IndyFringe: Barking Signals (Badly) During Goldwater

By John Lyle Belden

Life in rural America was fairly simple in the 1960s. And in most towns, one of the most important things going on in the fall was high school football.

That was the case in a small Virginia coal country town, where a coach is having trouble fielding a team, so he will accept anyone who shows up — including three very different boys who barely know the rules of the game.

One student is desperate to leave the backwoods town behind, and feels having sports on his list of extra-curriculars will help him get into college. His best friend would rather read than play a physical game, but to his joy (and the coach’s) finds that there are whole volumes on the strategies of the gridiron. The third walk-on has to balance school and practice with his shifts at the mine; he has a very personal reason for joining the team.

One would think this little drama with comic touches is about football. But it’s not, just as for the coach, not even football is all about football. It’s about life and growing up and understanding the people you find yourself on a team with. And on that field, this show scores a victory.

It suits up Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Aug. 27-28, at the Theatre on the Square second stage. Info and tickets at

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