WHAT: Encore Theatre of Independence presents “Night Comes Early” by Burton Bumgarner (2015), directed by Sandy Dempsey and produced by special arrangement with Eldridge Publishing Company. The play won the 2015 Robert Pickering Award for playwriting excellence.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and May 11-12; 2 p.m. May 13.

WHERE: Sermon Center Powerhouse Theatre, 201 N. Dodgion St., Independence.

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $4 for children age 12-under and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 816-325-7367.

WHAT'S THE SHOW ABOUT: The director of the Moon Lake Community Theater, Missy Bailey, has dreamed about directing a production of the 1930s psychological melodrama/comedy “Night Comes Early.” As a teenager she saw a professional production, and it had a lasting impact. When her dream opportunity comes up, she encounters overwhelming obstacles: cast members who have psychological issues, don't know their lines and drop out at the last minute and workmen who can't finish building the set. No one is ready for opening night, and there's not even enough actors for the roles, but the show must go on. Actors constantly switch costumes and roles and workmen continue finishing the set – during the performance.

It's an absolute mess, but the audience seems to grow as the show continues, with viral videos fueling and internet sensation. Far from a melodrama, “Night Comes Early” is a fast-paced farce that shows the anxiety of a director, trying to mount a production that is well beyond the capabilities of her cast and crew. (from histage.com)