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Tennessee Wet Rub

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

by Kim E. Ruyle

Live reading by Upright Theatre Company

Thursday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m.

1300 Gendy St, Fort Worth 76107


Hank Dunwiddie - Sascha Connor

Bertha Dunwiddie - Noël Clark Dunk Freeman - Michael Childs Arleta Easter - Mary Ridenour Vern - Daniel Lawson Stage Directions - Ashely Hawkins

It’s January 30, 1951, and the worst winter storm in Tennessee’s recorded history is burying the state under snow and ice. Roads have been shut down, and people are without power. As the storm rages, Hank and Bertha, an older white couple, huddle in their shuttered barbecue restaurant around a kerosene lantern. Suddenly, a 16-year-old white girl, Arleta, and a 20-year-old black male, Dunk, burst into the restaurant seeking shelter. They are shaking and nearly frozen. This eloping couple is breaking the law, and their presence taunts Hank and Bertha and tests their values and compassion. Just by being there, Dunk and Arleta are putting the older couple in peril. While Bertha tries to come to terms with Arleta, Hank begins to bond with Dunk in the unlikeliest of ways and finds his worldview transformed. Over a dinner of ribs, just as the two couples are finding a sense of peace and order, turmoil erupts with the arrival of Vern, a deputy sheriff. The conflict escalates and rises to a crescendo when Vern attempts to arrest Dunk for kidnapping Arleta.

Playwright Bio:

My stories come from a unique background and are driven by my passion for theater. I’m a US Army veteran with a blue-collar background who went on to earn three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. A kid from rural America who grew up to have a business career that took him to 49 states and 45 countries. A student of the theater who has spent the last 25 years attending and reflecting on more than 100 Broadway productions and many more regional and community theater productions. An active member of the Dramatist Guild, Playwrights’ Center, and Chicago Dramatists. An alumnus of the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive and of the Theatre Resources Unlimited Producer Development and Mentorship Program Master Level. I am committed to my craft. Writing plays is my second career. I worked as a human resource executive and leadership development consultant before focusing on writing for the stage. In those roles, I was a frequent conference speaker (more than 100 national and international conferences) and writer (dozens of articles and book chapters). I’ve served on numerous expert panels and editorial boards and authored or co-authored five books on talent management and leadership development. Academic credentials include three master’s degrees and a Ph.D.

For more info on the presenting company visit: Upright Theatre Company

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