Ripcord: Taking the Leap Together

By Beth James, KLT VP of Volunteer Relations

Imagine you like to be alone in the sunny room at the senior living facility where you live, and over the years life has led you to an attitude of grumpiness that causes others to prefer not being in your company. Then imagine how you would feel when an annoyingly (to you) positive and happy roommate is suddenly forced on you. And your new roommate really wants that bed by the window and will do just about anything to get it. And she means anything! So you make a bet with this new roommate, winner takes the bed by the window. Throw in a haunted house, sky-diving, various relatives, a frustrated actor/resident aide, and other moments of hijinks, and there is Ripcord, the first show of the 2023/24 season for Kernersville Little Theatre.

Ripcord was written by David Lindsay-Abaire, most recently in the spotlight for winning 2023 Tony awards for Best Musical, Best Book, and co-writing the Best Score for Kimmy Akimbo, the current hit musical on Broadway. He is also known for winning a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his 2007 play, Rabbit Hole (which went on to be an Oscar-winning film starring Nicole Kidman). He also wrote the book and lyrics for Shrek the Musical, a long-time Broadway hit and presented by Kernersville Little Theatre in 2019. While Ripcord is not as well-known as other shows typically performed in community theatres, there is hope that audiences will take a chance on a show they are not familiar with, and will enjoy it.

Kernersville Little Theatre is excited to be starting the 2023/24 season with this unique, character-driven comedy. Rehearsals are under way with the stellar group of actors. The two leads, Abby and Marilyn, are being played by two stage veterans.  KLT stalwart Myla O’Brien, who was most recently seen on the stage in Dixie Swim Club in 2018, but has since directed A Christmas Carol and Blithe Spirit, and has produced several other shows, is taking on the role of proverbially grumpy Abby. Chipper Marilyn will be played by Maryl Wilson, who while new to the KLT stage, has been involved with numerous other shows and community theatre companies in the Triad for a number of years, and currently serves on the board of directors at Camel City Playhouse in Winston-Salem.

Other cast members include several local favorites, including Pam Barrans (last on stage as Officer O’Hara in Arsenic and Old Lace and directing Into the Woods), Archie Collins (Sherlock Holmes himself in Sherlock Holmes and The Baker Street Irregulars in 2022 as well as other characters locally), Michael Mickiewicz (last seen as Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace), and Ryan Hendricks (most recently Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods). These actors all take on multiple roles to round out the ensemble of characters.

The main production team for Ripcord is also filled with a myriad of Triad community theatre veterans. First time KLT director, Zach Pfrimmer has a degree in directing from UNCG, and is very much looking forward to bringing this quirky and funny show to the stage and to the Kernersville community. He has been an actor, singer, dancer, choreograph – the list goes on – on Triad stages for over twenty years. Stage Manager, John Shea, has been involved with multiple local theatres as an actor and sound director, among other things, and is thrilled to be back with KLT. A dozen or more other volunteers are involved with everything from set building to costumes to hair and make-up. 

But there are always more tasks to do and more folks needed to do them! If you would like to volunteer for this – or any – show with Kernersville Little Theatre, please visit their website at To purchase tickets for Ripcord, any upcoming shows (Mama Won’t Fly, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), please go to All performances will be held in the Fitzpatrick Auditorium at Kernersville Elementary School, 512 West Mountain Street in Kernersville. 

Ripcord opens on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 7:30 PM. Other performances will be held on Saturday, September 16, also at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 PM, as well as the following weekend (September 22 through 24) at the same times. Tickets can be pre-purchased through ThunderTix (see above) for a slightly discounted price, or at the door. Cash, credit/debit cards, and checks are accepted at the door. Prices: Online – Adults – $18, Seniors (60+)/Students – $16, Children – $8; At-the Door – $20, $18, $8. Season flex pass tickets are $62 for Adults and $54 for Seniors/Students.  Flex passes can be ordered online, by phone, or email. Each season flex pass includes four tickets to be used for admission to any play. All ticket prices include NC state sales tax. Season flex passes are only available for a limited time, so be sure to order yours soon. 

Questions? Call 336-993-6556 or email (Please note:  Minor language and adult situations; recommended for ages 13 and above.)

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