Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 theatre-related resolutions

1. I will not roll my eyes when people refer to The Man Who Came to Dinner as "that nice movie from the 1960s starring Sidney Poitier."

2. I will not be impressed just because a play has won the Tony or the Pulitzer.

3. I will judge a book by its cover and buy a play script because of the cover design. I will buy the CD of a cast recording for the same reason.

4. I will buy an original cast recording of a show produced before I was born.

5. I will crash the opening night cast party of at least one production I wasn't involved with.

6. For every Civic Mainstage production, I will invite one person to attend a show with me. For every CYT production, I will invite three people to attend a show with me. For every staged reading, I will invite five people to attend.

7. I will check my address book to make sure I know enough people to make these invitations.

8. I will not care whether people spell the art form with an "er" or "re."

9. I will attend at least three performances outside of Tippecanoe County.

10. I will congratulate as many crew members as I can after a show.

11. I will not participate in a standing ovation because of peer pressure or mob mentality.

12. I will keep blogging until someone tells me to stop. And even then, I may continue.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette

Warmest wishes to you and your loved ones this Christmas day from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Top 12 memorable moments from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette shows in 2008

End-of-the-year lists sprout like weeds through concrete as topics from "Most Interesting People" to "Best Movies" to "Overrated Technology" are up for discussion in late December. People feel compelled to add their 2 cents to the noisy dialogue.

This is where I add my 2 cents and create even more noise.

My Top 12 moments from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette shows in 2008 are listed in alphabetical order by show name. Every Mainstage, Civic Youth Theatre and Civic Under the Stars show that appeared in the Monon Depot Theatre, Long Center or Tippecanoe County Amphitheater in the 2008 calendar year is included.

Crowns – The women remove their church hats at the end of the show and replace them with new ones while reciting their personal mantras.

Disney's High School Musical – The cast sings the Mega-Mix at the end, highlighting the major songs and choreography in the show while fireworks explode over the Amphitheater.

Honky Tonk Angels – The Angels harmonize for the first time during a long bus trip to Nashville, serenading their fellow passengers – the audience.

How to Eat Like a Child – The cast explains that when parents say things like "We'll see," they really mean "No."

Proof – Catherine reveals to Hal and Claire that she wrote the mathematical proof.

Rudyard Kipling's The Just So Stories - Elsie explains to her make-believe friends that her sister Josephine died long ago.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Peter has a nightmare that recounts how his younger brother, Fudge, has ruined his life at every turn.

The Crucible – The "bewitched" girls scream in terror during the trial, which leads Mary Warren to accuse John Proctor of practicing witchcraft.

The Giver – Jonas, after receiving memories of real warfare, collapses in anguish when his young friends play a game of "War."

The Odd Couple – Oscar recites the things he hates about Felix, concluding with a note he found on his pillow that read, "We're out of corn flakes. F.U."

Young Directors Project: Final Dress Rehearsal – The authoress brings rehearsal to a complete stop, humorously waxing poetic about her adaptation of Cinderella.

Young Directors Project: The Bald Soprano – Two actors speak the same dialogue at the end of the show that is spoken by two different actors at the beginning of the show, starting a continuous loop.

This list is subjective and the opinions are entirely my own. My choices probably won't mirror your thoughts on the top moments of the year. Which leads to this: What did you think were highlights of the 2008 shows produced by Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette

Warmest wishes to you and your loved ones during The Festival of Lights from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What theatre-related items are on your gift list this year?

Now that we're one week from Christmas, it's time to share: what theatre-related items are on your Christmas gift list this year? Does your list inculde tickets to a show, a cast recording on CD, an anthology of plays by your favorite writer or maybe a show poster/program from a Broadway hit?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A book for anyone interested in theatre


In his commentary on the DVD for WALL-E, director Andrew Stanton shares that the movie's first act was written earlier than the other two. He explained that it is easier for a screenwriter to know the ending of the plot, however, and then build the actions of the script to lead to that final point.

In his book Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays, David Ball suggests that working backward can benefit not only writers, but also actors, directors, designers, audience members – anyone interested in the craft of theatre. They can learn much about a script by starting at the end, then moving backward to see the domino effect of actions that led to the conclusion.

Knowing how the play is structured, a person will gain insight about not only the plot, but other elements as well, including character. Ball shows through an analysis of Hamlet why the titular character isn't depressed and incapable of action, as some theatre practitioners and critics claim. Rather, he is shaken out of his stasis by an unnerving event, works through several actions and scenarios, achieves his goal and returns to stasis. (Rather permanent stasis, thanks to Mr. Shakespeare, but stasis nonetheless.)

At 96 pages, not including a forward by Michael Langham of The Juilliard School, Backwards and Forwards is a quick read that can enhance people's understanding of a script and influence their reactions toward a production, whether they collaborate to create it or are members of the audience. It creates a solid foundation from which people who love theatre can build their knowledge and appreciation for the art form.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter/Spring 2009 Acting Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: There's No Business Like Show Business!

Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching four classes in late winter/early spring 2009: After-School Fun, Raise the Curtain, Welcome to the Theatre and There's No Business Like Show Business! Each class has two separate sessions. Students can choose one session or the other.

There's No Business Like Show Business! is for students in Grade 6 and higher. The first session of the class begins January 15 and runs through February 19, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Thursday. The second session of this class begins April 9 and runs through May 14, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Thursday.

Students will learn a variety of acting techniques in this class. One focus of this class will be on auditioning, and students will be ready to audition for future shows at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette and elsewhere. Improvisation and characterization will be other aspects of this class. There will be a Share Day on the last day of class so parents can observe and understand what students have learned.

The cost of this class is $60 for Civic Friends, $65 for Non-Members.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Melanie comes to Civic Theatre from Chicago, where she studied graduate acting at DePaul University. She has a theatre degree from Creighton University and has worked in Los Angeles. Melanie, who has lived all over the world with her family, has a wealth of experience in musical theatre, improv and acting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Share Your Thoughts: The Giver

Now that The Giver has closed, share your thoughts about the production on this blog.

What will you most remember about the show? What were your thoughts about the performances? The design? The story and theme? What were the standout moments?

