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Deceiving Granny heads into its final weekend

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Deceiving Granny

Caleb A. Gallegos/News-Sun

If you love comedy and your granny, Community Players of Hobbs have the show for you.

Titled “Deceiving Granny,” based a book by Michael Taylor, the play is a plot twist-filled, suspense with plenty of comedy and deception mixed in.

Director, Liz Arreola has been with the theater 14 years, and has worn a plethora of hats ranging from backstage help to acting and directing and she enjoys the rollercoaster of live theater.

“The beauty of live theater is that anything can happen, and the show must go on,” Arreola said.

Arreola will be directing “Deceiving Granny.” She didn’t want to go into detail about the play for fear of spoiling big moments, but ensured the show will be entertaining, exciting and most importantly funny.

“The title tells you a little bit of what you need to know,” she said. “Granny is deceiving everyone … or is she? It’s hard to say without giving too much away, because its such a closely intertwined show.”

Arreola recently had a role in the Community Players of Hobbs play Rabbit Hole, which was an emotional drama and says it took awhile to adjust the atmosphere of the playhouse.

“We had to kick that energy out of here,” Arreola said. “I was glad when they told me ‘Rabbit Hole’ was going to be before ‘Deceiving Granny.’ I thought it was perfect because we’ll do a sad one and then get all of that sad energy out of here with a comedy.”

Arreola explained there were different transitions she had to adjust to going from actor to director, and said the cast all adjusted as well.

“When you go on to the next one (play) its kinda like your still stuck in the last one, so like we said it took about three weeks to get that bad energy, that sadness, out of here. Its because that’s how long it takes to really get in the groove of the next one,” Arreola said.

Arreola said she is excited to be directing “Deceiving Granny,” because she enjoys comedy and says they are “her jam.”

“Last year I directed a play called ‘SuperFreaks,’ it was a comedy, and during it I was like ‘oh, yeah. This is my jam,’” Arreloa said.

Arreola explained assistant director Steven Dolloff played a role in ‘SuperFreaks,’ and was excited for him to get his first chance at directing in “Deceiving Granny.”

“This gives him the opportunity to get into directing for next season,” Arreola said. “There is this kinda of line that you have to follow. You can’t direct if you haven’t assistant directed, you’re not going to assistant direct unless you’ve been backstage.

“Usually that’s where you start is backstage, and most of the time you don’t assistant direct until you’ve been in a show, so its like ‘making your bones.’ You have to show you can be a part of us before you are apart of us.”

Dolloff has been in theater for four years and said ‘SuperFreaks’ was his first comedic role. Dolloff said he really enjoyed the role, even joking he related to the dim-witted character he was cast as.

‘Deceiving Granny’ is Dolloff’s first time being assistant director, and said he has learned a lot during the process and says he prefers directing.

“Its been really nice to influence things and add stuff here and there. Even just watching it come together,” Dolloff said. “I’ve always just seen it come together from out there (in the audience). You can feel it, but to watch it develop and feel the entire energy instead of your own, it was pretty intense.”

Arreola and Dolloff said the biggest challenge has not been for them, but for the actors. They explained the cast and crew of “Deceiving Granny” had to learn more than 60 queues throughout the play.

“The queues for certain lines and audios are very specific and easy to miss,” Dolloff said. “Its a very in-and-out this door, come back in, hide here, go there. They have to remember so much.”

“We have seven exits! It is very ‘Scooby-Doo’ as one cast member put it,” Arreola said.

Arreola explained theater is a group effort, and it takes everyone involved to be on the same page to perform a successful show.

“Every show we do here we do as a whole team,” Arreola said. “If our sound person doesn’t hear their queue they can’t put in the right sound. If the light person doesn’t get their queue we won’t get the right lights for lighting. It takes everyone.”

Dolloff said he was proud of how well the cast has handled these challenges and believes they are ready for opening night.

“Our cast has amazed me the way they have adjusted. We really didn’t have to tell them anything, they did all of it really well. Even the stuff we would suggest they would immediately nail exactly what we envisioned,” he said.

Arreola and Dolloff say they both anticipate a lot a laughter from the audience, and believe people will be leaving happy and laughing.

“I am hoping it is tear-jerking laughter. We’re still laughing from a scene during rehearsal.” Arreola said. “If you don’t know its going to happen, of course the audience doesn’t know its going to happen, so when it does its going to hit hard.

“In the theater you’re never ready. You’re never fully prepared. You do not have everything you need but you make due with what you have, because like I said, ‘The show must go on.’”

“Deceiving Granny” second and final weekend begins at 8 p.m.  Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hobbs Community Playhouse, 1700 N. Grimes St.

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