By Glen Vaughn-Petersen
In December, Belton’s Main Street Theatre will not only be premiering a new version of a play, but will be having a special guest as well: the show’s playwright.
Borderline Crazies: Christmas Edition is a new version of Leo W. Sears’ original comedy, Borderline Crazies, about a double-booking at a Lake Tahoe cabin for the holidays gone horribly wrong, with couples’ disputes, axe murderers and “a couple of plot twists.” The play opens on December 2.
On December 3, an appearance occurs after the show: the playwright, himself, will be attending and talking with the audience.
This is not the first time that Sears and the Main Street Theatre have worked together. In 2019 the theater put on Sorry! Wrong Chimney!, a Christmas comedy of mistaken identities, hypnotism, Santa burglars, and more, also written by Sears.
Pam Powell, artistic director at the Main Street Theatre, was surprised to receive a call from the playwright. “He said, ‘I’m living in Iowa now, and I’m thrilled to see that somebody nearby is doing my show, and I would like to come see it’,” she recounted.
After he visited, he spoke with Powell and her husband Rob, and the possibility of performing Borderline Crazies came up.
The original Borderline Crazies was written in 2004 and was set in the autumn. Powell agreed to produce the play if Sears made one change: create the snowed-in cabin over the Christmas holidays. “Put a tree on the stage and move it to Christmas and I’ll do it,” she requested.
Sears was intrigued by the idea and re-wrote certain sections of the play for the new edition.
To celebrate the occasion, Sears, a native of Leavenworth, Kansas, said he would attend the opening weekend performance.
And now, three years later, this plan comes to fruition.
“My focus is the company,” Powell says. “More than any other theater, I’ve really tried to make sure everybody understands that the contributions of all are what make us best.”
Backing this up is their description on the website: “From technical work of computer technology, lighting and sound to the backstage support team, costumers, properties, and stage management, all artists will be recognized and respected.”
Borderline Crazies: Christmas Edition runs at the Main Street Theatre, 510 Main St., December 2-18, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm, Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for seniors, youth and college students. Call 816-406-9422 to reserve seats.
Visit the theater’s website at mainstreettheaterbelton.com for more information.