Winter/Spring 2009 Acting Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: Welcome to the Theatre

Civic Youth Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching four classes in late winter/early spring 2009: After-School Fun, Raise the Curtain, Welcome to the Theatre and There's No Business Like Show Business! Each class has two separate sessions. Students can choose either one session or the other.

Welcome to the Theatre is for students aged 4, 5 or 6. The first session of classes begins January 14 and runs through February 18, with classes from 4:30-5:15 p.m. every Wednesday. The second session of classes begins April 8 and runs through May 13, with classes from 4:30-5:15 p.m. every Wednesday.

This class is designed for the younger student who has little to no experience with the theatre. This class will use music and basic characterization techniques to teach students to use their creative energy on stage. Parents are welcome to attend this class with their young actor.

The cost of this class is $40 for a Civic Friend, $45 for a Non-Member.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Melanie comes to Civic Theatre from Chicago, where she studied graduate acting at DePaul University. She has a theatre degree from Creighton University and has worked in Los Angeles. Melanie, who has lived all over the world with her family, has a wealth of experience in musical theatre, improv and acting.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter/Spring 2009 Acting Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: Raise the Curtain

Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching four classes in late winter/early spring 2009: After-School Fun, Raise the Curtain, Welcome to the Theatre and There's No Business Like Show Business! Each class has two different sessions. Students may choose either one session or the other.

Raise the Curtain is for students in Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3. The first session of class begins January 13 and runs through February 17, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The second session of class begins April 7 and runs through May 12, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday.

Students will learn how to take their imagination and use it in the theatre. They will learn basic characterization techniques, and learn acting games and skits. The final day of class will be a Share Day, when parents are invited to watch and see the skills their child has developed.

The cost of this class is $60 for a Civic Friend, $65 for a Non-Member.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivicl.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Melanie comes to Civic Theatre from Chicago, where she studied graduate acting at DePaul University. She has a theatre degree from Creighton University and has worked in Los Angeles. Melanie, who has lived all over the world with her family, has a wealth of experience in musical theatre, improv and acting.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter/Spring 2009 Acting Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: After-School Fun

Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching four classes in late winter/early spring 2009: After-School Fun, Raise the Curtain, Welcome to the Theatre and There's No Business Like Show Business! All classes include two separate sessions; students can choose either one or the other.

After-School Fun is for students in Grade 4 or Grade 5. The first session of classes begins January 12 and runs through February 16, with class time from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Monday. The second session of classes begins April 6 and runs through May 11, with class time from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Monday.

This class will focus on character development as well as basic acting techniques. Students will learn how to read a script and create a character and scene from the lines. The class will conclude with a Share Day, when parents will be invited to observe.

The cost of this class is $60 for a Civic Friend, $65 for a Non-Member.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Melanie comes to Civic Theatre from Chicago, where she studied graduate acting at DePaul University. She has a theatre degree from Creighton University and has worked in Los Angeles. Melanie, who has lived all over the world with her family, has a wealth of experience in musical theatre, improv and acting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Announcing the cast of Children of Eden

Director Kate Walker has announced the cast of Children of Eden, the fourth production of the 2008-2009 Mainstage season. Paul Addison will provide musical direction. The music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz. The book is by John Caird.

The cast includes:

  • Father – Jeff Spanke
  • Adam/Shem – Chris Myers
  • Eve/Aphra – Sara Tyner
  • Cain/Noah – Ryan Wellner
  • Abel/Japheth – Michael Zelaznik
  • Mama Noah/Storyteller Soloist/Snake Septet – Justice Marie Fuller
  • Yonah/Storyteller/Snake Septet – Liz Bruni
  • Ham/Snake/Storyteller Soloist – Jaymes Osborne
  • Aysha/Storyteller Soloist/Snake Septet – Lisa Stanforth
  • Storyteller/Seth – Thua Ly-Pham
  • Storyteller/Seth's Wife – Tabitha Gaskill
  • Storyteller/Young Cain – Jordan Friend
  • Storyteller/Snake Septet – Hannah Lazarz
  • Storyteller/Snake Septet – Amanda Walker
  • Storyteller/Snake Septet – Becky Bruni
  • Storyteller/Snake Septet – Morgan Wyat
  • Storyteller – Paul Allen
  • Storyteller – Julie Dennison
  • Storyteller – John Morphew
  • Storyteller – Sharon Morphew
  • Storyteller – Barbara Tyner
  • Storyteller – Cheri Vondrasek
  • Kid's Chorus/Young Abel – Tori Rosa
  • Kid's Chorus – Madison Mathias
  • Kid's Chorus – Mary Page
  • Kid's Chorus – Aaron Walker
  • Kid's Chorus – Abigail Wall

The production of Children of Eden will open Friday, March 6, and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, March 22, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will be at 8 p.m.; Sunday afternoon matinee performances will be at 2:30 p.m. There will also be a performance on Thursday, March 19, at 8:00 p.m. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Announcing the free New Volunteer Orientation, Jan. 10, 2009


The most important element in all community theatres, including Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, is the community. Civic Theatre has tremendous professional staff members, but community theatre cannot exist without community support.

The people in and around Lafayette and West Lafayette support Civic Theatre not only by attending performances, but also by volunteering their time and talents to the organization. From the president of the Board of Directors to the person who places address labels on mailings, everyone involved with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is a volunteer.

Civic wants to strengthen its ties to the community. To do this, a free New Volunteer Orientation will be held Saturday, January 10, from 10 a.m. to noon at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. People interested in volunteering with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will have the opportunity to speak with several Civic veterans who can share their experiences as actors, directors, designers, committee members, office volunteers and more.

The New Volunteer Orientation is open to everyone, regardless of age or location. Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is a member of the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, which serves the population of 14 counties in Indiana: Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Warren and White. These are also considered part of the community in our community theatre.

The New Volunteer Orientation will start in the historic Monon Depot Theatre, located at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Although walk-ins are welcome, people are encouraged to RSVP so organizers can better plan the flow of the event.

To learn more about the free New Volunteer Orientation or to sign up to attend, please either call Civic's office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or e-mail steve@lafayettecivic.org.

