NEW MADRID - "Trick or Treat" describes Sherry
Burton's life recently.
The trick is balancing her work, her home life and her
roles as director and actor in the upcoming production
by the Dixie Drama Players. The treat will be when the
curtain rises Saturday and Sunday on the first adult
theater production in several years by the Dixie Arts
And "Trick or Treat" is the name of the Halloween
comedy set for 1 p.m. Saturday and again at 2 p.m.
The production, while featuring adults, is designed
for the entire family. In fact, Burton said she hopes
the cast won't be the only ones in costumes, but that
the audience, especially children, will come attired
"We thought it would be interesting to do something
for the holiday and we thought the kids would enjoy
dressing up for the performances too," she explained.
Youngsters who wear costumes will be eligible for
prizes at the end of the performances.
But the real prize will be the play.
Describing it as a spooky comedy, Burton said the plot
revolves around two sisters (one of which she plays)
and their move into an abandoned home they intend to
turn into a bed and breakfast. The cast of characters
includes a local historian who believes she is a
witch, a scarecrow, an escaped prisoner and a rich
The action is just a little scary with lots of laughs
interspersed, advised Burton. She said youngsters will
pick up on the comedy as well as adults and promised a
Tackling her first production as a director/actor is
difficult said Burton but it is a role she relishes. "There are a lot more nervous nights," she said with a
laugh. "But I'm a take-charge kind of person. I'm more
confident things are going to be done in the right
She credits her sister, Lori, who is serving as
co-director as well as a cast member, with helping her
get things done. Also she praised the work of the
other cast and crew members.
Burton said she hopes the production will inspire
others to become involved as the Dixie Arts Council
works to revive the Dixie Drama Players. She would
like to see the drama troupe perform plays, featuring
casts of youngsters as well as adults and already is
planning to direct a play next year featuring
"If everyone sees how well this goes maybe they will
want to do it too," said Burton. "The main reason I
became involved is because it gives my children
something to do. This is family entertainment. It is
something parents and children can enjoy together on
the stage or in the audience."
The director emphasized involvement in the Dixie Drama
Players is much easier than most people realize. For
"Trick or Treat" rehearsals were limited to two hours
a week until the week of the play, when the pace
"You can dedicate as much or as little time as you
want," she said. "And if they aren't the actor or
actress type that doesn't mean there isn't anything
they can do to help. It takes a lot of people to put a
The community theater group also needs people to serve
behind the scenes running the lights and sound board,
assisting with props or building sets, Burton said.
Tina Williams was one of those who thought about being
in a play but explained she always was too scared to
try out. When Burton discovered she needed someone for
the role of Aunt Wilma she persuaded Williams to go on
"I really didn't volunteer," said Williams. "I was
nervous at first, but I'm getting better. It's not
scary any more but that might be a different story the
night we have to do it."
Most of all, Williams said, it is fun.
Burton points out the Dixie Drama Players isn't just
for New Madrid residents. The current production
includes people from Sikeston and Lilbourn as well as
the local community and she would like even more area
residents to become involved.
Those who would like to join the Dixie Drama Players
can call Burton at 748-5855.