Whitefish Theatre Co. premieres “Kettlehouse”

Outrageous comedy by Robert Caisley debuts Oct. 19-27 at O'Shaughnessy Center

On Stage

The Whitefish Theatre Company premieres “Kettlehouse” as the first mainstage theatre production of its 40th anniversary season. Produced for the first time on stage, “Kettlehouse” is an outrageous comedy written by Robert Caisley, an award-winning playwright (“Happy,” “Lucky Me”) who teaches playwriting at the University of Idaho. “Kettlehouse” runs at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 and 25-27 and 4 p.m. Oct. 21 with a sneak preview at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18.

Kettlehouse: Robert Caisley
“I’m a collector of ideas. I fill up many notebooks with snatches of orphaned dialogue that has not yet found a dramatic home,” says playwright Robert Caisley.

The play introduces Miles Kettlehouse, whose folks were happily married on June 4, 1982 and happily divorced a day shy of their first wedding anniversary. The hitch? After the divorce, Miles’s dad never moved out and neither did her mom! For the past 34 years, they have been loathing each other under the same roof, refusing to talk, even refusing to be on the same AT&T Friends & Family plan.

In this hilarious play about love, family, nosebleeds, and the art of Feng Shui, Miles must learn to navigate her home and love life while acting as the goodwill ambassador and back-channel negotiator for her emotionally stunted parents.

“‘Kettlehouse’ is a witty, fast-paced, love comedy with quirky, unique characters that are guaranteed to touch and entertain,” says director Jere Hodgin. “With this funny and original new show, Robert Caisley demonstrates his exceptional comic genius that has endeared audiences around the country to his plays.”

As a special event, there will be a champagne talk-back with Caisley on opening night, Oct. 19, after the show. At no extra charge, audience members will be treated to a glass of champagne and have the opportunity to ask the playwright, director and cast questions about the play.

When asked about the inspiration for “Kettlehouse,” Caisley told WTC, “I’m a collector of ideas. I fill up many notebooks with snatches of orphaned dialogue that has not yet found a dramatic home, as well as images, quotations from things I have been reading, or eavesdropped conversations, and eventually things come together in a kind of stew that starts resembling an idea for a play.”

He adds that “Kettlehouse” began “with an image of a house torn down the middle, divided in some fashion. I envisioned the set for the play before I knew what the play was going to be about and then starting looking for a dramatic situation that would support the image.”

The production features Jennifer Stebbins-Han as Miles Kettlehouse, Tony Hernandez as Nathan Kettlehouse, Kara Bauer as Cora Kettlehouse, and Christopher Fannon as Dan Frank. “It is quite special that a small community theatre was chosen to premiere a new play, particularly with an award-winning playwright,” says Hodgin. “The cast is incredibly funny and has been very excited to be part of the development of this show.”

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $10 for students with reserved seating, and may be purchased at the Box Office, 1 Central Ave., Whitefish, or by calling 406-862-5371 or online at www.whitefishtheatreco.org. Box-office hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performance times.

Tickets for the sneak preview performance on Oct. 18 are $12 and available only at the door.