An Invitation from The Director


An Invitation from The Director


Stan O'Kelley, director of First Baptist of Ivy Gap, the upcoming play at Tater Patch Players Theater, wants each person reading this article to come to the show. It's a very personal show to him on many levels and he wants to share it with all of you. Stan has a deep love of theater that goes back through many years of directing and performing. But he's also a Marine Corps veteran -- and that's important to this story.

The play is about six women in a small Tennessee community and how their lives are affected by war. The play opens during World War Two. Among the six are those who are praying for the next letter from their men who are far away, those who have already gotten the dreaded telegram, and those confident women who are supported by faith and friends no matter what happens. They meet to roll bandages for the wounded overseas. This was one of the ways those "back home" helped out during World War Two.

These women's lives mingle in many ways -- with tears, arguments, and especially with humor and faith they make their way through the uncertainty. Stan says their talk is like "beauty shop" talk. He means that they share everything and even though they sometimes bicker, criticize and wrangle, they are each others' support and are bonded together as only true friends can be.

The second act of the play, twenty five years later, has the men away at war again... in Vietnam this time. Stan says "Any movie or play about wars and conflicts is generally told from the male perspective." He says the United States has been at peace for less than 25 years of its history, and in all this war time there are mothers, wives and girlfriends waiting at home.

"Their story is also the definition of service to Country and that this play tells that story so very well".

Stan's little community theater in South Carolina, where his theater roots were born, performed this play. He didn't get to see it, but many friends from there contacted him about it and urged him to read it. . It was a huge success -- to the point that they had to move it from their little playhouse to the much larger community center. But beyond that, his friends knew how much it would resonate with Stan. He read it and immediately knew he had to get it onto the Tater Patch Players stage.

Tater Patch wants each of you to come experience what Stan calls "the magic of live theater". That is found in those moments, not possible with electronic media, when the actors and audience can almost touch one another from the stage to the audience seats and back. You will feel the love, share the laughter, and probably share a tear or two with these women whose stories Stan invites you to share.

The play will be performed June 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24. The Sunday shows are at 2PM and all the others at 7:30PM. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $14 for students and $10 for First Timers. If you have a friend who's never been to a Tater Patch show, encourage them to get a First Timer ticket and come see what we're all about.

The theater is at 95 Philadelphia Lane in Jasper. For tickets and more information go to With questions, email or call 706-253-2800 and leave a message and someone from Tater Patch will get back in touch.