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    World Premier of Del Shores’ This Side of Crazy Opens at New Conservatory Theatre Center

    By Louise “Lou” Fischer–

    San Francisco’s own New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC), dedicated to bringing high-quality and innovative theatre to the queer and allied communities, is kicking off its 2019–2020 Season with the world premiere of This Side of Crazy, a “delightfully campy comedy” written and directed by cult-phenomenon Del Shores (creator of the Sordid Lives franchise, Southern Baptist Sissies, Daddy’s Dyin’ … Who’s Got The Will?, Blues for Willadean, and Queer As Folk).  

    Here’s how NCTC describes the play: “Little superstars for Jesus, the Blaylock Sisters, are all grown up and kind of a mess. There’s Rachel, a Christian vlogger who still has sex with her comatose husband, Abigail, a chain-smoking virgin with anger management issues, and Bethany, a closeted atheist stripper. When their overbearing stage mother, Ditty, “volunteers” her daughters for a star-studded reunion performance, all hell breaks loose. From the brilliant and hilarious mind that created Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies, comes a brand-new play about fame, family, and finding your way back home.”

    Play Features 4 Talented Actresses

    The play features four talented Bay Area actresses:  Christine Macomber (Ditty), Amy Meyers (Bethany), Cheryl Smith (Rachel) and Alison Whismore (Abigail). Meyers is appearing in her second Del Shores production, having played Bitsy Mae Harling in NCTC’s recent run of Sordid Lives. I recently spoke with her for the San Francisco Bay Times about her experience with this production.

    Lou Fischer: How is it different preparing and rehearsing for a new play versus one that has already been in production?

    Amy Meyers: As an actress, it’s a thrill to bring a character to the stage for the first time. It’s also more challenging because you can’t get ideas or tips from watching other actresses in the same role.  

    Lou Fischer: What kind of research did you do for the role of Bethany?

    Amy Meyers: Bethany is the youngest sister in a dysfunctional family of Baptist singers from the South. I’m from Texas. I’m the youngest sister in my family. I was raised in the Baptist Church and have been singing since I could talk.  

    Lou Fischer: What is the “dysfunctional family” aspect of the role? 

    Amy Meyers: Come on, every family has their share of dysfunction. That part was easy. 

    Lou Fischer: And the stripper part?

    Amy Meyers: I watched a lot of pole-dancing videos on YouTube.

    Lou Fischer: What’s it like working with a playwright on a brand-new play? 

    Amy Meyers: You can’t get too attached to your lines because, if a scene isn’t working, Del will rewrite it. There’s also a heightened sense of responsibility to do right by Del’s vision for the characters and it’s great having him there to help us find who they are.

    Lou Fischer: Anything else you want to share? 

    Amy Meyers: It has been a privilege to work with Del and the rest of the amazing cast on this piece. Del understands and respects our process as well as the work of the stage and production teams, and I’m excited about how well it all came together. Come see the show! 

    This Side of Crazy” runs from September 20–October 20. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Opening Night is Saturday, September 28. Tickets are $25–55 and are available online
    ( https://www.nctcsf.org/ ) or by calling 415-861-8972.

    Louise (Lou) Fischer is a Former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and has served as an appointed and elected Delegate for the State Democratic Party. She is a proud graduate of the Emerge California Women’s Democratic Leadership program, was a San Francisco Commissioner and has served in leadership positions in multiple nonprofit and community-based organizations.