Chattanooga Now 'Sand Pies and Scissorlegs' playwright visits Dalton - April 25-May 3

Chattanooga Now 'Sand Pies and Scissorlegs' playwright visits Dalton - April 25-May 3

April 24th, 2014 by Staff Report in Chattanooga Now - Art

Natalie Bruce, Logan Alexander Smith and Katie Johannsan, seated, from left, portray the Phelps siblings, who are faced with a life-changing decision in "Sand Pies and Scissorlegs," now playing at Dalton Little Theatre. Others, standing from left, are cast members Amanda Havelin, Helen Crawford and Brent Haley and director Ron King.

Photo by Contributed photo by Brent Haley


¦ What: "Sand Pies and Scissorlegs."

¦ When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 25-26; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27; 7 p.m. May 2-3.

¦ Where: Dalton Little Theatre, 210 N. Pentz St.

¦ Admission: $15 adults, $12 seniors and DLT members, $10 students 13-18 or college age with ID, $5 children 12 and younger.

¦ Phone: 706-226-6618.

¦ Email:

¦ Website:

Producers at Dalton Little Theatre seem to have developed a certain fondness for playwright Mark Dunn. This weekend, it appears the feeling is mutual.

The playwright will be in the audience Friday, April 25, as the DLT stages a third work by Dunn in as many years. He will be available for a question-and-answer session following the performance of "Sand Pies and Scissorlegs," described as a gentle Southern comedy.

The DLT's connection with Dunn turned out to be more streamlined than the proverbial six degrees of separation. The link was actress and DLT board member Natalie Bruce. Her uncle, Jim Davis, director of the Louisiana Book Festival, knows Dunn, author of the award-winning novel "Ella Minnow Pea."

Bruce has been cast in all three of the Dunn works the DLT has staged: "Belles" in 2012, "Cabin Fever: A Texas Tragicomedy" in 2013 and now "Sand Pies and Scissorlegs."

"When I told my uncle that we were doing another Mark Dunn play, he said, 'That is unbelievable. I can't wait to email him,'" Bruce recalled in a news release.

After Davis emailed Dunn, Dunn emailed Bruce.

"He said that because we have been champions of his work, he wanted to know more about the theater," she said.

She put him in touch with director Ron King, who extended an invitation to Dunn's sister, who lives in Marietta, Ga. Then Dunn decided he would make the trip as well.

Dunn also spoke with King about Dalton Little Theatre premiering a new play.

"Dunn said that since he left the East Coast, he didn't have a theater to do his new work," said King. "He said that he was looking for a theater that was familiar with his work, and given the fact that this is the third consecutive play of Dunn's that has been staged here, he thought we would be a good fit."

DLT is set to stage the world premiere of "Happily Ever After, A Wedding Comedy" during the 2014-15 season.

"Sand Pies and Scissor Legs" centers on the Phelps siblings, two sisters and a brother who are faced with a life-changing decision and their reluctance to trade the safety and security of youth for the problems and responsibilities of adulthood. The action takes place in a small resort town on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

The story, King said, shows "that family isn't always the ones you are born with; family is where you make it."