All new volunteers who attend the Orientation will receive one free ticket to that evening's performance of One Size Fits All Improv, which begins at 8 p.m. in the theatre.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Announcing the cast of The Man Who Came to Dinner

Director Scott Haan has announced the cast of The Man Who Came to Dinner, the third production of the 2008-2009 Mainstage season. The script is by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.

The cast includes:

  • Sheridan Whiteside – Arliss Jeffries
  • Ernest Stanley – Ted Hingst
  • Daisy Stanley – Kathy McGraw
  • Lorraine Shelton – Crystal Coulson
  • June Stanley – Erin O'Connor
  • Miss Preen – Haley Samuelson-Couchman
  • Harriet Stanley – Trish Peterson
  • Beverly Carlton – Tim Fox
  • Banjo – Kyle Bushre
  • Mrs. Dexter – Jane Hampton
  • Mrs. McCutcheon – Linda Jeffries
  • John the Butler – Bob Haan
  • Sarah the Cook – Ellie Haan
  • Maggie – Pam Adams
  • Bert Jefferson – Eric Adams
  • Richard Stanley – Alan Hertz
  • Dr. Bradley – Dean Hunter
  • Professor Metz – Harry Brown
  • Sandy – Eric Taylor

The production of The Man Who Came to Dinner will open Friday, January 30, and will run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, February 15, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will be at 8 p.m.; Sunday afternoon matinee performances will be at 2:30 p.m. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why I love Civic Youth Theatre

I saw the Pay What You Can performance of Civic Youth Theatre's production of The Giver tonight, and I came away with a reminder of why I love the program. It isn't a question of whether the young people involved with these shows become theatre professionals later in life; such training is the focus of colleges and professional theatres. I love Civic Youth Theatre because young people have another venue in which they can express themselves artistically, they learn skills like being part of a team, they increase their self-confidence and they have the opportunity to play and socialize with people their own age without being told to "stop acting up."

I also love Civic Youth Theatre not only because of how it encourages young people, but because it entertains audiences. Stories told in Civic Youth Theatre productions are some of the most imaginative and inventive you might imagine. The Giver takes place in a future Utopia that turns out to have achieved its perfection by forsaking certain liberties and adopting strict guidelines for daily life. It isn't an easy show thematically or technically, and it stretches the actors and the crew to find their peaks. And you know what? They do. The same can be said for numerous CYT productions, including Romeo and Juliet, The Bald Soprano, Still Life with Iris and several others. There are some tremendous performances and stunning moments in CYT productions -- The Giver included -- that truly rival work done in Mainstage shows. I love that young people are brought into the theatre as audience members and can be exposed to a broad range of ideas and entertainment.

I'm proud that Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette offers the CYT program, and prouder still that the extended Greater Lafayette community supports it. New worlds open up when Act I, scene 1 begins, and the young people who experience them create new worlds of their own.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Theatre in San Jose in trouble.


For the second time in two years a major theatre in San Jose California is in trouble. Unlike the situation two years ago, this time there is no saving the company.

First, take a moment to read this article from the San Jose Mercury Star here. To give a basic summary, the American Musical Theatre of San Jose has announced an immediate closure of the company. They blame a theatre in Atlanta, Georgia (Theatre of the Stars) for their troubles. Theatre of the Stars, American Musical Theatre of San Jose and Dallas Summer Musicals were to be co-producers of a production of Disney's Tarzan. The show was to open in Atlanta in January, transfer to San Jose in February, and Dallas later in the spring. The companies also hoped that Disney would purchase the production and make it the national tour of the show. Both San Jose and Dallas companies paid Theatre of the Stars $225,000 towards the production. According to news reports Theatre of the Starts pulled the plug on Tarzan and spent the money instead on another production (rumor has it a production of High School Musical 2) that lost a lot of money. The lose of $225,000, not to mention the lose of $800,000 in pre-sold tickets to Tarzan are the reasons sited for the closure.

The problem is that the theatre had been in trouble before.

Two years ago, San Jose Rep., a very prominent Regional Theatre in San Jose announced that they were in trouble. Deficits of several million dollars, decreased ticket sales and a major downturn in giving had nearly brought this cultural icon to its knees. The city of San Jose decided to save the important institution by giving a large low interest loan, and some grants to infuse cash into the organization and give it a cushion while restructuring occured. All indicators seem to point towards some success in the plan. However while the talks were going on in the city council, it came to light that several of the area arts organizations were in trouble as well, including American Musical Theatre of San Jose. The city opened up the credit to several of the groups, again with the idea of boosting their cash to allow a basic re-structuring, thus saving the arts and cultural sector.

All the articles I have come across on the closure of American Musical Theatre of San Jose, mention two things, that while not the focus of the articles, need to be highlighted I think. One, that the theatre was carrying a deficit of $2.5 million on a budget of roughly $9 million. And that $1 million of their debt was a tapped out line of credit from the city. A lot of reporting will happen in the coming weeks on this closure, and I am sure that more details will come out.

Two theatres were bailed out, one took advantage and seems to be rebounding, the other just closed its doors. More disturbing is that this is not the first large theatre to close its doors in recent memory. Milwaukee Shakespeare just announce closing its doors because it lost a single donor. Charlotte Rep (in North Carolina) closed its doors a few years ago due to large deficits, TheatreVirginina (in Richmond) closed its doors a few years earlier due to a whole slew of issues, poor budgeting being a big factor (a retiring Artistic Director left the theatre having forgotten to budget for one entire show) and several other less spectacular, although just as devastating closures have happened as well.

What does all this mean? How does it affect Civic? Are we in trouble? are just some of the questions you may have.

Civic Theatre has run in the black for two years in a row and after a record breaking summer, we are running in the black this year as well. We have a line of credit that we have not had to use in recent memory. We hold NO debt. Season ticket sales are up this year. Donations, while a little lower in some areas, are steady or growing in other areas. All in all we are in good fiscal shape. That all being said though, we are still vigilant with our finances. Several years ago the Board of Directors wisely appointed a permanent finance committee. The hard working members of Civic Theatre's finance committee closely follow and oversee all financial activities of Civic Theatre. Thankfully though we are in good shape, they are helping to make sure that we remain that way. We also have a generous and loyal base of supporters, many individuals that have been giving to Civic Theatre since the days we were still known as Lafayette Little Theatre (pre-1965), and we continue to produce quality theatre.

