Southeast Missouri State University student publication

River City Players Community Theater performs “Mary and Belle” in downtown Cape Girardeau

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Holly Raines played the role of Belle.
Photo by Elizabeth Munier

The River City Players Community Theatre performed “Mary and Belle,” a play about the “two spirited gals” Mary, the ghost of Rose Theatre, and Belle, the ghost of Port Cape, on Friday, Oct. 7, in various locations in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Dr. Roseanna Whitlow-Greenwood, an instructor of communication studies at Southeast Missouri State University, wrote and directed the play.

“I saw something similar when I went to a state conference in Kansas City and thought it would be great idea for Cape,” said Greenwood.

Tana Howard, who played Mary said the play was important because it helped promote downtown Cape, and it allowed people to see different businesses downtown while adding a Halloween aspect to it.

The play featured three scenes, each performed at various locations in downtown Cape. The first scene took place at the Arts Council Studio, and it lasted around five minutes. In this scene the audience met Mary and Belle while they are trying to figure out if the audience can see them. Belle keeps calling herself and Mary ghosts, while Mary prefers the term spirits. Bob, who works with air traffic control is then introduced to the audience. Mary and Belle find out Bob can see them, but Bob doesn’t realize they are ghosts. Belle begins to take a liking toward him.

Bilderbach’s Art Plaza featured the second scene, which lasted for about five minutes. Mary tries to keep Belle away from Bob because of her dislike for him. Mary and Belle argue about the issues that may arise if Bob were to find out that they are ghosts. The TV show “The View” is mentioned because Mary believes the show wants them to “orb on the show.” Belle tells Bob to meet her and Mary, and from there they start discussing Belle’s romantic rendezvous with Bob. Mary makes the comment saying, “Like, you haven’t had a date in over a century.” After Bob leaves, Belle suggests they “zap him and make him forget.” Mary makes a joke by asking, “Who do you think I am, Will Smith from Men in Black?” They then decide to make Bob one of them.

The final scene took place at Cup ‘n Cork. Mary and Belle create a plan on how to make Bob a ghost. Mary reveals her death and explains how Rose Theatre was built on top of her body. Belle describes her death — she fell out of a window on the third floor of Port Cape. The ladies name off ideas like stabbing Bob with an ice pick, striking him with a gunshot and burning him at the stake or tying him to the railroad tracks. After much contemplating, they decide to let Bob live, say goodbye to him and keep out of site for a while. Mary suggests, “Let’s go jump on the mattresses at Hutson’s furniture store.” However, Belle isn’t allowed to make eye contact with Dave Hutson.

Many people watched and enjoyed the play.

“I thought it was interesting and very in with the crowd,” said Jackson resident Sydne Acton.