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‘A Bad Year For Tomatoes’ Opens at Sandy Actors Theatre

By Ty Walker

‘A Bad Year For Tomatoes’ Opens at Sandy Actors Theatre

Director Jim Lamproe took a break from rehearsals recently to talk about the Sandy Actors Theatre’s upcoming production of “A Bad Year For Tomatoes.”

The comedy in two acts, written in 1974 by American playwright John Patrick, opens Sept. 15 and runs four consecutive weekends through Oct. 8. Showtimes are 7:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 pm Sundays.
Tickets may be purchased online at or at the door. Cost is $20 adults; $18 seniors, veterans and students; and $15 children.

This will be the third play Lamproe has directed for the community theater in Sandy. He has also acted in numerous plays for the all-volunteer nonprofit theater for more than 13 years.

“We’ve got a good cast of seven actors,” Lamproe said. “The second week of rehearsals are going really well.”

The ensemble cast includes Ruthanne Kemdrick in the lead role of Myra Marlowe, Chris Botheos as Tom Lamont, Dorothy Espinoza as Cora Gump, Carita Louise as Reba Harper, Chris Canne as Piney, Kat Malstead as Willa Mae Wilcox and Dan Bosserman as sheriff.

Fed up with the pressures and demands of her acting career, the famous Myra Marlowe leaves Hollywood to live in a small town in the northeast, where she sets out to write her autobiography and grow her own tomatoes.

She finds her nosy neighbors coming and going bothersome, so she creates a homicidal sister whom she keeps locked in an upstairs room. She records her sister’s voice, threatening to cut off the ears of the meddlesome neighbors, and plays the recording to scare them away.

The hilarious characters in “A Bad Year For Tomatoes” will have audiences laughing from beginning to end.
Lamproe first became involved in the Sandy Actors Theatre after he saw a play and answered a Facebook ad for someone to do lights and sound for a production. Later the theater needed an actor to do a scene. The inexperienced Lamproe volunteered.

“I did four lines, one scene, and the rest is history,” he said. “What I like about acting is you get a chance to be someone that you would not normally be,” he said. “Someone who’s the complete opposite of what you normally are.”

Asked which he liked better, acting or directing? He said directing.
“Directing is good because you don’t have to memorize lines and you get to tell people where to go,” he said.

One thing’s for sure: Lamproe loves live theater.
“I tell people that theater is like a 3-D movie without the glasses,” he said.

Sandy Actors Theatre began in 1976 as the One Way Theatre. In 1979 it became known as The Sandy Community Players, then in 2000 changed its name to what it is today.

The theater leases a 20,000 square-foot building at 17433 Meinig Ave. in Sandy, “A Bad Year For Tomatoes” producer Kathy Strickland said. Formerly used as a bowling alley and leather shop, the theater seats 99 people in its cozy space.

Over the years, it has made improvements like installing more comfortable seats and adding risers. Strickland said the theater added more space for the actors backstage when it acquired an apartment attached to the rear of the building.

For tickets, go online at, or phone 503-936-4378.

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