Chapel Perilous

By Christen Hailey

Directed by Chris Holcom

Jul. 19 – 29, 2012

Thu. – Sat. 10pm, Sun. 6pm

Tickets: $15; $10 option for Jobsite season ticket holders.

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Fraternal twins Mae and Jake own a dodgy beach bar and massage parlor. When they learn that Category 4 Hurricane Esmerelda is on the way, they do what comes naturally: throw a party and sing some karaoke. However, the forces of chaos, destruction, unrequited love, and poisonous hotdogs threaten to ruin everything. Chapel Perilous, directed by Jobsite Artistic Associate Chris Holcom, offers a disturbing and hilarious take on the well-known Florida tradition of hurricane parties.

Budding Tampa playwright Christen Hailey began work on this play during the summer of 2009. A lifelong Florida resident (and hostess of several of her own hurricane parties), the playwright wanted to bring to the stage that curious combination of good times, dread, uncertainty, powerlessness, alcohol and card games inherent in the atmosphere of the hurricane party.

“I think that I have created a new genre – the disaster comedy,” said Hailey. “This genre allows for a heightened sense of urgency for the love story, a recklessness to the comedy, and turns a booze-fueled insult fest into a life-or-death situation.”

Many of the situations, places and characters in Chapel Perilous are based on real events and people. Hailey was also inspired by a book published in 1997, Tampa Triangle: Dead Zone, about the many stories of paranormal activity in the Tampa Bay Area. “I wanted to write a play that has it all – a lesbian love story, comedy, singing, dance numbers, aliens, mobsters, strippers – things that the residents of Tampa Bay see every day and take in stride.”

“The play partially revolves around the love story between Mae and Barra, the bartender,” states Chris Holcom, director of previous Jobsite Theater hits such as The Odd Couple and Night of the Living Dead. “But it also touches on the secrets parents keep from their children, the complexities of the sibling relationship, paganism, the origins of Tarot, and mythology of the Holy Grail. It really does have something for everyone.”

  • Chris Holcom – Director
  • Christen Hailey – Playwright
  • Matthew Ray – Stage Manager


  • Jonathon Carter – Billy
  • Katie Castonguay – NBLA #1
  • Jason Evans – Jake
  • Jaime Giangrande-Holcom – Barra
  • Caroline Jett – Lady Miss E
  • Paul McColgan – Adam
  • Stevan Polanski – Satanic KJ
  • Jessy Quinones – NBLA #2
  • Nicole Jeannine Smith – Mae


  • Katherine Derrick – Poster Artist
  • Shaun Hailey – Sound Designer
  • Christen Hailey – Costume Designer
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic/Lighting Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Assistant
  • Margo Stewart – Asst. Stage Manager / Run Crew
Jessy Quinones, Caroline Jett and Katie Castonguay in Jobsite's Chapel Perilous.

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