Wimberley Players in Bright Ideas at the Wimberley Playhouse in July and August

The line between doting parenthood and excessive parental zeal can be a fine one, as theatre goers will see when Bright Ideas, a dark comedy by Eric Coble, opens at the Wimberley Playhouse on July 27.

Genevra and Joshua Bradley are trying to get their son into the "right" pre-school that will set him on the path to a shining career and lifelong happiness. As Mac's fourth birthday approaches, they have made it to the top of the waiting list at the Bright Ideas Early Childhood Development Academy but still don't have a spot.

The Bradleys are willing to help fate move along. Genevra's single-mom colleague, Denise, is invited to have dinner with them. (If only Denise's son, a Bright Ideas student, had to go live out of town with his father, a place in the academy would become available for Mac.) Perhaps a plate of pesto could make the difference.

Bright Ideas features an ensemble cast that plays multiple roles. Rachel McGinnis, recently seen at the Playhouse as daughter Elizabeth in Divorce Southern Style, plays the role of Genevra. Rachel is a graduate of the theater program at Northwestern University and a member of the Screen Actor's Guild. Husband Josh is played by Chris Higgins, who portrayed Thomas Jefferson in the Playhouse's recent show 1776. Whitney Marlett Mollahan plays Denise, the drama specialist and administrator at Bright Ideas. Whitney appeared in the Players' production of Season's Greetings, and directed Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks last year.

Perry Redden plays a father, an airline steward and a coach. Perry is a musician, singer and short skits performer. The parts of two mothers, an enunciation specialist, and a Bright Ideas teacher are played by Ashley Rhodes, a theater major at Texas State University. Trisha Teig takes on the roles of a teacher, two other mothers, the assistant to Genevra's boss, and Bix, the Blast-a-Thon Beaver. Trisha has a BA in Theater from McMurry University in Abilene.

Shirley Marlett, director, is well-known to Wimberley Players theater goers. She was most recently seen in Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, and has also appeared in Butterflies are Free, Lettice and Lovage, and The Drunkard. She has directed many plays for the Players and has served twice as president of the Players' board. Payton Lawrence, assistant director, has Broadway experience and has worn many hats in Players' productions. Producer of Bright Ideas is Nancy Marlett, a newcomer to the Players scene.

The dark comedy will run weekends from July 27, 2007 to August 12 at the Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Road. Performances are 8:00 on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 on Sundays. The opening night reception on July 27th will begin at 7:00 p.m. with wine and hors d'oeuvres in the lobby. An after-show reception follows the performance.

Bright Ideas is recommended for age 17 up. Tickets can be reserved by phone starting July 16 by calling 847-0575. Beginning July 23, tickets are available at the theatre box office Monday through Friday from 1:00-5:00. All tickets are $15 except Opening Night ($20). Visa and Mastercard are accepted.