The family that is in a play together, stays together

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 2:08pm
By: The Citizen

Since the fall of 2005, The Twilight Theatre has produced excellent quality performances for the entire family to enjoy both onstage and off. “Seeing families build sets, create costumes, learn lines, blocking and choreography – that’s one of my favorite things about Twilight,” said Alison Chambers, Artistic Director of The Twilight Theatre. Some of the families in “Annie Get Your Gun” are Twilight veterans, having shared the stage together in other Twilight productions, and a few are new to the Twilight stage.

Bob Grillo and his daughter, Avery, appear in their third Twilight production, coming right from the Oliver! stage to do “Annie Get Your Gun.” Evan Stitt has appeared in several Twilight productions with one or more of his daughters - this time with his youngest daughter, Julia. Thom Sandwich, who was virtually dragged onto stage by his daughters last summer, is back in “Annie Get Your Gun” with daughters Catherine and Kimberley.

First timers include the Houghtaling family members Mike, Scott, and Justin and Rex and Bernadette Green. Mike Houghtaling, who will be playing Colonel Buffalo Bill said, “The only thing more exciting than taking part in this story and incredible music is being able to perform it with my son and son-in-law.” Keith White has appeared both onstage and off in several Twilight productions, and this time he is joined by his daughter, Taylor. While Pauli and Michael Reep are no stranger to the Twilight stage, husband and dad, Dan, is making his first appearance, taking the stage to dance with his wife. Last summer Carolyn Balkovetz paid her brother, David, five dollars to get him to audition for Oliver!. He was cast, and he is now a victim of theatre bug bite as he and Carolyn appear in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and David has also been accepted to Twilight’s 2010 Apprentice Company.

Not all of the families involved with “Annie Get Your Gun” are onstage. Nora Wilfong appears onstage while her mother, Wendy Darling, tends to the myriad of details needed to produce a show. Anna Kate Spears appears onstage while her sister, Maggie, keeps things moving backstage as Stage Manager. Ginny Nicholson enjoys the role of Winnie Tate onstage while her mother, Beth, assumes responsibility for the entire show as Director.

It is not just in the cast where families are getting involved; many parents and siblings of cast members are spending countless hours behind the scenes helping with costumes, sets, publicity and more.  “I can’t thank our supportive parents and spouses enough,” said director Beth Nicholson, “without them and their work behind the scenes none of this would be possible.”

“Annie Get Your Gun,” is the turn-of-the-century, true-life story of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler. “Annie Get Your Gun” is a fun, fast-paced musical full of dancing, shooting and recognizable music by the legendary Irving Berlin, all crafted around clever dialogue and a great love story. 

“Annie Get Your Gun” will be performed at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater September 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. Ticket are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.  Tickets can be purchased at Mimi’s Good Food and Wags to Whiskers in Peachtree City; online at; from individual cast members; or by emailing  

For more information please contact Beth Nicholson at

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