The Orange Community Players has announced its four productions for its 59th season, which begins on Aug. 18 with the presentation of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The cast, in back, from left to right, includes Eric Andrus, Beth Brooks, Meg Brown, Barry Foster (director), and Jay Vinecour (accompanist). Middle row is Amber Martin and Shauna Temple with Michael Benson in front. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

August is here and that means the Orange Community Players new season has arrived.

The Orange Community Players has announced its upcoming schedule for the 2016-2017 season, which features four events as the local theater group celebrates its 59th season.

According to Diana Hill, member of the OCP Board of Directors and long-time veteran actor and director of Orange Community Players, this new season has a lot of energy and enthusiasm attached to it.

“This year is a lot lighter in mood compared to last year, which was very heavy, very dark,” Hill said about the new season. “We have a lot of new faces involved already this year and they are excited.”

Hill said of the season’s four productions that three will have first-time directors who will bring a lot of enthusiasm as they prepare for their debuts.

“We want new faces and new members and crew because they are excited about everything we are doing,” Hill added. “And they bring new people to the theater. We love our veterans and the experience they bring with their involvement.”

The first production of the season is “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and premiers Thursday, Aug. 18, at The Playhouse in downtown Orange.

The production is being directed by Barry Foster and is based on the book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts. According to StageAgent.com, it is a witty musical revue that tackles modern love in all its forms, from the perils and pitfalls of the first date to marriage, children, and the twilight years of life.

Set in the modern world and told in a series of vignettes and songs, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” traces the overall arc of relationships throughout the course of a life. An insightful and hilarious musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will have audience members shouting, “This is my life!”

Performances for this hilariously entertaining comedy and musical are at 7:37 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18 through Saturday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 25 through Saturday, Aug. 27. Matinees are offered at 2:37 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, and Sunday, Aug. 28. General admission tickets are $20 and $15 for students.

In October, Damon Gengo will direct the OCP production of the critically-acclaimed play, “Leaving Iowa” by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, which is a hilarious, family-friendly comedy that is a toast to the idealism and character of parents from the “greatest generation,” and a little roast of their dedication to the family road trip. This comedy about family and family vacations is a show suitable for ages 10 to 110.

Middle-aged writer Don Browning has decided to his father’s ashes to his childhood home, as requested. However, Don has discovered grandma’s house is now a grocery store and be begins traveling across Iowa in search of a proper resting place for his father.

As he drives those familiar roads, the story shifts back and forth from the present to memories of the annual, torturous vacations of Don’s youth. Ultimately, Don’s existential journey leads him to reconcile his past and present at an unpredictable and perfect final destination.

In February of 2017, Keri Foreman will be the director of the comedy production, “The Red Velvet Cake War,” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten.

According to Dramatists Play Services, “The Red Velvet Cake War” is riotously funny Southern-fried comedy about the three Verdeen cousins—Gaynelle, Peaches, and Jimmie Wyvette— who could not have picked a worse time to throw their family reunion. Their outrageous antics have delighted local gossips in the small town of Sweetgum (just down the road from Fayro) and the eyes of Texas are upon them, as their self-righteous Aunt LaMerle is quick to point out.

Having “accidentally” crashed her minivan through the bedroom wall of her husband’s girlfriend’s doublewide, Gaynelle is one frazzled nerve away from a spectacular meltdown. Peaches, a saucy firebrand and the number one mortuarial cosmetologist in the tri-county area, is struggling to decide if it’s time to have her long-absent trucker husband declared dead. And Jimmie Wyvette, the rough-around-the-edges store manager of Whatley’s Western Wear, is resorting to extreme measures to outmaneuver a priss-pot neighbor for the affections of Sweetgum’s newest widower.

But the cousins can’t back out of the reunion now. It’s on, Gaynelle’s hosting it, and Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette have decided that its success is the perfect way to prove Gaynelle’s sanity to a skeptical court-appointed psychologist. Unfortunately, they face an uphill battle as a parade of wildly eccentric Verdeens gathers on the hottest day of July, smack-dab in the middle of Texas tornado season.

Things spin hilariously out of control when a neighbor’s pet devours everything edible, a one-eyed suitor shows up to declare his love, and a jaw-dropping high-stakes wager is made on who bakes the best red velvet cake. As this fast-paced romp barrels toward its uproarious climax, you’ll wish your own family reunions were this much fun!

The final production of the 2016-2017 OCP season is the celebrated musical, “Guys and Dolls,” written by Frank Loesser.

According to StageAgent.com, “Guys and Dolls” is a musical romantic comedy involving the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings: a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a crap game manager who is anything but.

Set in the Manhattan of Damon Runyon’s short stories, “Guys and Dolls” tells of con-man Nathan Detroit’s efforts to find new life for his illegal, but notorious, crap game. When their trusty venue is found out by the police, Nathan has to find a new home for his crap game quickly, but he doesn’t have the dough to secure the one location he finds.

Enter Sky Masterson, a high-rolling gambler willing to take on any honest bet with a high enough reward attached. Nathan bets Sky that he can’t take the “doll” of Nathan’s choosing to Havana, Cuba, with him on a date. When Sky agrees to the bet, Nathan chooses uptight Evangelist Sergeant Sarah Brown, head of Broadway’s Save-a-Soul Mission. Sky thinks he’s been duped, but he’s in for even more of a surprise when his efforts to woo Sarah are so successful that he falls in love with her himself.

A variety of partnership and sponsorship opportunities are available to the public and area businesses.

The partnerships are limited, but partners with the Orange Community Players receive “top billing” for each production, plus there is a season partner package available. Along with the Season Partner, there are the Musical Partner and Non-Musical Partner opportunities.

There are three sponsorship levels, the “Saint,” “Benefactor” and “Angel,” all of which have names listed in programs and preferred seating opportunities. Each comes with a substantial ticket package as part of the purchase.

Membership offers are available for “Family,” “Individual” and “Student” supporters and include a combination of tickets and identification in the program. Questions about the above opportunities can be directed to ocplayers@att.net or by calling the box office line at 409-882-9137 and leaving a message.

Memberships will also be available for purchase at the first show.

Visit www.orangecommunityplayers.com or call 409-882-9137 for more information on the organization and its schedule.