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‘Rounding Third’ offers ‘a little bit of shenanigans’

By Staff | Nov 18, 2016

Chronicle photo by Hayley Butler Dave Didden left and Joe Yates rehearse in the St. Anges Catholic Church's parish building in preparation for their performance of "Rounding Third" beginning Dec. 16. 

Beginning on Dec. 16, the Black Box Arts Center located on South Princess St., will be hosting a benefit production of Richard Dresser’s play “Rounding Third.” All proceeds of the show will be donated directly to the West Virginia flood victims.

The play is a 90-minute, two-man show about two little league baseball coaches and will feature Shepherdstown locals and members of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Joe Yates and Dr. Dave Didden.

According to Yates, the play has “a little bit of shenanigans going on in it.”

“Both of the characters are baseball coaches. One of the coaches has been doing it for seven years and he is very serious about it. That’s my character, Don,” Yates explained.

“The other character is Michael and he’s the kid that never got picked for a team and is not at all athletic. He has a stepson who is incredibly awkward so he volunteered to be the assistant coach to get his kid on a team. The characters come together for this season and the play takes you through their entire season right up to the championship game,” Yates said.

According to Didden, the play is well written, funny and relatable.

“It’s really relevant and these guys’ struggles unfold right in front of the audience and everybody kind of gets to watch them deal with their issues. It moves, it’s peppy, but it’s also emotionally rich,” Didden added.

The admission price for the production is a donation of whatever you can give. All proceeds from the play will be donated to help West Virginia flood victims through Catholic Charities, which is one of the highest-rated charities in the world, according to Yates.

“We’re trying to make it as community oriented as possible and what we’re going to do is take the money that’s donated and we’re going to give the money to the Catholic Charities for them to distribute in the hardest hit parts of West Virginia,” Yates said.

“There’s still a need there. Once it is off the front page of the newspaper, people tend to forget and winter is coming. There are still houses that are decimated and houses that are still being rebuilt. People are often running into problems like not being able to rebuild because of the lack of insurance and being too poor. There’s just a real need,” Yates explained.

Didden added that the production is a way for the county to reach out and provide resources to other parts of the state.

“I think living where we are in West Virginia, we get a lot of privileges and access to a standard of living that many of our fellow West Virginians just don’t have. Jefferson County is the wealthiest county in West Virginia and we have resources in this county,” Didden said.

“Using a non-profit like Catholic Charities that has a very low administrative overhead, helps us funnel money directly to the people who need it without having to jump through administrative hoops,” Didden added.

Yates said the purpose of the show is not only to raise money for flood victims, but also to bring a sense summer time to the community in the month of December.

“We want to give people a little bit of summer time when it’s cold out. The holiday season is when people often think about various components of their lives and this is an opportunity to make people feel good while having a good time. This gives people the opportunity to come see a good show and also help people at a time of year when people think about helping others and focus on it,” Yates said.

Rounding Third is Rated PG for adult language and discussion of adultery.

The production will be held on Dec. 16-18, and 27-29. The times for the show are Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

To make reservations, visit BlackBoxArtsCenter. org, call the office at 304-870-4685, or call Joe Yates at 304-676-8059.