Community Music

Cabaret performance benefits teen with cancer

(Featured photo: Members of Going Karen on Cancer at a recent rehearsal. Photo courtesy Dustin Turner)

Jamie Turner’s mom instinct kicked into high gear when she learned that the teenage daughter of a friend had cancer.

“When her dad told me about the diagnosis, the first thing I thought was this girl has so much in common with Abigail,” said Turner whose daughter Abigail is 16.

Wanting to help the family not only financially but to lift their spirits, Turner contacted some of her theater friends to put together Going Karen on Cancer, a cabaret-style show with songs of hope and encouragement.

The name is a nod to Karen, the 18-year-old who was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Abigail Turner will be part of Down by the River to Pray from O Brother, Where Art Thou? as well as Here Comes the Sun.

Abigail said she wanted to be involved with the production because she would hope that people would be willing to do the same for her or her friends if they were in the same situation.

The willingness of strangers to give of their time and talent has touched the family, according to Jamie Turner.

“The whole family is humbled by complete strangers wanting to help,” she said. “In theater, what’s important to one of us is important to all of us.”

She’s excited about the show and the other cast members. Their names should be familiar to anyone who has seen theater productions in Edgefield or Aiken in recent years.

The Turners will be joined on stage by Karlton Timmerman, Tatum Hanna, Whitney McDonald, Cara Doolittle, Kyla Maul and Rachel Hatfield. The Main Street Players will also be performing a sneak peek of their opening musical, Gilligan’s Island: The Musical, directed by Bradley Watts.

“The impetus of reaching out to the people I did is that I know we have had great chemistry together in all of the shows we’ve done together,” she said.

Turner has invited Karen and her family to attend, but if she is unable, then the show will be recorded so the family can view it.

Going Karen on Cancer will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, and Saturday, Aug. 26, and at 3 p.m. Aug. 27, at the Discovery Center, 405 Main Street, Edgefield. The event is produced by the Edgefield County Historical Society and Main Street Players. Tickets are $25 and are available online here or at the door.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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