Jim McConnell is no stranger to the stage. His experience with acting and directing — through high school, college and on into community theater — spans decades. Over his past 10 years as a member of the Sun City Community Players, he has done it all: play selection, set design and construction, props and costuming, promotions and publicity, scheduling, correspondence, auditions and casting, acting, directing and serving on the board, including four years as president.
McConnell has appeared in eight Players’ productions including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Suite Surrender,” and “Bag Full of Miracles.” His favorite role to date is Buddy, a down-on-his-luck huckster salesman in “Revival at Possum Kingdom Community Church.” Preferring characters with depth and story lines with heart, he found both in this play and welcomed the challenge of bringing Buddy to life.
Many years of teaching, coaching and counseling have more than qualified McConnell to lead both newly aspiring actors and seasoned veterans through the process of turning a script into a successful production. His director credentials at Players include “Southern Fried Funeral,” “Dixie Swim Club” and “Gladys.”
McConnell believes that cast members should understand the “why” behind the “what” of every movement on stage. Those fortunate enough to have experienced him as a director are thoroughly prepared to give life to their characters long before the curtain rises.
And the curtain will soon rise on “The Curious Savage.” The play, written in 1950 by John Patrick, is a heartwarming comedy about a widow named Mrs. Savage and her ten million dollar inheritance. Describing why he chose to direct this play, McConnell said, “I love the theme: the contrast of simple, honest, genuine people with the greed, selfishness and ridiculous behavior of others. My experience with people with mental and emotional challenges has prepared me to bring these characters to life with the gentle touch the playwright intended.”
Performance dates are 7 p.m. Jan. 13, 14, 20 and 21 and 20 p.m. Jan. 15 and 22 at Mountain View Recreation Center, 9749 N. 107th Ave.
Tickets are available now. For the best seats, purchase atSunCity PlayersCommunityTheater.org. Tickets will also be available at Fairway Center, 10600 W. Peoria Ave., 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 9-12 and 16-19.