So although Civic Theatre is currently sheltered and safe from the financial difficulties that other companies are facing, it is important that we are aware of the fact. As I am writing this I am also hearing about the latest on the Auto Industry Bail out, let's face it, times are tough. The Arts and Culture Industry as a whole is not safe, we depend on the rest of the economy doing well. If companies are losing money, they will not donate, as people fear for their own jobs they may minimize or even eliminate giving, and people out of work do not generally go to the theatre. Not to fear though, the staff and Board are well aware of the current fiscal situations, and are watching everything to assure that what has happened in San Jose, will not happen here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Announcing auditions: Children of Eden

Auditions for Children of Eden, the fourth production in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2008-2009 Mainstage season, have been announced. They will take place Sunday, December 7, and Monday, December 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The auditions will be held at the Monon Depot Theatre at the corners of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

Director Kate Walker is looking to cast the following:


  • 10-12 men – ages 15 and up
  • 10-12 women – ages 15 and up
  • 8-10 young actors – ages 8 through 14

She asks people auditioning to prepare a song that is not from the show; an accompanist will be provided. People who are auditioning will also be asked to read from the script.

Musical direction for the production will be provided by Paul Addison.

Children of Eden opens March 6, 2009, and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until it closes on March 22, 2009. Additionally, there will be a performance Thursday, March 19.

For more information about Children of Eden, including volunteer opportunities and buying tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No-Show Ball, 2008

By now many of you will have received an invitation to our annual No-Show Ball. This year the purpose is to upgrade our office computers. This past summer we were able to upgrade our ticketing system, computerizing our box office and allowing on-line ticket sales. The response to this move has been wonderful.

First we sold more than 30% of all tickets to Disney's High School Musical on-line. The trend has continued through the year, with 20 - 35% of all single ticket sales being sold on-line. Obviously this was something that our patrons wanted, and I for one am glad we were able to deliver.

Second came a very generous grant from the North Central Health Services. This wonderful gift allowed us to purchase top of the line ticketing printers, software and hardware needed to get the box office computer in the Monon up to snuff, to purchase ticketing stock for the new printers, and finally some to offset the cost of the system itself.

We now have one weak link left, our office computers. The newest machine we own is the laptop that I am currently using. The computer is not in horrible shape, especially for being 5 years old, but it is slow and I have had to reformat the hard drive twice in the past year, not a fun thing to go through.

The oldest computer is the "volunteer computer", which houses our databases and our financial books. While the computer essentially works, it is running Office 97, need I say more?

The "No-Show Ball" has a pretty long history at Civic Theatre. It was Susan Kisinger who sent the first invitation to this non-event. The idea is that with the multitude of special events that every other non-profit puts on, not to mention the many requests for year end funding, we thought that this slightly off the wall approach might work best. All we ask is that instead of buying a ticket, hiring babysitters, bidding on silent auctions...etc, you give the money towards some much needed capitol project at the theatre. After all the building is in decent shape, but it is a 108 (almost) year old building with a 30 (almost) year old renovation. In the years of the No-Show, we have been able to purchase new stage curtains, pay off the mortgage a few years early, and put on a brand new roof. I think that it is one of the hottest non-tickets in town.

If you would like more information on the No-Show Ball, please call me at the office, 765-423-7529, or by email steve@lafayettecivic.org

Friday, November 28, 2008

In the Wings: The Giver. Meet Aaron Brehm.


Aaron Brehm plays Jonas in The Giver, the second production of the 2008-2009 Civic Youth Theatre season. The script by Eric Coble is based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry.

Aaron has performed in several Civic shows including Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, which was directed by Brent Wick, the director of The Giver.

"I really liked working with Brent, and that's one reason I wanted to be involved with The Giver," he said.

Aaron explained what Jonas goes through during the course of the play.

"At the beginning of the play, Jonas hangs out with his friends," he said. "When he goes to the Giver, he's receiving memories and learning about the way things were before 'Sameness.' He starts thinking things should be the way they were before 'Sameness.'"

The Giver opens December 5 and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 14. Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday afternoon shows begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Hearty Thank You


HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and Civic Theatre does as well.

Since last years Thanksgiving feasts we have: paid off our Mortgage (almost three years early), put on a brand new roof, installed a brand new computerized box office system, seen an increase in season ticket holders, broke two box office records - most tickets sold in new seating configuration - Honky Tonk Angels - and most tickets sold EVER - Disney's High School Musical, a brand new 4 week intensive summer camp, complete with two sold out performances of The Pirates of Penzance Jr., two World Premiere staged readings one of which is now a published script (Scott Haan's A Very Bad Day for Brandon Butterworth) and much much more.

Of course none of those amazing goals would have been possible without the very generous members of Civic Theatre, and the hundreds of loyal and talented volunteers who make it all possible. So from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

Please have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving holiday.

If you have a chance, please share something for which you are grateful. Not necessarily theatre related.

In the Wings: The Giver. Meet Bryce Robinson.


Bryce Robinson plays The Giver in The Giver, the second production of the 2008-2009 Civic Youth Theatre season. The script by Eric Coble is based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry.

"I wanted to audition for The Giver because I had read and enjoyed the book, and I knew that Brent Wick was the director," Bryce said. "Auditioning gave me another opportunity to be involved with a Civic show."

The character whom Bryce portrays is one of the few people who can see colors and emotions. He serves as the Receiver of Memory for the community, and becomes the Giver as he helps Jonas prepare for the position.

"At the beginning, my character accepts that he has to turn into a Receiver of Memory, but then he realizes he can possibly change the world a little bit because of the memories he shows people," Bryce explained. "He creates a plan with Jonas to help people."

The Giver opens December 5 and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 14. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for youth.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Review Is In: Spoon River Anthology staged reading

The review of the Spoon River Anthology staged reading from the Journal and Courier, Lafayette's daily newspaper, is in. You can read it here. It was written by Dick Jaeger.

On a side note, there are no other staged readings of Spoon River Anthology scheduled for the 2008-2009 staged reading series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The February 3 staged reading mentioned in the review will be Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead by Bert V. Royal.

