The doctor is in

READING -- "Take Your Medicine," the Reading Community Players' latest comedic dinner theater performance, was designed to tickle audience members' funny bones.

"Take your medicine" cast
The 17-member cast of the Reading Community Theater presents "Take Your Medicine" at the Reading Community Center. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

READING -- "Take Your Medicine," the Reading Community Players' latest comedic dinner theater performance, was designed to tickle audience members' funny bones.

The doctor is in, starting with a catered dinner at 5:30 p.m., with the performance beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as April 3 and 4, at the Reading Community Center.

"We are on stage to make people forget about their troubles and to laugh, and just have a great time," said Karen Feit, long-time actress with the Reading Community Players. "Basically, we sacrifice our own dignity for the enjoyment of (the audience)."

In "Take Your Medicine," wealthy banker Henry Dodson (Chip Peters) is admitted to the hospital with vague symptoms. Unfortunately, the local doctor is out of town, leaving the head nurse, Miss Holt (Wanda Larson) in charge. Meanwhile, the hospital fills to its capacity and the banker is forced to share his room with Jonathan Puckett (Bruce Brunk).

With the arrival of Dodson's niece (Kelli Burkard) and her fiancé (Bill Jackson), an innocent deception causes routine hospital procedures to devolve into wacky chaos.


"We don't care if we make fools of ourselves for your enjoyment," Feit said with a grin.

This is the tenth production for the Reading Community Players, which started with "Little Red Schoolhouse." Originally, Feit and Larson decided to do a play, and offered tryouts for four hours.

Not a single person came.

Instead of giving up, though, Feit and Larson decided to just ask people to participate. They had no trouble finding people to join in that way, and 10 years later they still have enough people and support to put on a play every year.

Feit, Larson, and two others, Tom Feit and Al Madison, have been in every show. Many of the other players are also "repeat offenders" who take new parts every year.

"We all get along. It's like family," Feit said. "We basically live here, starting in January."

Originally, the Players, their families and volunteers made the dinners for the show, but it became too difficult as the shows became more and more popular and the audience got larger and larger. Now the dinners are catered by Hi-Lo Club each year and the audience has continued to grow.

Sandy Wood, director, said she chose "Take Your Medicine" because it is funny.


"Last year (our play) was really good... it's hard to come up with either an equal production or something better," Wood said, adding that the play's setting, a hospital room, was also attractive. Many previous shows have had a living room setting.

More than 800 people saw last year's show, "The One That Got Away," and Feit hopes for an even larger audience this year. Because the Reading Community Center has moved bingo to another room, there is enough room for a larger audience.

Profits from the performance usually go toward improvements to the Reading Community Center. Prior projects have included installing new wiring in the kitchen, purchasing a freezer and buying padded chairs for the play's audience to sit on.

"We always try to do a community thing. We want to put it back in the community," Feit said. "We want our center to be here for generations to come."

For tickets, call 478-4260 or 372-7223.

Visit to view additional photos of a dress rehearsal of "Take Your Medicine."

"Take your medicine"
Reading Community Theater cast members (from left) Marla Somnis, Al Madison, Nicole Burkard, Bruce Brunk and Amy Stefferud rehearse for "Take Your Medicine" at the school in Reading. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

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