Mother - daughter duo bringing Patsy Cline back to the Wilson PAC

The musical stylings of Patsy Cline will be making its way to the Wilson Performing Arts Center’s main stage this weekend.
The musical “Always...Patsy Cline,” will show at 7:30 p.m. on March 24 and 25, and a matinee is slated for 2:30 p.m. March 26, at the Wilson. The show is the brainchild of the mother-daughter team of Wendy and Kristi Hardwick. Kristi served as the director of the Wilson’s previous show “Boeing Boeing,” while Wendy was assistant director of the show right before that one, “Jekyll & Hyde.”
Wendy said she and her daughter were working on costumes for “Jekyll & Hyde” when they were approached about directing the Patsy Cline show after it was delayed in 2020 due to COVID-19.
“They asked us if we were interested in directing. The show was chosen several years ago, before the COVID delay. The WPAC had been trying to work some of the old shows that had been planned into the schedule. At that time, Kristi hadn’t directed at all, and I had just assistant directed, so now we’ve both got some experience under our belt,” explained Wendy. “It’s been very beneficial to direct the show with Kristi. What I forget, she remembers, and what she forgets, I remember.”
While the experience has been wonderful, Kristi said she was initially hesitant to direct the show at first, as she didn’t know what she was getting into.
“Even though my mom and I have sung and performed in musicals, the musical direction aspect of the show was worrying. Thankfully, we were able to get Tim Marsden as music director, and we have a live band on stage. They’ve been playing their whole lives, and it’s really like you’re listening to the songs in a club when they perform. It’s almost just like playing another gig for them,” stated Kristi.
Wendy said she also had hesitation, as she was assistant directing “Jekyll & Hyde,” as well as serving in a variety of other hats for the show, such as costuming, props, and acting. However, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“Directing was something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m getting to the point where it’s harder for me to memorize long monologues. I was nervous, but with Tim Marsden there and saying they would help if we had questions, and support from others, it’s made it fun. There’s a lost of support here,” explained Wendy.
As the show is a musical, rather than a comedy farce like “Boeing Boeing,” Kristi said it is a different experience than the one she had with her previous show.
“It hasn’t been as stressful. There’s still some stress of getting pieces to fall into place, and organizing all the costumes, and so there’s still some craziness, but not the same as it was with “Boeing Boeing.” It’s still a funny show itself, and the Louise character is a very out-loud, big type of person, and Ciara Schierkolk is amazing at playing that,” advised Kristi. “She is very interactive with the audience, which brings them into the story a lot more, and make them feel the emotions that she is experiencing.”
Wendy also heaped praise onto Babe Stephens-Proctor, who is embodying the role of Patsy Cline.
“I don’t think there could have been a better person to portray her. She’s got an amazing voice, she has literally listened to Patsy Cline since she was a little girl, listening to Patsy’s songs as she would go to sleep. She’s been wonderful. We’ve been very lucky,” said Wendy.
While the show features a wide variety of the songs that made Patsy Cline a star, the heart of the show examines Cline’s friendship with one of her loyal fans, Louise Seger.
“It shows the story of Patsy and Louise, and how Patsy affected her life, and how they met each other. It goes all the way from the beginning of Patsy’s career, when Louise first saw and heard her, and follows the relationship all the way up through Patsy’s death, and how it changed Louise’s life,” Kristi said.
Wendy said the show reflects two different time periods. The character of Louise shares her story with the audience, and then Patsy arrives on stage in period costumes to perform the songs from that period.
“It goes forwards with them both basically in two different worlds, until the point that they meet, and then they interact. After they meet, they separate again, because the friendship was all correspondence. They wrote letters to each other. Patsy illustrates her career after she and Louise meet, and Louise goes back to telling her story. Louise is talking to the audience much of the time. It’s very interactive,” commented Wendy.
The circumstances of the Louise character, Kristi said, helped her connect with the show on a deeper level.
“Louise was a single mom with two kids. My own mom was a single mom with two kids, and I’m a single mom with two kids. A lot of my and my mom’s lives we have depended on each other and looked out for each other. Directing this show has been totally natural for us to be doing together too,” Kristi stated.
For Wendy, her favorite experience out of doing the show is that it has brought her back into country music.
“I used to sing at a club a long time ago. I was a rock girl, and it was a country bar. I enjoyed it, and listened to country for years. A few years back, I went back into classic rock again. This show brings back a lot of good memories and to be able to listen to Babe sing and Ciara make me laugh has been a blast,” Wendy explained.
As for Kristi, she’s enjoying the opportunity to expand her directing knowledge and know she can be a success, especially since she started rehearsals for “Always...Patsy Cline,” while she was still doing “Boeing Boeing.”
“This show has seemed a lot less stressful because I got to cut back to three rehearsals a week for a while. I’ve been happy to realize that I can do it, especially since we need more directors around here. I knew I could perform, and now I know I can put together a show and make it come to life,” Kristi said.
Wendy said she’s also glad to see the show’s leads, Schierkolk and Stephens-Proctor, get their opportunities to shine for the audience.
“Ciara’s role is a huge part with a lot of monologues, and it’s been wonderful to see her step to the forefront. Babe has also been in the ensembles a lot, but having the lead is new to her. Most of the crew is new in their roles as well, and everyone is really taking the opportunity to shine and learn together. I think we’ve done really well,” Wendy commented.
You can order tickets for “Always...Patsy Cline” at 623-3183, or online at

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