To learn about the other scripts included in the 2008-2009 staged reading series, please visit the Web site of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Announcing auditions: The Man Who Came to Dinner - CORRECTED LOCATION

Auditions for The Man Who Came to Dinner, the third production of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2008-2009 Mainstage season, have been announced. They will be held Sunday, November 30, and Monday, December 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The location of the auditions will be in Market Square at the old Teachers Delight space.

Director Scott Haan asks that people auditioning for the show come prepared to read from the script. Copies of the script are available in the office at 313 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

The play, written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, will open January 30, 2009, and run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday until it closes on February 15, 2009.

For more information about the production, including volunteer opportunities and buying tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529).

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the Wings: The Giver. Meet Brent Wick, the director.


Brent Wick directs The Giver, the second production of the 2008-2009 Civic Youth Theatre season. The script is by Eric Coble, based on the book of the same name by Lois Lowry.

The Civic Youth Theatre production of the script is the first by a community theater; all previous productions were at professional theaters.

Brent read Lowry's book for the first time when he was in 5th grade.

"Reading The Giver was an emotional experience for me, and I always thought it should be performed on stage," he said. "I learned two years ago that it had been adapted into a script, and I knew that I wanted to direct it."

Brent said the story of The Giver occurs in a place that is very different from our world.

"Leaders have decided the entire community will go through 'Sameness,'" he said. "There are no colors, no music, everyone dresses the same, everyone has the same education, everyone is assigned their job, their spouse and their children. There is very little freedom of choice in the community.

"Jonas, the main character, has been assigned to be the Receiver of Memories -- the memories of the entire community will be transferred to him. He begins to see colors and experience things the rest of the community knows nothing about. The story is about how he handles this new information."

Brent concluded by explaining what an audience may leave with after a performance of The Giver.

"It's going to be a very emotional show, but at the end I hope the audience will take with them the idea that nothing should be taken for granted," he said.

The Giver opens Friday, December 5, and runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 14. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for youth.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Share Your Thoughts: Proof

Now that Proof has closed, share your thoughts about the production on this blog.

What will you most remember about the show? What were your thoughts about the performances? The design? The story and theme? What were the standout moments?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In memory of Marilyn Zimmerman


Marilyn Zimmerman passed away this past weekend in Indianapolis. She was a young woman who had a very big impact on Civic Theatre's production of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Marilyn played the demanding role of Mrs. Frank in Civic Theatre’s 2006 production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Marilyn only appeared on Civic Theatre’s stage in the one show, but her presence and talent will be missed.

If you would like to share a brief memory of Marilyn, please do so.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting to know Steve Koehler, the managing director



Wrapping up the Civic Theatre staff "Getting to know" series is Steve Koehler, the managing director. He was kind enough to take time from his schedule to provide answers to the "Inside the Actors Studio" questions.

Q: What are your favorite words?
A: Thank you – both to say and to hear. I may be making myself sound older than I need to, but it seems that in today's busy world, simple courtesies are far too often overlooked. Theatre worldwide, but in this case specifically at Civic, is filled with many hard-working people who are doing hours of hard work for little to no pay, and often little to no recognition. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have toward the entire Civic Theatre family. First for welcoming me in so generously, and secondly for all the incredibly hard work you do.

Q: What is your least favorite word?
A: Meeting. Some meetings are wonderfully productive, however most are painful and repetitive.

Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A: Creativity itself. The thing I love most about my chosen career path is that I am pretty constantly surrounded by creative people. I am not individually incredibly creative, but being placed in a creative group of people really helps get my creative juices flowing. There is no other art form that I could excel at, and the very collaborative nature of theatre is what makes it possible for me to be an artist.

Q: What turns you off?
A: Did I mention meetings? Seriously though, I would say that over-structuring something, making too many "rules" on the process, tends to stifle me. I worked for a few years early in my career at a theme park, corporate theatre at its cheesiest. Although I had a wonderful time working at the park, the very nature of businesspeople running art seems to kill its soul in some way.

Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: My children laughing.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: My children crying.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: History teacher or political pundit. One is very useful, the other is just a chance to tell everyone how smart I am, whether I am or not.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?
A: Anything that is always the same. One thing I love about theatre is its temporary nature. As a designer I am usually ready for the next project by opening night. This continues as an administrator and producer; by the time a show opens I am already well onto the next project.

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
A: "Oh, you shouldn't be here yet, go back for another 20 years or so."

You can contact Managing Director Steve Koehler at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's main office by calling 765-423-PLAY (7529). Or send an e-mail to steve@lafayettecivic.org.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting to know Melanie R. Buchanan, CYT Director

Melanie R. Buchanan is director of the Civic Youth Theatre program at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. She was kind enough to take time from her schedule to answer the "Inside the Actors Studio" questions in this second installment of the "Getting to know" series about the Civic Theatre staff.

Q: What is your favorite word?
A: Phenomenal.

Q: What is your least favorite word?
A: Get.

Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A: Laughter.

Q: What turns you off?
A: Lack of motivation.

Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: Thunder and cicadas in the late summer.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: Ice scraping on the windshield, in the freezer or anywhere, really. I cannot stand it. It's like nails on the chalkboard.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: Going for "chemist" on this one.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?
A: Lawyer.

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
A: God would say, "Wait a second, you aren't on my list." But maybe I would like for her to say, "Okay, I'll let you through this time."

To contact Melanie, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or e-mail her at cyt@lafayettecivic.org

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Review Is In: Proof

The review of Proof from the Journal & Courier, Lafayette's daily newspaper, is in. You can read it here. It was written by Dick Jaeger.

Proof begins the second weekend of its three-weekend run this Friday with shows at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The show closes Sunday, November 23.

To order tickets, please call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette box office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Theatre: A Mirror and a Window


Theatre is one of only a few art forms through which people view other people in real space and real time. Because of this, audiences can see an imitation of real life – whether realistic or not – when they attend a theatrical performance.

Two functions of art – and therefore, theatre – are to serve as a Mirror and a Window. Theatre as a Mirror reflects our own lives back at us; theatre as a Window allows us to view other people's lives.

