Crime runs amok in 'Pleasant Sage' with just a twist of humor

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[September 12, 2012]  Saturday evening a group of dedicated local actors will take to the Lincoln Stage at the Logan County Fairgrounds and perform the play "Pleasant Sage."

The play, which was written by Amanda Martin and Lisa Kuhlman, is a comedy who-done-it revolving around a crime committed in the town: the depletion of all the money in the town's bank, which amounts to over $700.

The underlying theme of the play is to discover the culprit and bring him or her to justice. However, in the course of the investigation, several other things come to light.

Monday evening, the authors along with director Diane Martin and the cast were gracious enough to allow local media a sneak peek of what the play would be about. Though they stopped short of solving the crime for reporters, they offered enough of a taste of the play to allow us to say without reserve, it will be fun, entertaining and well worth your time to join them on Saturday evening.

The play is set in the 1800s and includes, of course, one lady of ill repute. Sheralyn Bolton plays Kitty O'Day. Though Kitty claims she is a changed woman, her past makes her a natural suspect in the case.

Young Millie, played by Rebekah Crider, also becomes a suspect when she is caught trying to leave town on the morning train. Millie is leaving town for a very specific reason. However, what she learns during the course of the investigation of the robbery soon changes her plans.

And, of course, there is always the possibility that it was an "inside" job. When the town banker, played by Ian Crider, is caught leaving town with a suitcase and some cash, he immediately becomes a suspect. However, he tells the judge that he is going to see his mother. The problem is, his mother is supposedly dead, or is she? And, if she isn't, why would he tell everyone she was?

This is just one of the mysteries that are solved in the course of the middle of the play. What isn't solved is who stole the money. With a room full of possible thieves, is the culprit allowed to walk away?

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Among other characters who come and go throughout the play is the "masked man," played by Silas Martin. He is the obvious hero, the tall, lean "do-gooder" who rides the range seeking justice.

And then there is Selma, played by Cindi Stribling. To put it nicely, Selma is a few crayons short of a full box, and she is head over heels in love with the masked man. She tells the townspeople they are engaged, although it doesn't appear the two have ever actually met.

Of course, the play also includes a town sheriff, played by Skeet Stribling; a judge, played by Mike Koke; a never-do-well mamma's boy, played by Dustin Stribling; a traveling salesman, played by Joshua Arnold; a lawyer, played by Bob Kurka; and then there is Shirley, played by Patty Allen.

Of all the characters in the play, Shirley seems to be the most "normal" of the bunch. It makes a suspicious mind wonder what she is up to. Perhaps she is simply the one person above reproach, but to find out, we'll have to return to the play Saturday evening, as the writers and director stopped the practice and gave the media no hint as to how it is going to end.

For those who attend Saturday, the play is also somewhat interactive, and we'll give you no more of a hint than that, except to perhaps add that something happens from time to time that sets one to mind of watching a silent movie.

"Pleasant Sage" is being presented as part of the Railsplitter Festival this year. The play is scheduled to begin at 5 on Saturday evening, immediately following the bluegrass music jam featuring Dan Tackett.

Your gate pass for the festival includes admission to the play.


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