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THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2007
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Gracie (Gretta Ferguson) taunts Aleah (Catie Duffey), a writer plagued by a haunting memory and mental illness, in “Runaway Home,” written and directed by Darren Butler of Decatur.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Gracie (Gretta Ferguson) taunts Aleah (Catie Duffey), a writer plagued by a haunting memory and mental illness, in “Runaway Home,” written and directed by Darren Butler of Decatur.

Revised 'Runaway Home' opens Friday

"Musicals aren't written, they are re-written," says Darren Butler of Backstage Theatre Company in Decatur.

Reviews of his original musical "Runaway Home" by two professionals were positive, but both gave suggestions for improving it. Original productions were staged in October and November at Studio One on East Moulton Street.

Michael Howley of Alabama State University, who works nationally and internationally on the development of new plays and musicals, aided Butler and vocal director Judy Rodman in cutting bulky dialogue sections and revising the song "Light a Candle."

Diana Green of Alabama State Council on the Arts gave suggestions achieving more fluid movement.

"Michael and Diana had great praise for our cast, saying that their voices and natural acting ability stood out," said Butler.

"Runaway Home" is being adjudicated for the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award and O'Neil Production Award. It also has been submitted for Fringe Theatre Festival in New York City in August.

It is the story of four young people who live a bohemian lifestyle in New York City. Fate brings them together and teaches them that the choices they make, good or bad, carry consequences.

The revised version opens Friday and runs through Feb. 25.

- Barry Sublett

If you go

What:Revised version of "Runaway Home"

When:Dinner theater shows are Friday, Saturday, Jan. 12-13, and Feb. 9-10 and 16-17 at 6:30 p.m. General admission shows are Jan. 19-20 and Feb. 23-24 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Where:Studio One, 214 E. Moulton St.

Cost:Dinner theater shows are $25, reservations required. General admissions shows are$10. Call 308-2300.

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