Whenever Rodney Vaughn goes into a community to pass out flyers for "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," a funny thing happens.
Merchants he meets want to know if the musical is about their town.
"There is a certain kinship there," he says, laughing about the reaction. "It's not above anyone and it's super relatable to all of us."
And that is exactly what he and theater company partner Luke Cleveland are striving for -- not only with their latest production from Dramatists Play Service, Inc. about a Florida trailer park's colorful group of residents, but with their relatively new endeavor, Coastal Stage Productions.
Formed about a year ago, the Ridgeland-based traveling theater company aims to make theater accessible to communities around the region.
It's a philosophy that he and co-producer Cleveland -- who have a combined 25 years of theater experience between them -- share.
"That's our goal," Vaughn says. "To offer quality theater productions at an affordable price that the average person would enjoy."
"The Great American Trailer Park Musical," is the third such production the pair have taken on, and ticket prices for Coastal's various productions typically run $15-$20.
By next year, Vaughn says, the two hope to have at least four productions touring, with at least one of them being a musical.
So far, the seven-member cast and five-member production crew of "Trailer Park" have been to Walterboro, Orangeburg and Hinesville, Ga. Now the company will pull up stakes, so to speak, when they move their trailer to Port Royal.
Vaughn says he and Cleveland picked the script not only for its ability to stage but also for its approachable aspects.
"It's a laugh a minute," he says. "That sounds so passe, I know, but it really is funny."
Written by David Nehls and Betsy Kelso, the musical originally showed at the inaugural New York Music Theater Festival in 2004 and moved to Off-Broadway a year later.
But don't let the plot or its colorful characters fool you, Vaughn says. The musical is also well written.
"It's very clever," he says. "And it has a redemptive ending, which is nice because I don't think people would expect that with the words trailer park in the title."
If You Go
"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" rolls into Port Royal this week.
Set in the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Florida, this colorful and sometimes bawdy lot includes Pippi, "the stripper on the run," Jeannie, a Dr. Phil-loving agoraphobic, and Jeannie's husband, Norbert, a tollbooth-collector, among others.
The show is at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 and 7 at The Shed, 809 Paris Ave., Port Royal.
Tickets are $20 with discounts for students and members of the military. Tickets are available at the door and at www.brownpapertickets.com.
Follow reporter Mindy Lucas at twitter.com/MindyatIPBG.