It started as a 10-minute script-writing exercise in a playwriting class. Yet, when June McCarty Clair received so much positive feedback about a dark comedy about a funeral, she decided to expand it to a full-length play.
“When people heard what it was about, I invariably saw heads nod, and folks would say, ‘Let me tell you my story,’” Clair said.
The Carmel resident said she found that a funeral often brings out the best and the worst in family members. Clair said greed and jealousy can rear their ugly heads.
Clair’s “In the Presence of My Enemies” will run June 21 to 30 at The Cat in Carmel after a trial at DivaFest in April.
“When I started this project, I thought it would be interesting to write about family dynamics in planning a funeral,” Clair said. “But the more I researched and wrote, I realized this could also be a cautionary tale, told in an amusing way, to warn people to have a plan in place and documents organized so there is as little family fighting as possible.”
Bridget Schlebecker and Priscilla Ball will reprise their roles as Sarah and Rhoda, respectively. Nan Macy, Annalise Lowry, Megan Jacobs, Alan Cloe and Kristin Miller round out the cast.
Ball and Miller are from Carmel. Macy is from Columbus, Ind. The rest of the performers are from Indianapolis.
Clair said DivaFest limited scripts to a one-hour run time. The show at The Cat will run 90 minutes, adding new scenes.
“It was thrilling to have the show at DivaFest,” Clair said. “But I’m really excited to see the full show with a complete set and costumes.
The production is by Carmel Theatre Company, which is run by Clair and her husband, John, who will direct the play.
The Clairs have written several scripts, mostly musicals for her students. Clair was a music teacher at Clay Middle School in Carmel for 15 years before retiring in 2011.
Tickets for the six performances can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets, tinyurl.com/my-enemies, or by calling 317-582-1007.