‘Heaven Sent’ wraps this week at Easley’s Foothills Playhouse

EASLEY — Tommy Sorrels gives his all on stage.
The veteran actor has been featured in 37 different local productions, many of which have been on his home stage at the Easley Foothills Playhouse.
Among his favorite roles have been “Foxfire,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and the mayor in “The Music Man.” In total, Sorrels has been involved with 87 productions, either on stage, constructing the set, or working behind the scenes.
But his role in the current Foothills Playhouse production of “Heaven Sent” may be the most challenging of his career on stage.
Sorrels plays Samuel Langley, a bitter recluse who lives on the edge of Ravaloe, Ky., in 1933, during the Great Depression. Langley was raised in a strict religious sect, where he was cheated and disgraced by his pious brethren. He fled the cult and settled in the tight-knit southern community of Ravaloe.
Langley kept his “fortune” hidden in his cabin, yet one night during an epileptic fit, he is robbed of his money. Langley uses home herb medicine to make it through his difficult life.
After a young child who has been abandoned by her parents, finds her way to his door, Langley experiences a renewal in life. A lady from the nearby village works with him so that he can keep the child, who has inspired such a renewal in spirit.
Sorrels knew this role was coming and let his hair grow out so he could give a more accurate portrayal of the anti-social Langley.
Over the years, Sorrels has worked with director Jimmy O. Burdette several times, and he respects Burdette’s dedication.
“He’s got a greenhouse,” Sorrels said. “And anything he owns, he will bring it, and it will become part of the set.”
The play is loosely based on the novel “Silas Mariner” by George Elliot.
It describes a troubled man’s redemption through the simple needs of an innocent child.
The play was the winner in 2009’s Appalachian Playwright’s Festival at the Barte’s Theatre in Abington, Va.
“I hope the play portrays Samuel’s redemption with compassion, humor and an honest depiction of man’s need to love and be loved in return,” playwright Rick Whelan said.
The cast includes Josie Merck, Edgar Rainey, Andre Marcondes, Matt Harris, Beth Bowen, Tim Spears Jr., Tim Spears Sr., Sabrina Robinson, Stu Adamo, Lisa Burns, Myckal “Spyder” Yeargin, Dylan Lawter, Lindsey Loparo and Evie Seitz.
The play concludes its run this weekend, with shows set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a matinee finale at 3 p.m. Sunday.
To make reservations, call the playhouse at 855-1817.