Georgia Southern University’s student theater group The Masquers is set to bring The Great American Trailer Park Musical to the stage starting April 11. The show is a comedy that centers around an exclusive Florida trailer park called Armadillo Acres and its quirky residents.
“My character’s name is Betty, and she owns the trailer park,” cast member Pandora Crumpton tells Connect. “The story centers around Jeannie Garsecki, who hasn’t left her trailer in over 20 years, her husband Norbert, and a woman named Pipi who’s new to Armadillo Acres. She brings with her a ton of chaos and destruction, along with an ex-boyfriend.”
Other characters who are central to the story include Pickles, who is hysterically pregnant, and Linoleum - a woman currently awaiting her husband’s release from jail on parole.
The show, which has been described by the New York Sun as “South Park meets Desperate Housewives,” is just one of a few productions that Crumpton has participated in as part of The Masquers. Her love of acting was something that came about more recently, in fact.
“When I was a freshman I started out as a psychology major,” she explains. “And then I auditioned for the school’s musical last Spring, and it actually made me change my major to performance. So now I’m a performance theater major and I’m a part of all of the shows. I always want to be part of them, whether I’m in the cast or crew.”
It was during her first performance in her first show with the school that she realized her change of passion and made the decision to switch paths.
“I really felt like I nailed that performance. Afterwards, the adrenaline rush was so intense that it made me stop and consider that this was really what I wanted to be doing with my life,” Crumpton says. “I realized that this was my passion.”
One of the the things that Crumpton says she loves the most about her character in The Great American Trailer Park Musical is that Betty is “a badass.”
“She doesn’t care what anyone thinks or says. She will cuss you out, and doesn’t care who’s around or watching. But she also cares about everyone and has a lot of love.” Playing the role, however, comes with the unique challenge of portraying an older woman.
“She’s older, and it’s harder for me to portray an older woman because I’m still learning my art. It can be a challenge,” she says with a laugh.
Crumpton says she has big aspirations for the rest of her time at Georgia Southern and beyond.
“I want to eventually be in films. That’s the dream,” she says. “But I want to learn about the stuff that I can do behind the scenes as well, like building sets. That way, when I do graduate and get out into the field, there won’t be a limit. I’ll always have opportunities.”