The idea sort of expanded and evolved.
"We tried a little bit of everything," Turley said. "We decided to look at the romantic relationships in Tennessee Williams's works. They're complicated and not always beautiful or perfect, but he really illustrates the point that the way we love each person is different. I think that comes throughout the scenes we chose."
During the many months of preparation for the show, Turley decided to start the Appalachian Artists Collective. She called on friends like Wilson, who she'd acted with since junior high, and they sort of threw themselves into building a for-profit theater company.
She said they did it keep some semblance of control and because non-profits are struggling.
"Part of the reason we chose to do this as a for-profit company is we want to look at theater as really more of a small business for us," she said. "We figure out amongst ourselves what we want to do. We gather the funds and create our production that way."
Appalachian Artists Collective has no board to answer to, and the members are not looking into a lot of grant writing.
"That's usually the first thing you do when you start a non-profit," Turley said. "You hire a grant-writer; we hired another actor."
Grants are not a dependable way to raise funds, she said.
"Even if you get the grant, sometimes it can take up to a year to get the funds. Why go through that when we can take our product straight to the people?"
The Collective cobbles together funds in the usual ways. They sell ads in their programs and tickets at their shows, but they also hire out some of their members to give theater workshops and teach acting lessons.
And they plan to remain small, she said. If the collective needs photography, graphic design work or something they can't handle amongst themselves, they hire it out.
"We're not going to have a big staff," she said.
Learning the business of running a theater company has been a lot. Turley said most theater students never really take classes on how to run a business, though she thought they probably ought to.
"As an actor, you don't think about paying the bills or taxes to keep your group going," she said. "We're learning."
Turley doesn't know if Appalachian Artists Collective will be successful, but they're young and passionate about what they're doing. That has to count for something.Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.