Mission trip, show both go on

Not even a lead role in the upcoming Actors Guild of Parkersburg production of “Prelude to a Kiss” could prevent J.T. Spivy from going on a mission trip.

Spivy, 23, of Vienna spent Dec. 26-Jan. 4 helping the poor in Honduras. The group of 11, led by Spivy’s sister Anna, who attends Ohio Valley University, and included other OVU students, built three houses and provided food and clothes for hundreds of people who live and work in and near a dump.

They also met with children in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

Spivy, who teaches eighth-grade English at Edison Middle School, returned to Wood County a week earlier than some on the mission trip to Central America because of his teaching obligations.

Spivy is playing the role of Peter in “Prelude to a Kiss,” which begins its three-weekend run at the Actors Guild on Jan. 18.

Spivy took the Prelude script with him on the mission trip. On Peter and Rita’s wedding day, after their nuptial kiss, an old man comes up and kisses the bride. During this kiss, their souls exchange, and the young, beautiful woman Peter just married now houses the soul of a dying old man, the Guild’s news release states.

On their honeymoon, Peter notices something is not right. When Peter discovers the truth, he confronts the old man, who now holds Rita’s soul, the Guild states. Peter eventually realizes he loves Rita, no matter “how she is packaged.”

“At the audition (to “Prelude to a Kiss”) I wrote that I would be gone on the Honduras trip. They (Actors Guild officials) were OK with that … it would put a pause on things,” Spivy said.

Prelude co-director Bob Holland said he and co-director Dixie Showalter met with other cast members during Spivy’s absence over the holidays.

Spivy’s absence from rehearsal times has not hurt the show, Holland said. “He (Spivy) is doing great. It is a fantastic show.”

Spivy noted the cast has many rehearsals this week and next week to prepare for the romantic comedy. He started participating in the Actors Guild in the eighth grade through the organization’s youth program, Guild Builders.

Spivy’s mission work in Honduras started in 2006. He has made other mission trips to Jamaica and Mexico.

In 2007, J.T. and Anna joined their sister Leah and parents Joe and Missy Spivy on a mission trip to Honduras. Joe is minister at Grand Central Church of Christ in Vienna.

Living in one of the poorest countries in Central America, the Hondurans appreciate the efforts of the foreign workers, Spivy said. “We tell them it is a blessing from God,” he said

Spivy said he intends to continue helping others on mission trips.

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Rebecca Noble’s kindness, wonderful sense of humor and artistic talents were remembered at a memorial for her on Jan. 4 at the Paradise Grille in Vienna. Noble never turned down a person or group that needed her paintings for a fundraiser, said her friend and goddaughter Penny Jones. Noble was there to donate her artwork when Amy Ocasio of Parkersburg and others started the Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo project at Camden Clark Medical Center last summer and joined Jones’ “Fuzzy Friends” team, which sponsored and decorated a chemotherapy room for Rooms That Rock. Noble, 65, of Parkersburg died of cancer, Jones said, on Dec. 24, 2012, at Camden Clark Medical Center. Jones said she is still getting cards from people who were touched by Noble’s paintings and kindness. Plans are in the works to display Noble’s paintings and honor her at an art show at the Parkersburg Art Center, Jones said.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com