CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Naomi Harrison-Carder moved with her husband and family to his native West Virginia and needed to make friends.
She turned to something familiar - community theater, first offering to help during HallowEast events that Kanawha Players were sponsoring. She and Ginger Workman, an active Kanawha Players volunteer and makeup artist, became fast friends.
Next thing she knew, Harrison-Carder was tapped to direct the Kanawha Players production of the quirky comedy, "The Sugar Bean Sisters."
Harrison-Carder, who lives on a 200-acre farm on Kate's Knob in Amma, has enjoyed working her theater muscles again, particularly with the Nathan Sanders play about three spinster sisters in Florida who determine they will escape town on a spaceship.
"It is such a whacky play," said Harrison-Carder, who was not familiar with it until she read the script.
And what's not to like - besides the sisters, there's a snake charmer, a good-looking Mormon bishop and a mysterious bird woman in the tale.
Harrison-Carder said her foray into local theater was aided in great part by Workman, who is playing a role in the production, and the fact that the rest of the cast is experienced, too.
Cast members include Patricia Wehrle, Kat Johnson and Micki Maley along with Workman's husband, Shayne.
Maley has many theater credits to her name, from Kanawha Players and the Charleston Light Opera Guild to Honey in the Rock, although she hasn't appeared on stage for 20 years. After a post-college theater tour, she moved back to Charleston, where she worked in radio for most of her career before retiring recently from state government.
She said it was a "spur-of-the-moment" decision to try out for the show.
"When I was younger, I used to do all these character roles that I'm now old enough to do. This show had a role in my age range - between 45 and death," she said.
She hadn't heard of the show until she landed the role.