‘The Trouble with Cats’ readies for opening night

‘Heartwarming’ farce results when personalities collide

-Daily Freeman Journal photo by Joe Sutter The stress begins to get to Phillip, played by Dean Evans, as his wife Ivy (played by Cathy Olson) pours some coffee during this scene from The Trouble With Cats, opining next week at Webster City Community Theatre.

Personalities clash in the latest comedy from Webster City Community Theatre, “The Trouble With Cats,” as strangers try to vacation in the same lake home for an entire month with too few bedrooms and an elusive feline on the loose.

The farce is coming together well thanks to a talented crew of actors, in spite of the extreme cold outside the theater, said director Angela Rottering.

“We haven’t had the full cast there yet all at once,” Rottering said.

But the cast, including many WCCT veterans and a few fairly new to the stage, are up to the challenge. Performances will be Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the production are $12.

“The cast I have now is so awesome,” she said. “Most of them have been in other plays. A couple of them are fairly new. But the bond that I see, even though everyone’s not been there, and usually that’s very frustrating for the actors and the director–but there’s been an understanding.”

The play itself builds on several “what if” questions — What if homeowners intentionally double-booked their Minnesota lake home with house-sitters? What if one of the house sitting couples is the upper middle class and socially skilled Juliens from New Jersey; and the other pair are the anti-materialist and free-spirited vegans, River and Sunshine, who’ve decided they don’t even need a last name? What if only one bedroom in the house is available, and what if that leaves the living room for the vegans, who sleep natural?

Rottering first saw the play in Ankeny, and couldn’t get it out of her mind.

“First, I have a lot of cats. The name intrigued me. I kept wondering, are they going to have a cat on stage?” she said. “When I first started watching I thought, ‘This is really weird.’ There were some funny parts, but it was like, ‘This is weird.’ But it all came together — a very heartfelt ending, and it stuck with me.

“It’s kind of about relationships, and how we all have quirky sides to us, and are we ever going to get along? This was all these different personalities coming together in one house to house-sit on a lake, and they all came together at the end.”

Rottering has been involved with the theater since 2000. She’s been on stage a number of times, and has been assistant director for many productions. This is her second time directing.

“We have a core group that loves theater,” she said. “Through the years I have seen how it affects people’s lives, including my own. For me to become a little bit more confident in being in front of people, talking, just trying different things and learning from the other people. I’ve watched kids who maybe feel like they don’t quite fit in, who do have a love of theater, find their niche.”

“I know it’s going to be a fantastic show and the audience is going to have fun, because I’ve seen the cast just crack up almost every night,” she said. “They just start laughing because it’s so funny.”

Tickets are available by calling 515-832-4456 or at wcctboxoffice @gmail.com. The WCCT is currently working on its next comedy, “Leading Ladies,” scheduled for show dates of March 29-31 and April 5-7.

For more information visit WCCTonline.org or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/WebsterCityCommunityTheatre.