'Exit the Body' premieres this weekend

REED CITY — A fast-paced "who done it" play will be performed this weekend and next by members of the Crossroads Theatre Guild.

"Exit the Body," by Fred Carmichael, is a comedy mixed with thrill and mystery in three acts. It centers around a popular crime writer on vacation in New England and strange encounters which occur.

Showtimes for "Exit the Body" are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6 and 13, Saturday, Nov. 7 and 14, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 and 15, at the Crossroads Theatre Guild's performing arts center, located at 249 Upton Ave., in Reed City.

Tickets can be purchased at the door before each performance. To reserve a seat in advance, call (231) 734-9859 or email marketing organizer Nicole Weiss at writergirlnicole@gmail.com.

Theatre Guild members ranging from 15 to 65 years old are taking part as actors, crew members and production staff. Dave Johnson, a long-time member of the group, will direct the play.

"This play is one where the actors have a lot of fun with it," Johnson said. "Thanks to our underwriters, the set was built two months in advance, which is great because it relaxes the actors."

Anna Hamner, 15, is one of the youngest actors, playing the role of Jenny in her first adult production alongside her mother.

"I've watched my mom do this, and I wanted to perform, too," she said. "It's a funny play. It's different than anything I've ever done."

Hamner said she is eager to do more shows with the guild in the future.

"Exit the Body" features a small cast of characters, and David Ball said he enjoys the dynamic, as he can rely on the group for cues and feed off of each other's energy on stage.

"I think the audience will like this play because it's different from anything else we've ever done," he said. "It will appeal to a lot of people."

In addition to the show itself, guild members are thrilled to have an upgraded performing arts center offering an entrance and restroom which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new lights and a new sound system.

"If you look back to even five years ago, it's totally different," Ball said.

Cast members credit new donors and sponsors for the ability to improve the center, as awareness of the Crossroads Theatre Guild spreads throughout Reed City and its surrounding communities.

Johnson is especially appreciative of what the underwriters have contributed to help the building be a venue for the guild, youth and local organizations who may desire to use it for events.

"It not only makes my job easier, but it makes the productions look more professional," he added. "It brings our community together and creates a venue for others. Everybody wins."