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Chaperone Confidential: Joan Coppinger is Mrs. Tottendale

Brimming with screwball comedy and show-stopping song and dance, Hickory Community Theatre proudly presents THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, playing in the Jeffers Theatre December 9th-17th.

Returning to the HCT stage, in her second tour of duty as the flighty but funny Mrs. Tottendale, is three-time Kay Award winner Joan "Joni" Coppinger.

An Ohio Buckeye by birth, Coppinger moved to Hickory nearly four decades ago. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, and is making the most of her retirement by taking piano and voice lessons, reading, and just enjoying the weather.

Coppinger made her HCT debut in QUILTERS in 1988. That production was the first of three Best Ensemble Kay Awards she would be part of, along with THE STREETS OF HICKORY and LES MISÉRABLES. She has also appeared at Hickory Community Theatre in THE PIRATE QUEEN, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, SISTER ACT and NUNSENSE. Coppinger is a member of The Guild at HCT, and expresses gratitude for all the friendships she's made over the years.

For Coppinger, this production represents her a second turn at a beloved character, wealthy wedding host Mrs. Tottendale, that she previously played at The Green Room Community Theatre. Says Coppinger, "It's such a fun show!" Her other area credits include THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Newton Performing Arts Center, INTO THE WOODS at Old Colony Players, and BRIGHT STAR at The Green Room Community Theatre.

Performances of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE are Fridays and Saturdays, December 9th through 17th at 7:30 PM; Sunday, December 11th at 2:30 PM; and, Thursday, December 15th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for youth and students.

Tickets are available online at, or by phone at 828-328-2283. The theatre box office is open from 12-5 PM Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before a performance.


THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is produced in association with Shurtape. The Hickory Community Theatre’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, SunBelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

(Photo: John Koval)

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