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8:35 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

Blue Rose brings life of Buckey O'Neill to the stage








Courtesy
William Owen O’Neill got his nickname “Buckey” from his tendency to  “buck the tiger” in the gambling game Faro.

Courtesy William Owen O’Neill got his nickname “Buckey” from his tendency to “buck the tiger” in the gambling game Faro.

Soldier, gambler, husband - the life of William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill comes to life in new play by Jodie Drake, opening this weekend at the Sharlot Hall Museum's Blue Rose Theater.

"Few know of O'Neill's personal character - one of brilliance, nervous energy, and a need to experience the unknown," Drake writes in a plot description.

O'Neill obtained the "Buckey" name, which his wife Pauline reportedly despised, from the gambling game of Faro, in which O'Neill often pulled the risky move of "bucking the tiger."

The play takes place in O'Neill's home before he leaves for Cuba, and portrays his life before he became a soldier.

Zack Folkstead plays O'Neill.

Irisa Kennedy, Folkstead's real-life girlfriend, plays Pauline, while Bunny Sherman plays Pauline in later years, looking back on the last night they spent together.

"I really realize that it has become my anti-war statement," Drake said, explaining that the drama recreates the arguments Pauline makes to her husband not to go to Cuba.

Drake said after his death, Pauline threw all of his guns down a well.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5, at the Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley.

Following evening performances are scheduled for Sept. 6, 12 and 13, two 2 p.m. shows Sept. 6 and 13, and a 6:30 p.m. show on Sept. 11.

Tickets are $12, $10 for museum members, and are on sale at the Sharlot Hall Museum Store.