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'Dependence Day' returns to Scene One Theatre

'Dependence Day' returns to Scene One Theatre

March 8th, 2018 by Samantha Pogue in Life & Entertainment

Mark Miles, left, and Dave Bond, right, act out a scene from "Dependence Day" on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Scene One Theatre in Jefferson City.

Photo by Collin Krabbe/News Tribune

Shortly after founder Mark Wegman opened Scene One Theatre in 2005, his original play "Dependence Day" hit the black box theater's stage. Audiences gave a warm reception to the second play performed at the intimate new theater, and Wegman has wanted to bring it back to Jefferson City ever since.

It has happened. Nearly 13 years after its debut, Scene One will present "Dependence Day" at 7 p.m. March 14-16 and March 22-24 at the downtown theater, now located at 619 E. Capitol Ave.

Wegman, who is the comedic play's director, said the main story and setting remain the same. Taking place on Independence Day, "Dependence Day" is set in the bar of Benny, played by Dan Zaiger. Benny and Lydia, played by Kelsie Slaughter, have a date that doesn't go so well. Mark Miles plays Joe, an older gentleman who is good friends and a father figure to Benny and Lydia. These three veteran actors also encounter a Scene One newcomer, Dave Bond, who plays Big Al, entering the equation and stirring things up. Wegman said Bond most recently was in The Little Theatre's "Treasure Island" production and Capital City Productions' "9 to 5: The Musical."

"The character of Big Al is definitely not someone who lives his life P.C. Big Al is different but definitely a roughneck factory worker who has a certain way he views men and a certain way he views women. However, this is also accompanied by a big heart. In 2005, he was received very well then, and I hope he will be today," Wegman said. "It does follow the love story between Benny and Lydia, and there are some serious and tender moments mixed in with the comedy."

Return guests to "Dependence Day" will see some updates to Wegman's original production. He added "a little more meat" this time around, changing it from a one-act to a two-act play with an intermission.

"There have been new additions in this script, and we'll see if they play well and work. I find them funny, and I think the audiences will feel the same way," he said.

Founding Scene One Theatre on the principles of presenting local original work to audiences, Wegman has delivered seven of his own and helped present countless others from local playwrights since 2005. He is excited to see the reaction of today's audiences to one of the theater's first local productions.

"It will be interesting to know if it withstands the test of time. You look at how our society has changed, especially this year. Characters have certain opinions about things, and I wonder how our audiences, taking in everything that is in the news, will see this and see the humor in it," Wegman said. "It was very well received and the audiences really enjoyed it back then. I'm anxious and excited to see what the newcomers think."

Tickets cost $15 per person, and the play is intended for mature audiences. For more information or to order tickets in advance, call 573-635-6713, email or visit If a performance is not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the door.