CHARLESTON -- A local food pantry will benefit from two upcoming performances of a play that shows the perspective of some of the women characters in the literary classic "Spoon River Anthology."

The performances of "The Women of Spoon River," which was first presented earlier this year, will take place at Otterbein United Methodist Church in Charleston on Oct. 16 and 17. Proceeds will go to the Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry.

"There's always a need at the food pantry they need help to meet," said Chuck Trent, the church's pastor. "Anything we can do to help them is worthwhile."

He also said the performances will be a way to support local arts and will also be a chance for people who couldn't attend the earlier performances to see the locally produced play.

The performances will be at 6 p.m. each of the two days. Tickets include dinner and are $25 per person or $45 per couple.

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The performances take place in Fellowship Hall of Otterbein United Methodist Church, which is located at 2175 E. Harrison Ave., Charleston.

The deadline for reservations is Wednesday of next week and tickets are available by calling 217-345-3917 or at the office of Wesley United Methodist Church, 2206 Fourth St., Charleston.

Local playwright Earl Halbe adapted "The Women of Spoon River" from Edgar Lee Masters' classic collection "Spoon River Anthology." Masters' work was presented as a series of tombstone epitaphs that told the stories of people who lived in a fictional western Illinois town.

Cast members Ann Bruehler, Callie Baber, Yvonne Larson and Elizabeth Halbe will read the epitaphs of some of the women from "Spoon River Anthology" as they did during the original performances of the play at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in July and August.

Elizabeth Halbe also arranged music to go along with the epitaph readings, which she and local musicians Cullen Porter, Bruce Gubbins and Don Drake will perform during the play.

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Contact Fopay at dfopay@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6858.



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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