Spotlight Core Presents ‘The Champagne Charlie Stakes’ in October

This fall, CEPA is excited to announce a new leader for its Spotlight Drama Education and Outreach Program, and a stage production to celebrate her arrival.

A New Program Coordinator

In August, Ash Arrington, a graduate of The University of Alabama’s Theater Program and former Spotlight Moody Club member, began working as Assistant Director and Spotlight Program Coordinator for The Center for Education and Performing Arts in Pell City.

Arrington brings with her a deep understanding of the Spotlight Program’s goals and mission, as she has been heavily involved in the organization for more than five years, serving as an event coordinator and Summer Camp director.

CEPA Assistant Director and Spotlight Program Coordinator Ash Arrington

“Ash brings an exciting vision to the Spotlight Program,” CEPA Executive Director Jeff Thompson said. “She has shown time and again the ability to create fantastic works on the stage, and I’m thrilled that her focus on education, inclusion, and quality will be on display at the Center for the foreseeable future.”

In her new role, Arrington intends to maximize the organization’s reach into the St. Clair County arts community to bring more people together locally around their love of the performing arts. Currently, the Spotlight program helps more than 400 people across eight school or community drama Clubs produce plays at CEPA.

“In Spotlight, every person has a chance to find and focus on something they love about theater,” Arrington said. “I want to help people of all ages reach their goals in the arts, and CEPA offers an incredible variety of ways to do just that.”

Arrington is an accomplished actor and director, and her directorial debut arrives at CEPA on Oct. 7-9 with “The Champagne Charlie Stakes”. The play, which is a production by the Spotlight Core Club, will be free and open to the public. Donations are welcome, and any donation received will support the Spotlight Program and its projects both on and off the stage.

I want to help people of all ages reach their goals in the arts, and CEPA offers an incredible variety of ways to do just that.

Spotlight Program Coordinator Ash Arrington

The Champagne Charlie Stakes

“The Champagne Charlie Stakes” focuses on a very special day at the racetrack, where “Champagne” Charlie, a race-track regular, has the sixth race named in his honor. A dreamer and a teller of tale tales, Charlie is accompanied by his wife of many years, Mary Lee, an incurable romantic, who is still very much in love with her charismatic husband.

They are joined by Jackie, a family friend and racetrack bookie, and their daughter Mary, a teacher and the realist in the family, who has nervously invited along her long-time boyfriend, Paul, to finally meet her parents. Since this is such a special day, Charlie conspires with Jackie to place the bet of his life – his entire meager savings – on a long-shot hunch.

This sometimes tense but heartwarming comedic drama stars

  • Larry Korneghy
  • Dianne Korneghy
  • Michael Dillard
  • Ginny Park
  • Beth Ann Agerton.

Performances will be Oct. 6-7 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 3 p.m.

CEPA and Spotlight are supported in 2022 by The City of Pell City, Pell City Schools, St. Clair County Schools, Trussell Funderburg Rea Bell and Furgerson, Goodgame Company, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Current Spotlight Clubs

  • Spotlight Core (Adult)
  • Spotlight Kids
  • Pell City High School
  • Moody High School
  • St. Clair County High School
  • Ashville High School
  • Victory Christian School
  • Jefferson State Community College