KHT play examines identity crises when it comes to romance

Marc Wasson (left) and Caitlyn Wise act out a scene in the Keizer Homegrown Theater production of Who am I this Time (& Other Conundrums of Love). (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

Love will be in the air this month as Keizer Homegrown Theatre will be staging the romantic comedy, Who am I This Time (& Other Conundrums of Love).

 There will be 7 p.m. showings on May 10, 11, 17, 18 and 24, as well as 2 p.m. shows on May 12, 19 and 26.

 The author is Aaron Posner, who based the play on stories by Kurt Vonnegut, which is one of the reasons why Linda Baker — who is the director of Keizer Homegrown Theater — wanted to do this show.

 “I wanted to do this play because I grew up on Vonnegut, and when I saw the script, I thought it was too good not to be done,” Baker said. “It’s just a lovely piece.”

 The play will be directed by Loriann Schmidt, who’s doing her first show back at Keizer Homegrown Theater since directing Doubt: A Parable in 2015.

 “It has a really broad appeal when you have a production that is very romantic with some funny moments, but is still a very moving and touching love story,” Schmidt said.

 Who Am I This Time? is set on the stage of the North Crawford Mask and Wig Club — AKA the finest community theatre in central Connecticut — in the spring of 1962.

 Narrator Tom Newton — who is played by Dennis Fisher — tells the three separate love stories (Long Walk to Forever, Who am I This Time and Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son) that are seamlessly sewn together in an evening of romance and comedy.

 “Tom is just this solid guy that you would like to go out and have a beer with,” Fisher said about his character. “He’s down to earth and he’s not pretentious. He knows who he is and what he is and he’s very happy with that.”

 Along with Fisher, there are six other cast members in the show. Margaret Tingwell, Marc Wassom, Caitlyn Wise, Ryan Snyder, Mike Jaffe and Laura Davis round out the cast and all members play multiple roles in the play.

 “I just have the acting bug,” Tingwell said. “The fun thing about theatre to me is that the cast becomes a family.”

 The crew has only been rehearsing since March, but it didn’t take them long at all to get performance ready.

 “The first time we met to do our read through, we were almost performance ready,” Schmidt said. “Everyone had already put a lot of thought into their characters and the kind of feelings they wanted to invoke with the audience.”

 “It’s awesome to be in a fast track rehearsal cycle because it allows you to focus on the things that are really important to the script.”

 Even if you’re not the romantic type, this show still provides laughs and quality entertainment for the whole family.

“It provides a delightful afternoon where you can set your troubles aside and blissfully glide into the story and feel the love of people around you,” Schmidt said.