For my own tastes, I prefer theatre that allows me to view the lives of other people and gain some understanding of what they feel, how they behave and who they are. Plays like Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun or Arthur Miller's The Crucible -- which present aspects of the lives of contemporary women, African Americans and people who lived during the paranoia of the Salem Witch Trials, respectively -- interest me because they tell stories of lives that aren't my own. This type of theatre experience expands my understanding of the world.

I fully understand the function of theatre as a Mirror. Far too many people in different demographic groups are starved for images and representations of themselves. When a person does not see his or her own life reflected in popular culture, it's possible for that person to think (incorrectly) his or her experiences aren't worthy of being shared with others. The cathartic effect of being able to connect 100 percent with what one sees onstage is very important.

However, theatre as a Window offers so much more possibility to my imagination, growth and understanding of the world. It may astonish me, confound me, anger me, confuse me or delight me, but theatre that presents viewpoints that are not my own ultimately enriches me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Share Your Thoughts: Spoon River Anthology

The staged reading of Spoon River Anthology took place last night at 7:00 p.m at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, with more than 70 people in attendance. As with other staged readings in the series, it was followed by a question-and-answer session between the audience, the cast and the director, Robert Spaulding.

Did you attend the staged reading last night? What did you think about the characters, the presentation, the inclusion of folk songs and other elements? What were some high points? What will you remember most about this staged reading?

Getting to know Bob Sauers, the box office manager and costume shop manager


Bob Sauers manages both the box office and the costume shop of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. He was kind enough to answer the "Inside the Actors Studio" questions for the first of this "Getting to know" series about the theatre's staff.

Q: What is your favorite word?
A: Joy.

Q: What is your least favorite word?
A: "Hon." I can't stand it when a stranger calls me "Hon."

Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A: Chocolate.

Q: What turns you off?
A: Snow and cold weather.

Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: Water falling over rocks.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: Sirens.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: Something that would allow me to work with animals.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?
A: Car repair.

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
A: "Nice outfit." What else would a costumer like to hear?

To contact Bob Sauers, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or send an e-mail to bob@lafayettecivic.org.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Election post mortem





No matter who you voted for on Tuesday (I do hope you voted) there is no denying that we have witnessed a truly historic moment in the election of Barack Obama.

As a private citizen in this great country I freely spout off my political leanings, but as a leader of Civic Theatre, I do not. The main reason is that I think it would be inappropriate when representing a not-for-profit company to announce my political leanings. A not-for-profit company is "owned" by the public, I am charged with leading this company that is not mine. I have always felt that by announcing my politics too loudly when representing Civic could alienate some of the very people that I work for. The second, and in some ways more important, reason is that it could jeopardize our 501 (c)(3) status, in other words take away our not-for-profit status. From the IRS website:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Therefore I did not talk about this before the election, and would still not use this forum to support any individual candidate. So all that out of the way, I do want to direct you a story published in Bloomberg news that does give me reason as an arts administrator to feel optimistic about our future. There are two presidents that are given a lot of credit for increasing the state of the arts in the United States, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Under these two men the National Endowment for the Arts flourished, the Regional Theatre movement took off, and the arts were given a national stage. Barack Obama may join that list. His platform statements on arts and culture is the most extensive ever presented by a presidential candidate. Governor Huckabee also had put forward a rather extensive plan for the arts and has a wonderful record of supporting the arts in Arkansas as governor.

Please take a moment to read the article from Bloomberg News here
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=email_en&refer=muse&sid=ap7gUJzSjIYs

I would also like to send you to a fact sheet prepared by Americans for the Arts here, as described by their website, Americans for the Arts is:

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With 45 years of service, we are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

With offices in Washington, DC and New York, and more than 5,000 organizational and individual members and stakeholders across the country, we are focused on three primary goals:

  1. Foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities.
  2. Generate more public- and private-sector resources for the arts and arts education.
  3. Build individual appreciation of the value of the arts.
They are a non-partisan group, in the interest of full disclosure, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is a member organization of Americans for the Arts.

Take all of this as you will, we are all a part of what makes Civic Theatre wonderful, but we are all a part of the larger community of The United States. Look over these facts if you have time, and share your own opinion. Tell us how you feel about the issues of public funding for the arts, specifically through the NEA. What opinions do you have on arts education, and arts IN education. How about foreign exchanges with other artists. Health Insurance for artists and arts groups. What about letting artists take tax deductions for their work, should that deduction be based on the material value or should it be based on the Fair Market Value of the piece, a very different number. Finally any other issues of the arts and culture.

In the mean time, make sure that you come see Proof, opening tonight and playing through November 23. No political statements in Proof, but a powerful show with a wonderful cast.

What do you love about community theater?

There is a lot to love about theater, community theater specifically. I imagine if I were to ask 20 people what they most love about community theater, I'd receive 20 different responses. It's that personal.

Erica D. of the Mid Hudson Valley Theatre Blog -- mhvtheater.blogspot.com -- has written a post that lists the reasons she loves community theater. She graciously has allowed the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette blog to link to that post, which can be found here.

Although New York State is a bit of a distance from Lafayette, Indiana, it's clear community theater is loved in both, between both and definitely beyond both ... and often for the same reasons. When you read Erica's post, consider how many of her Top 10 reasons would be included in yours.

Which leads to the question behind this post: What are your favorite things about community theater? Leave a response below, if you wish.

Look for more commentary and opinion to be included on this blog. Some of it will be written by yours truly and other Civic Theatre bloggers. Some, as in this instance, may be links from other theater blogs. This blog will continue to promote Civic volunteers, Civic productions -- Mainstage, Civic Youth Theatre and readings -- and special events, but it will also offer more points of view about what theater is, can be and more.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Staged Reading Series: Spoon River Anthology on November 11







Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2008-2009 Staged Reading Series continues with Spoon River Anthology by Charles Aidman. The script is based on Edgar Lee Masters' collection of short poems of the same name.

Robert Spaulding directs the cast, which includes Trish Anderson, Brian Bennett, Rod Dimmick, Jane Hampton, Linda Jeffries, Denise Laussade, Tony Lavish, Janet Mauck, Jake Ott, Marylin Howland Ross, Kira Stephenson, Eric Taylor and Esther Weiner.

It will be performed at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on Tuesday, November 11, at 7 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session immediately following the reading.

