Debbie Fryer said the acting bug bit her when she watched her older brother act in a high school play.
Intimidation kept her from trying out for a play until her late 20s. Now, 30 years later, she has been in about 50 productions.
This weekend she will wrap up Always…Patsy Cline, which began shows April 20 with The Edgefield County Theatre Company.
Fryer plays the role of Louise Seger, a huge fan of Patsy Cline’s, who ultimately became good friends with the singer. Out of all the roles she has played, Fryer said Seger has captured her heart.
“She is just a fun character to play,” she said. “She makes you do it all – sing, laugh, cry and then she makes you laugh again.”
The show sold out the first two weekends.
“It has been so wonderfully received,” she said, adding that it has great music, a great script and a great story.
“You can’t leave there not feeling good,” she said. “There is a lot of foot stomping, hand clapping and sing-alongs. It is just a great story of friendship and I guess that’s why it clicks with the audience.”
She said it’s enjoyable to just be able to go to the theater, put any troubles behind and just laugh.
Fryer, originally from Louisville, Ky., said she has performed with 11 theater groups in six states.
“It’s just a great way to meet people and be silly being somebody other than yourself,” she said.
She said she tends to do more comedies or musicals that put a smile on people’s faces.
“I love to make people laugh,” she said.
Theater requires a supportive family, she said, noting that her husband, Don, is very supportive and attends most of her shows along with her mom, Wilma Cox.
When Fryer isn’t acting, she enjoys reading, golf, walking and traveling.
Other members of the show, directed by Bradley Watts, include Melissa McElmurray, who portrays Cline, and band members Joanne Painter, Carey Nicholson and Daniel McElmurray.
The play is being held Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets for the show at the William Miller Bouknight Theatre at the Joanne T. Rainsford Discovery Center on Main Street in Edgefield cost $20. For more information about the play, call (803) 637-3833.