy(s)
LOU ANN HIGHTOWER - an attractive woman in her early to mid-thirties; Southern beauty, but no belle
DWAYNE HIGHTOWER - a man in his early to mid-30s; still handsome, but life has taken its toll
BETSY GRIDLEY - an attractive woman in her early to mid-thirties; though her better days are behind her, she still enjoys flaunting her sexuality
REVEREND CECIL HODGES - a man in his 50s; pious preacher at Elroy First Baptist Church
LARRY WILLIAMSON - a man in his late 30s; balding, cocky, and condescending City Councilman
WOMAN - mother in her late 30s to early 40s
BOY - blind nine-year-old STRANGER - mysterious man in his late 40s or 50s
See all +

More

Authors

John Culbertson

John Culbertson has always made his living as a writer. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, he went to work as a news reporter for WYFF-TV in Greenville, South Carolina. His ten years there resulted in numerous Associated Press awards and honors, but most imp ...

View full profile

Now Playing

Community Experiences