When Cheryl Herr-Rains read “Doctor’s Orders,” written in 1909 by Kurtz Gordon, she concluded, “That sounds like my hometown of Vienna.”

So that is now one of two plays being presented this week by the Vienna Historical Society, a community tradition now in its 35th year.

Herr-Rains seeks out lesser-known plays whose copyright has expired and adapts them for the stage of Vienna Union Hall, recently noteworthy for having upgraded its outhouse.

“I’m from Indiana originally, and I’m so pleased to be in a community that has lots of do-it-yourself community things going on,” Herr-Rains said. “I’m so honored. I don’t have a theatrical background or writing background, yet people are willing to step into role in a play that I’ve adapted and voluntarily make fools of themselves.”

Her husband, Mark Rains, is filming the performances.

“This particular play is about a woman who owns a department store, but it’s pre-women having the vote, so she can’t manage the store,” Herr-Rains said. “Her cousin manages the store, and he is basically wanting to steal the ownership.”

A second play, “Making Josie Jealous,” by Beverly Wight Smith, community playwright and historian, offers a slice of 1920s Vienna life, according Carole O’Connell, president of the Vienna Historical Society.

While Herr-Rains is also the stage designer and production manager, she also steps in when people run into difficulty creating their own costumes.

Several of the actors serve on various town boards. Muffy Floyd, for instance, is on the Vienna recycling and townhouse committees, and Clyde Dyar is a selectman in neighboring Mount Vernon.

Actors include O’Connell, Smith, Ellie Andrews, Andrea Dunn, Pam Bean, Steve Mallen, Matthew Dunn, Jim Wright, Dan Huettner, Judy Dunn, Barbara Gilman, Kitty Gee, Eileen Lord, and Allan Harville.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday at the Vienna Union Hall, 5 Vienna Mountain Road.

There’s also an audience warm-up featuring old-time songs.

Admission costs $6. The proceeds will benefit the Vienna Historical Society.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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