When deciding the fall production for the Depot Theater Company, director John Stuff wanted to bring the laughs.

"It is a script I read and subsequently directed at a theater in Monroe, Louisiana, more than 10 years ago," he said. "When I initially read a script, if I laugh out loud I know it’s a funny show.

"I laughed out loud numerous times when reading this script and again when thinking about the staging and all the sight gags we could incorporate."

According to Stuff, Dearly Departed is about a very dysfunctional family who is trying to plan and execute their father’s funeral after he drops dead at the breakfast table set "Somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line."

Stuff adds that, "The eldest son hates funerals and has a bit of a drinking problem and his wife has her own issues. The younger son has blown all his money on his pipe dream, much to the dismay of his nagging wife who gave up a musical career to marry him.

"The deceased’s sister is the ultra-religious member of the family who cannot believe all the problems that arise and her son just wants to listen to rock music and continue collecting unemployment checks.

"Somehow they all manage to come together to send 'Daddy-Bud' off in style, with only a little blood shed."

Dearly Departed will have a cast and crew total of 24 with 14 in the cast and 10 part of the crew.

Stuff also said there will be volunteers helping in the kitchen, box office and theater.

"The actors include several veterans who have appeared in many Depot productions," Stuff said, "As well as several people making their debut on the Depot stage in this production."

Dearly Departed will open its doors at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a matinee show starting at noon on Sunday.

Tickets are $55 for dinner and the show, $40 for show only. Call 620-225-1001 for tickets.

The production will return on Oct. 5 and conclude for the fall on Oct. 8.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com