ABC Players To Present Western-Horror-Comedy Mashup This Weekend

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The ABC Player’s production of Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage is set for Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville.

The show’s author describes it as “a smart black comedy and ‘B’ western horror flick for the stage.” In fact, it’s a finely tuned send-up of all the old westerns and horror movies that form such an important part of our American culture.

If you like the classic true-blue cowboy heroes, you’ll enjoy the young rodeo champions Rob Bob, played by Jackson Savage, and Memphis Donnie Pride, played by Robert Rymer.

If you like scary horror villains, you’ll be right at home with Black Dog, a bad-to-the-bone biker played by Terrence J. Smith. Chad Kopenski plays Officer Baxter, the local Mayberry-style cop.

And then there are the entirely new characters like Big 8, a former rodeo cowgirl with healing powers, played by Kate Enger, and her sister and Baxter’s girlfriend, Shirl, played by Carol Ault.

But the most unusual character has to be Shedevil, played by Angela Blair. Shedevil is a twentysomething with piercings, unusually colored hair, and Tourette Syndrome who is on the run from Black Dog.

Live gunfire and simulated blood make Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage an appropriate Halloween treat. The show is directed by Gary Molina and sponsored by the Rocky Outdoor Gear Store.

The production runs for four performances only, starting at 8 p.m. on Oct. 30, 31, and Nov. 1, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2. Advance sale tickets are $10; $12 at the door; and student tickets are $7.

To purchase tickets, call Stuart’s Opera House at 740-753-2034 or visit

Photos by Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB Public Media