HOPEDALE – The cast members of the Hope Players production of Neil Simon’s comedy, “Fools,” are getting their act together, and that includes filling one remaining uncast role and getting hands-on with the set for the play, which will run November 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. and November 6 at 2:00 p.m. at Harrison East Elementary School in Hopedale. According to Hope Players executive director Andrew Pelegreen III of Hopedale, who is directing the comedy, he and cast members were unsure until last week if they would be able to find an area actor who would be available to play the role of “Something Something” Schnetsky, the shepherd who can’t remember his first name, let alone where he last saw his sheep. “For a while, I thought the Hope Players might be under some kind of curse that was preventing us from completing our cast,” Pelegreen said with a laugh. “Fortunately, we were able to get Steve Fournier from Weirton to do the part,” Pelegreen added. “Steve has extensive experience with the Brooke Hills Playhouse and their murder mystery group, as well as having experience working with improvisational comedy,” he noted. Fournier is pleased to be a part of the production. “I’m glad I can help, and to make my first appearance with the Hope Players in a great comedy like ‘Fools’ makes it even more fun,” he said.

While playing catch-up with the rest of the cast in memorizing his lines, Fornier also joined them Saturday painting the scenery for the show. “Despite all the challenges we’ve had with casting and actors’ schedules, all the cast members are very hard workers who’ll do anything they can to help put the show on stage for our audiences,” Pelegreen observed. “Some cast members have contributed props and costumes, and just about everyone pitches in wherever they’re needed, as with the set-painting,” Pelegreen added.

Two cast members are sharing the roles of Sophia Zubritsky and Mishkin the postal carrier. Cerra Atkins of Hopedale will play Sophia Friday and Sunday, November 4 and 6. She will enact the part of Mishkin on Saturday, November 5. Kira Adams of Jewett will portray Sophia on November 5, and will fill the role of Mishkin on November 4 and 6.

The Hope Players will make plans for the rest of their season at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, at 7 p.m. at the Hopedale Municipal Building. The agenda includes the election of officers and plans for the spring musical. The meeting is open to all Hope Players members.

Advance tickets for “Fools” are available from any cast or crewmember, or at the Hopedale Municipal Building, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who purchase tickets in advance will save two dollars over the box office prices of $7 for adults and $5 for children. Further information is available by contacting Pelegreen at 740-937-2629, or Hope Players president Donna Runt at 740-937-2208.

Catherine Losey, Kira Adams and Leeah Rose pictured left to right, rehearse for the Hope Players production of Neil Simon’s comedy, “Fools.” Photo provided