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'The Nerd' opens 65th season of Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE >> Two low-cost previews for "The Nerd," starring Eric Szmanda from the CBS series, "C.S.I., Crime Scene Investigation," is Totem Pole Playhouse's way of opening its 65th season of summer theater in Caledonia State Park.

All tickets for the performances May 29 (8 p.m.) and 30 (2 p. m.) are priced at $20 a seat.

This special preview price will be available for two previews of each of the four productions this summer.

"Last season we offered several pay-what-you can performances to one of our productions which was very successful," said Rowan Joseph, Totem Pole's producing artistic director. "One elderly woman told me it was the first time she had been able to afford attending one of our shows since her husband had passed away, something which they used to do each summer together. It was clear to me that Totem Pole needed to do more to make our shows affordable to those in our community on fixed budgets, seniors and younger married couples with children."

In addition to the preview tickets, Totem Pole will continue to offer student rush tickets. Any unsold seats a half-hour prior to the start of each performance will go on sale for $10 to young adults ages 16 through 22.

About "The Nerd"

Szmanda, who has played lab tech Greg Sanders on "C.S.I." since the series premiered in 2000, stars in the comedy about an unexpected guest who turns out to be a bumbling oaf with no social sense, little intelligence, and even less tact.

Shane Partlow, from "The Amazing Race" (season 23), co-stars as the play's title character. Kelsey Landon and Joe Brack play the girlfriend and best friend of Szmanda's leading character, Willum Culbert.

Shippensburg University professor and Totem Pole favorite, Paris Peet, plays his boss, Mr. Waldgrave. Playing Mrs. Waldgrave will be New York actress, Jane Labanz, who has made several appearances at the playhouse. Making his Totem Pole debut as their son, Thor, will be Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School student, Donovan Yaukey.

"The Nerd" will play May 29 through June 14. Tickets range from $30 to $45, with matinee performances Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and evening performances Wednesdays, Thursday,s Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau is the sponsor of the 2015 season.

Tickets are available at or by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse box office at 1-888-805-7056.

Totem Pole is located at 9555 Golf Course Road, Fayetteville.

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