CEPA and Spotlight Present “Fine by Mourning”

In partnership with Jefferson State, CEPA will bring a local story to life on stage and in film this spring

“Fine by Mourning” is an original script written by local Spotlight students. Playwrights Jenna and Abby Kelley have performed in or worked behind the scenes on multiple productions for Spotlight and Spotlight Studio. Those experiences encouraged them to craft an amazing script that the entire Spotlight family is coming together to bring to life.

In Spring 2023, CEPA and Spotlight will partner with Jefferson State Community College to produce the theatrical version of “Fine by Mourning.” Live performances will be held March 31-April 2 at the Center for Performing Arts in Pell City, AL.

Simultaneously, Spotlight Studio will adapt the script into a feature-length film. This process will provide numerous educational opportunities for students in the program to receive hands-on experience on a professional film set. The stage adaptation will be directed by Lesley Warren and Ash Arrington, and the film version will be helmed by experienced director and Pell City resident Joshua Briggs.

Spotlight and CEPA have consistently sought to provide the space and resources necessary to foster creativity in an otherwise underserved community. CEPA has taken steps to include content creation education with its other projects within Spotlight Studio, but this is leaps and bounds larger than anything the company has pursued before.

“It’s a rare opportunity to have a play of this caliber be created locally, and we’re thrilled it’s been made available to our theater company,” CEPA Director Jeff Thompson said. “I expect this to be one of the most influential and fascinating projects our Club members have ever participated in. I strongly encourage our community to join us in producing something truly special in 2023.”

About the Playwrights

Virginia “Jenna” Kelley is a current student at Jefferson State studying theatre. She has been at CEPA for a year and a half and enjoyed being in heart-touching projects like SEM;COLON and Spotlight Core’s Radium Girls. She also enjoys bringing laughter to audiences with her work in comedies such as A Christmas Story the Musical and Sherlock Holmes and the 1st Baker Street Irregulars. Jenna has been writing for five years but this is her first script and she is stoked to have her work brought to the CEPA stage. She enjoys being with her family, reading, writing, and, of course, theatre. She extends her thanks to everyone who has encouraged her and worked to move her debut script from paper to stage!

Abigail “Abby” Kelley is an aspiring science teacher. She is currently in her senior year of high school. Abby has been with CEPA for a year and a half- contributing to shows such as, Radium Girls, Sherlock Holmes and the 1st Baker Street Irregulars, A Christmas Story, and SEM;COLON. She is a Dual Enrollment student at Jefferson State and will attend Troy University in the fall of 2023. In her pass time, she likes to read, paint, and listen to music, as well as study and act! She also enjoys spending time with her cats, Mouse and Waffle, in her down time. She wants to give thanks to her three older sisters and mother who helped her grow into the person she is today!

Cast of “Fine By Mourning”

  • Atticus – Jacob Call
  • Lola – Lesley Warren
  • Cessair – Anna Crosson
  • Priya – Hana Givens
  • Cody – West Key
  • Aaron – Cole Castleberry
  • Caris – Gabby Wood
  • Dr. Galen – Kevin Towns
  • Interviewer – Ryl Sahawneh

In addition to performance roles, we will have many areas for residents and Club members to get involved in set, tech and stage support positions. Multiple learning opportunities in digital content production are also available. Join a team by emailing Spotlight Program Coordinator Ash Arrington at [email protected] or Jeff Thompson at [email protected].