FAIRFIELD — The lights are on at the Solano College Theatre.
Starting next week, they’ll shine brightly for “A Golden Fleecing.” Eric “Rick” Bullis, a Virginia transplant and new instructor in the college’s theatre arts department, is directing the R. Eugene Jackson melodrama. Bullis is handling the directing and acting aspects of the program like his predecessor, George Maguire, who retired.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” he said of Maguire.
Bullis said he loves “A Golden Fleecing” for its humor, lightheartedness and “cheesy jokes.”
Dustin Robinson, Brandon Quillici and Ben Yee handle the duties as the Olio comedians who perform between the play’s scenes and acts. Before the show begins, the trio offers hints on theater etiquette, then delve into some cheesy jokes.
“This is one of the most fun plays I’ve ever done,” Bullis said. He directed it about 18 months ago in Virginia.
Fairfield’s Krystique Bright is enrolled in Bullis’ theater class. She read a monologue in class and secured the role of Crazy Clara, who stumbles into the recently inherited saloon of Sarah Sweetflower, the show’s heroine. Sweetflower takes Crazy Clara under her wing.
It’s Bright’s first time on stage.
“I always had an interest in it (acting),” she said. “I’m finally starting to come out of my shell.”
A fan of comedies, Bright, who works in the medical field, said the role is perfect for her.
“I don’t watch things like horror,” she said. “I like comedy and romance shows.”
Vacaville’s Henry Swenson plays the villain in “A Golden Fleecing.” This is his fifth show with Solano College Theatre.
“This has stretched my creativity,” he said of the role of Sly Scavenger. “I’m really enjoying the slapstick.”
Swenson’s inspiration for Scavenger came from two places: Alfred Molina, who played Snidely Whiplash in the film version of “Dudley-Do-Right,” mixed with a little Dr. Miguelito Loveless, the nemesis on “The Wild Wild West” TV show.
He had just started the school’s Actor Training Program when it was chopped in budget cuts. He didn’t walk away from acting, though, and credited the theater for putting his life back on track.