Jim Hallett cast as Mitch Albom, right, acts out an animated scene with Joe Schulz, playing the role of Morrie Schwartz, in the upcoming play “Tuesdays with Morrie.” (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Jim Hallett cast as Mitch Albom, right, acts out an animated scene with Joe Schulz, playing the role of Morrie Schwartz, in the upcoming play “Tuesdays with Morrie.” (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Olympic Theatre Arts presents show filled with love, loss and life lessons

SEQUIM — Audiences can prepare to laugh, cry and learn life lessons with the upcoming play “Tuesdays with Morrie” written by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher.

The show opens at 7:30 tonight at Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Jan. 26-27.

Matinees are also scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 28.

Tickets are $12 per adult and $10 per student.

For tickets, go to http://olympictheatrearts.org/OTA/, call 360-683-7326 or visit the box office between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The play retells Albom’s best-selling memoir about his encounter with former sociology professor Morrie Schwartz during the final weeks of his life.

Director Britni Alleman-DeLorenzi and actors Jim Hallett and Joe Schulz all said this script and storyline contain experiences people from all walks of life can relate to.

“The whole play is life lesson after life lesson,” Alleman-DeLorenzi said.

Alleman-DeLorenzi has several years of acting and stage managing experience and a degree in theater arts. She is excited to direct her first play for Olympic Theatre Arts and this play in particular.

“Joe’s humor is incredible,” Alleman-DeLorenzi said.

“He’s just a joy to watch. And Jim is going to take them on an emotional journey.”

Hallett, who held office as former mayor of Port Angeles, Port Angeles City Council member and Port of Port Angeles commissioner is playing the role of Mitch Albom, a former student of Morrie Schwartz who had lost touch with his favorite professor.

Hallett said this is his first performance in Sequim but he has experience acting in several shows at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse.

He said this play is one of his favorite stories and he is able to relate to his character from a similar experience.

“I had a personal experience with somebody where we didn’t meet on Tuesdays, we met on Wednesdays before he died,” Hallett said.

He said his 37-year-old character Mitch goes through a major change from the beginning of the show to the end.

“There’s a transformation of my character from Mr. Know-it-all and I’m invincible to where I finally figure out what (Morrie) meant by ‘I’ll talk and you listen.’ ”

Schulz went to acting school in the early 1970s and went through a long hiatus of 30 years without performing to work in the military and the weather service. It was in the past several years he came back to acting and was last seen on OTA’s stage as Beebe in “The Explorer’s Club.”

He is cast as 78-year-old Morrie, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Schulz also said he can relate to the situations and emotions expressed in the play.

“My mom had gone through [a similar experience] a couple of years ago where her health was very similar,” Schulz said.

“So when I read the play I didn’t identify with being Morrie,” he said. “But I identified with what he was going through because of my mom.”

When Mitch goes to visit Morrie every Tuesday, the two begin to rekindle their friendship and Morrie tries to remind Mitch of his true potential and the person he should strive to be.

“The audience is going to laugh, they’re going to cry and they’re going to want more,” Alleman-DeLorenzi said.

________

Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].

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