CASA GRANDE — With a train station as the setting and a plot centered on a bride-to-be awaiting the arrival of her fiancé, the new BlackBox Foundation melodrama, “Dirty Deeds at the Depot,” takes audiences on a journey back in time, to Casa Grande 1895.

“Dirty Deeds at the Depot” is written by Gary McCarver and the original script is set in San Juan Capistrano, California. The BlackBox Foundation received special permission by the writer to change the location to Casa Grande.

“The story is written so that the location can be changed and customized to fit any town,” said show director Jennifer Elliott, an administrative assistant with the BlackBox and a longtime volunteer with the Coolidge Performing Arts Center. “Because of the way it was written, it was really easy to change the location to Casa Grande.”

As the show opens, the date is the 1920s and the depot’s station master is reminiscing about a story that happened long ago. Through his reminiscing, the audience is transported back to 1895 as heroine Lacie Camisole is waiting at the train depot for her future husband, who was chosen for her by her father.

Many of the names in “Dirty Deeds” reflect the characteristics and purpose of the character. The fiancé Lacie is waiting for is named Dusty Trails.

While at the train depot, she has a chance encounter with her former childhood sweetheart, Justin Tyme, as well as Gypsy friend Claire Voyant.

The show includes several cue cards for the audience such as when to boo or say “awwww” in unison. The character showing the cue cards to the audience is named Paige Turner.

“There are so many fun things about this show,” Elliott said. “ It’s a wonderful melodrama and I’m excited to be directing it.”

The show includes plenty of references to Casa Grande and several local businesses, who sponsored the show.

BlackBox volunteer Melissa Temple plays piano in the show and rewrote the script’s lines to adapt the play to Casa Grande. She also wrote the lines that refer to area businesses and is the show’s assistant director. She acts in the play too, in the role of character Natalie Drest.

There is plenty of music in “Dirty Deeds” and one song, entitled “Casa Grande,” is a sing-along. Audiences will find the lyrics for the song printed in the show program.

The cast includes actors ranging in age from 11 to 40. Most are from Casa Grande and Coolidge.

Cast and crew members for the show are:

  • Ezekiel Sanders, musical director and acting in the role of Justin Tyme
  • James Elliott, lighting design and lightboard operator
  • Alexis Wagner, set design
  • Kaitlyn McCluskey, co-stage manager
  • AJ Delisle, co-stage manager
  • Keagan Delisle, in the role of Paige Turner
  • Haden Herbert, in the role of Judge Craven Power
  • Lillie Peterson, in the role of Anita Drink
  • Krisenna Hancock, playing Helen Highwater
  • Reina Montalbo, as Lacie Camisole
  • Anna Lucier, as Claire Voyant
  • Gillian Temple, playing the roles of Sheriff Willie Becaught and Foley Guy
  • Mardonio Monreal, as Professor Thaddeus Mack
  • Jordan Leal, playing Dusty Trails.

“Dirty Deeds at the Depot” will run for two weeks at the BlackBox Foundation theater, 407 N. Sacaton St.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, Saturday, Feb. 8, Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9, and Sunday, Feb. 16.

Admission is $12. Several raffle items were donated to the production and will be raffled off after the final show.


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at