WAYLAND — I never knew Marylee Shappee, but I see the impact she left on those who loved her.

 

Marylee Shappee was a teacher, mentor, and friend to generations of drama club students.

 

Her students have spent the last three decades honoring her memory by performing for the community they all call home.

The Wayland Community Players had their second showing of “Virgil and The City Slickers” by Eddie McPherson on March 3.

 

I like to think that if Shappee were alive to see the passion and love her students pour into her honor that she would be deeply moved by it.

 

This was so much more than a group of people coming together to spread joy to the community. It was about carrying the torch for a person who meant the world to so many people.

 

Ed “Butch” Perkowski was meant to have a part in the play, but due to health reasons he had to decline. To honor his stage debut that could’ve been the performers put a photo of him on the set.

 

“Virgil and The City Slickers” is a gut busting comedy that allows country folk to make fun of themselves in a light-hearted way.

 

Melissa Meyer and Jody Tonkery always steal the show with their quick wit and ability to embrace the audience.

 

Other veteran actors like Mark May, Keryn Shaver, and Janet Heiman, and Mike Sick pulled out all of the stops to honor their favorite teacher.

 

Chase Weber, Jessica Martin, and Michelle Wilcox add that fresh look to the stage.

 

Newcomers Treva Walker, Diane Hamsher, and Reynolds held their own against the veteran cast.

 

Laurie Baverstock and Stacy Menz came back after having so much fun last year.

 

The cast consists of Assistant Director Keryn Shaver, Jody Tonkery, Laurie Baverstock, Mark May, Jessica Martin, Stacy Menz,Janet Heiman, Melissa Meyer,Chase Weber, Michelle Wilcox, and newcomers Diane Hamsher, Steve Reynolds, and Treva Stone Walker.

 

The last show is March 10 with a dinner at 6 p.m. and the show starts around 7:30 p.m. All proceeds go to the Marylee Shappee Scholarship Award and Wayland American Legion Charities.