July 6, 7, 13 & 14

7 p.m. nightly

At a new location!


Stanly Hall,

305-B Pollock St. New Bern, NC

Order your tickets


The pictures below are of Stanly Hall, located on the second floor above the Rivertowne Ballroom. An elevator entrance to the ballroom is located on Craven Street. 

"Short Live The Queen!"

Meet some gangsters of the Middle Ages

Pictured above, left to right: Lady Bella of Morehead, Gretchen the cookmamid, Bim the Jester, Damien, Queen Mortenfast and Lord Horton of Bath. Not in the shot are Princess Della and Welldon the cook.

All is not well in the court of Queen Mortenfast: Her daughter, Princess Della is, unfortunately, not herself, while the queen’s siblings, Lord Horton and Lady Bella, unfortunately are themselves. Meanwhile there’s the endlessly scheming counselor Damien, and in the background a lowly cook and cookmaid who may just know more than it seems…

Damien convinces Queen Mortenfast to fake her own murder via an actor, just to learn by Horton’s and Bella’s reactions who can be trusted and who cannot… but when the actor himself turns up slain the castle finds itself in a real mystery! This bickering, gangster-like family pulls out all the stops to accuse and solve the crime while at the same time someone is hurling red flags about. On top of the mystery of the dead actor (or was he killed, thinking he was the queen?) is intrigue regarding the deadly Coneheads who rule in France. And through it all the jester Bim spreads her version of controlled anarchy!

“Short Live the Queen” is the newest mystery drama production put forth by Athens of the South Productions, with performances set for July 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. at the historic Stanly Hall, 301-B Pollock Street, New Bern.

“We’ve performed in the past at the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina, and we’ve had an excellent relationship with them, but for this production we’ve decided to try a new venue,” Bill Hand, director of the company, stated. “I’m really excited about the possibilities here: it’s a beautiful hall, with a lot of exciting history behind it.” While the hall is located on the second flood (above the Rivertowne Ballroom), it does have  an elevator entrance at 249 Craven Street for those who need.

“Over the couple of years we’ve been running, we’ve staged a variety of situations in our shows,” Hand, who is also the company’s in-house playwright, said. “We’ve done a western spoof, a story about hobos, a Civil War tale about hidden treasure, a spy spoof, and even a fantasy mystery involving the kidnapping of Father Christmas. With this show we take a real step back in time, to the 1400s.”

“I’ve thrown a few Shakespearian bits into the script as a nod to the bard, but on the whole it’s just a fun piece with our usual mix of dialogue-driven comedy, physical comedy and even a little swordplay.” Hand notes the play is not exceedingly realistic in its portrayal and includes some modern references. While the story takes place in England, the characters all hail from such provinces as Bayboro, Morehead and Bath.

The cast includes Beth Gosnell as Queen Mortenfast; Lee Wheeler as Lord Horton (Earl of Bath); Nancy Hitchcock as Lady Bella of Morehead; Sarah Adanosky as Princess Della; Bill Hand as Damien; Bailey Wheeler as the jester Bim; Roxanne Belrose as Gretchen the cookmaid and Daryl Harris as Welldon the cook.

Tickets are $30 for dinner and show and $15 for show-only. Discounts are available for groups of ten or more, students under 16, active military, senior and emergency service employees. Tickets can be purchased through the Bank of the Arts at 317 Middle Street, the Rivertowne Ballroom at 305 Pollock Street, through the Athens of the South website at or by calling the company at 252-229-4977.

The dinner is BYOB.

Meet Our Suspects...

QUEEN MORTENFAST (Beth Gosnell) came to her throne by overthrowing Mom and Dad, and now it is a struggle keeping the meddling hands of her brother and sister, Horton and Bella, from trying to wrest it from her. She is the doting mother of Princess Della and the confidant of her counselor, Damien.

GRETCHEN (Roxanne Belrose) is the cantankerous and nosey cook-maid who serves the castle and keeps such rogueish men as the actor Anthony at bay. Like any servant she knows more and has more opinions than anyone suspects...

WELLDON THE COOK (Daryl Harris--not pictured). Welldon provides the castle with its food while he tails Gretchen about and tries his best to keep up on what's happening among his "betters."

LADY BELLA (Nancy Hitchcock) is the oldest of the queen's siblings and, therefore, next in line for the throne after Princess Della.  You can always find her somewhere about conniving with her brother Horton.

LORD HORTON (Lee Wheeler) is the youngest sibling, brother to the queen. He is short-tempered, argumentative and quick-tongued. 

BIM THE JESTER (Bailey Wheeler). In the great tradition of the Shakespearian fool, Bim is the one person who can get away almost anything--after all, she is a fool--and a wise one to boot! Bim knows the rules and how to break them.

DAMIEN (Bill Hand). Sly and ambitious, Damien has the queen's ear and Princess Della's trust... but is that enough to satisfy him?

PRINCESS DELLA (not pictured). The daughter of Queen Bella, she is known for her tender-hearted goodness. But lately she's been acting a little strangely around the castle... just what is up?

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