Audience members are encouraged to pay what they can for admission. To learn more about Spoon River Anthology or the 2nd annual Staged Reading Series, call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Share Your Thoughts: Tour of Terror

The 2008 Tour of Terror has concluded, delivering eerie and spooky true tales of downtown Lafayette to a high number of people. Stories of murders, beheadings, accidents and more were told each Friday and Saturday night between Oct. 17 and Nov. 1 by a group of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette volunteers. Tasty treats including hot apple cider were served before and after each tour as people entered the theater to begin or end their night.

What did you think about this year's Tour of Terror? Feel free to share your thoughts on this blog.

Friday, October 31, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Photos of the set

The following photos show the set of Proof, the second production in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2008-2009 Mainstage season. These photos of the unfinished set were taken in mid-October.




Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. For information about the show or to order tickets, please call Civic's office at 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Meet Julia Colby.


Julia Colby portrays Catherine in the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette production of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn.

Julia described Catherine's background and experiences.

"Catherine chose to forego her college education in order to take care of Robert, her father," Julia explained. "She's tormented from dealing with her father's illness and her own talents in mathematics. Claire, her sister, returns after many years of being in New York to try to take care of things, and Catherine has to deal with her feelings of resentment toward Claire.

"Catherine also wonders how she'll realize her own dreams and use her talents in mathematics, especially with the cliche in the mathematics field that people older than 25 years old are intellectually past their prime. At the beginning of the play, Catherine turns 25 and she hasn't even started acting upon her talents."

Julia explained why she was interested in being involved in Proof.

"Five years ago I was 25 years old and living in Chicago," she said. "I was at a crossroads in my life, like Catherine is. A good friend of mine visited me and said, 'I'm part of this show in Springfield, Illinois. It's called Proof and you have to read the script.' We have similar taste in plays, so I agreed. We sat down to read it out loud, together. At the end of the first scene, I said, 'This is fabulous.' I asked to read through it again, and I knew then that I had to be part of this show someday."

Julia concluded by suggesting what audiences may take away from seeing a performance of Proof.

"It will challenge them to question the line between being potentially insane and being normal. It's an indistinct line. They'll see that sometimes in Catherine, and a little bit in all the characters," she said.

Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until November 23. The Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about Proof or to order tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Meet Arliss Jeffries.


Arliss Jeffries portrays Robert in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn.

Arliss explained that Robert and his daughter Catherine face similar challenges in the play.

"Robert and Catherine share this common thread of schizophrenia, of genius bordering on insanity. During the course of the play, Catherine begins to notice that the problems Robert has are beginning to crop up in her life," Arliss said.

Arliss was interested in acting in Proof because Robert is a well-developed character with many interesting aspects.

"I like Robert's complexity," he explained. "I was beginning to think there weren't any more parts out there like this. This type of character is fun to work with because you have to dig, you have to pull back layers and see where the character has been. You have to examine all the different factors in his life. You have to look at the emotional range -- the embarrassment and anger he feels when he realizes what he was like when he lost control."

Arliss concluded by suggesting what an audience will take with them after a performance of Proof.

"Because this is a university town and there are some incredibly intelligent people here, the audience will take away maybe an understanding of the forces that are operating around someone who is this intelligent, as well as the forces that they resist," he said.

"For example, Claire -- Catherine's sister -- is as normal as a person can be. But she has no way to understand or cope with what Catherine is going through. Claire is trying to understand what is happening with this person who is so intelligent and, in some respects, so messed up. Claire knows Catherine has problems, but she has no idea how to handle Catherine's problems."

Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through November 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about the play or for ticket infomation, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Meet Alan Hertz.


Alan Hertz plays Hal in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn.

Hal is a mathematics professor at the University of Chicago. While Hal was earning his Ph.D., he had the opportunity to work with Robert, Claire and Catherine's father. Robert, in fact, served as Hal's advisor for a period of time.

"Hal volunteers to search through Robert's notebooks for previously undiscovered mathematical proofs. His goal is publishing them under Robert's name, but also earning prestige for himself," Alan said. "During his search, Hal develops a relationship with Catherine and begins to understand how much she knows about mathematics."

Alan concluded by suggesting what audiences may take with them from a performance of Proof.

"Depending on how people relate to the characters, they will take away different things," he said. "They may feel some anger because some issues aren't resolved. They may be somewhat frustrated, or they may be able to relate to dealing with a highly intelligent person who's on a different intellectual plane."

Proof opens Friday, November 7, in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, the home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until November 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about Proof or to order tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Meet Haley Samuelson-Couchman.


Haley Samuelson-Couchman portrays Claire in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn.

Haley explained that Claire has to cope with several challenges when the play begins.

"Claire is faced with a family she left behind when she moved to New York," Haley said. "She's faced with Catherine's downhill slope, which she is convinced has progressed further than Catherine believes. She's trying to approach Catherine's problems not only in the most loving way, but also the most aggressive way. Claire is trying to get Catherine into the right places to deal with her problems, but Claire does this without thinking of anyone except herself."

Haley concluded by explaining that what audiences take away from a performance of Proof depends on which character in the production they relate to.

"They may come away relieved. They may come away highly emotional. They may come away angry at how the story plays out," she said.

Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through November 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth.

For more information about the show or for ticket information, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In the Wings: Proof. Meet Mark Allen Carter, the director.

The second production of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Mainstage season is Proof, written by David Auburn. Mark Allen Carter is the director. Mark has also directed Civic productions of Steel Magnolias and On Golden Pond.

Mark was introduced to David Auburn's script when he began reading prize-winning scripts that were in production within the last decade; Proof won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001, the same year it won the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway.

"I love plays that deal with family conflict, but also have an underlying social meaning. This play has both elements. It's incredibly well written, and I read it from beginning to end in one sitting," Mark said. "The character of Catherine is so compelling and audiences feel so much compassion for her because of what she's going through. I wanted to direct this show because I wanted to see someone play the role of Catherine and perform it well."

Mark concluded by describing what the audience will take away from a performance of Proof.

"First, the audience will see outstanding performances from Julia Colby, Alan Hertz, Arliss Jeffries and Haley Samuelson-Couchman," he said. "Second, the audience will come out of this play with a different understanding of what mental health is. I would highly recommend people attend the performance on Sunday, November 16, because there will be a talkback session after the show with a representative of the Mental Health Association."

Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theater in downtown Lafayette, the home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through November 23. The Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. The price of tickets for adults is $15; tickets for youth cost $10.

For more information about Proof or to learn about ticket avaiability, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Announcing the cast of The Giver

Director Brent Wick has announced the cast of The Giver, the second production of the 2008-2009 Civic Youth Theatre season. The script is based on Lois Lowry's book of the same name.

The cast includes:

  • Father -- Isaiah Hale
  • Mother -- Paige Moore
  • Lily -- Erin Huston
  • Jonas -- Aaron Brehm
  • Asher -- Nathan Keiller
  • Fiona -- Grace Morman
  • Chief Elder -- Grace Lazarz
  • Giver -- Bryce Robinson
  • Rosemary -- Taylor Bundy
Other cast members include Summer Adams, Meghan Arnold, Graham Cason, Samanatha Citro, Elizabeth French, Daniel Hallett and Sarah Weaver

The production of The Giver will open Friday, December 5, and run through Sunday, December 14, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. To learn more about the play or auditions, or to purchase tickets, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My teaching adventure.


I had the distinct pleasure this morning to teach a class for WALLA (Wabash Area Lifetime Learning Association). This local group of "elderly" people are probably more active than I am. You can go to the website here to learn more about this group. I highly recommend getting involved with this group if you are of age.

The class I taught is part of the "That's Entertainment" course series, coordinated by Bob Modlin and Virginia Carter. Over a few weeks this fall participants in the series (about 74 individuals) are being visited by Dick Jaeger, Kathy Matter of Purdue Bands, Steven Schlenk of PMO, Bill Hooper of the Lafayette Citizens Band, Sound Sensation (a barbershop quartet) Kirk Hallman of the Indiana Fiddler's Gathering, Clayton Lein of the Lafayette Chamber Singers (my talented and lovely wife is a member of this wonderful group) and Bach Chorale and the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra to discuss their collaborative effort in the first Bach Chorale concert of the year. In other words, I was in very esteemed and good company. It did impress me to again see the depth of culture in our "small" town. But that is not the point of this story.

I have for the past several weeks worked in snippets of time and stolen moments to put together a relatively impressive Power Point presentation. Due to some computer and software issues I used Open Office instead of Microsoft PowerPoint. The program works almost the same, and as I was bringing my laptop, there should be no problem (can you see where this is going). I had an hour of slides ready to go, pictures from the history of Civic Theatre (including the early days of the Lafayette Little Theatre). Snapshots of the Monon Depot Theatre, from before our purchase through today. I even had video snippets of our production of High School Musical (we had paid a special license allowing us to video tape and have limited use of said video). I arrived plenty early so that we could make sure that everything was working, honestly my biggest concern was sound from the videos. Well as many have already figured out, there were problems. My computer would not connect with the projector, no idea why not. Then of course the Open Office file would not open with the Microsoft PowerPoint program on WALLA's laptop.

Luckily I had taken the time to print out a (very) spare outline of the presentation, so I was not flying blind. Also luckily outside of my family there is nothing I like to talk about more than Civic Theatre, so filling an hour was simple, politics is a close third, but I would never dream of boring you with that in this forum.

All that really matters is that I had a wonderful time this morning and was able to talk to 74 very interested people about the theatre that we all love. Thank you to Bob and Virginia for putting this together, and thank you to all the WALLA members for continuing such a wonderful program.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rent one-of-a-kind costumes from Civic Theatre




Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette has a large collection of period clothing, hats and wigs that can be mixed and matched to create one-of-a-kind costumes for Halloween or any other occasion.

Office Manager Bob Sauers asks that people who are interested in renting a costume from Civic Theatre call for an appointment to look through the theatre's clothes, hats and wigs. The appointments must be made for 4 p.m., which is the time during the work day he can lead people through the costume shop.

People can call Bob at the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-PLAY (7529).

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Tour of Terror: In the Civic Theatre lobby









Welcome to the lobby of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette and the 2008 Tour of Terror. Your evening of the macabre, the grisly and the gruesomely historic tales of Lafayette is about to begin ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tour of Terror begins Friday, Oct. 17



For the sixth year in a row, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is proud to bring stories of gruesome stabbings, shocking shoot-outs, grisly beheadings, horrible accidents and much more to audiences during the Halloween season.

Tour of Terror, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's annual fundraiser, begins Friday, Oct. 17, and continues through the following dates:


  • Saturday, Oct. 18
  • Friday, Oct. 24
  • Saturday, Oct. 25
  • Friday, Oct. 31
  • Saturday, Nov. 1


Each night there will be full walking tours beginning at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Mini walking tours will begin at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. each night. Bus tours are available at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 1. Additionally, each night will have a special Midnight Witching Hour Tour.


Tickets for full tours, including the bus tours, cost $13.00 per person. Tickets for the mini walking tours cost $10.00 per person. Tickets for the special Midnight Witching Hour Tours are $15.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-PLAY (7529), visiting the office at 313 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette, or paying for them online at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the Tour at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on a first-come, first-served basis.


Tour of Terror includes expertly spun, historically researched, theatrically told stories about some truly macabre, spooky, violent and sometimes just plain odd events through Lafayette history.


For more information about the length of the Tours, audience age requirements, safety, refreshments and much more, please visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site and click on the "6th Annual Tour of Terror" link on the left-hand side.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Announcing the cast of Spoon River Anthology

Director Robert Spaulding has announced the cast for Spoon River Anthology, the third staged reading in the 2008-2009 staged reading series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is based on Edgar Lee Masters' collection of short poems of the same name.

The cast includes:

· Trish Anderson
· Brian Bennett
· Rod Dimmick
· Jane Hampton
· Linda Jeffries
· Denise Laussade
· Tony Lavish
· Janet Mauck
· Jake Ott
· Marylin Howland Ross
· Kira Stephenson
· Eric Taylor
· Esther Weiner


The staged reading of Spoon River Anthology will be held Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Audience members will be asked to pay what they can for admission. For more information about the performance or the staged reading series, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Comedy Improv this Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

One Size Fits All Improv bids a fond farewell
to Jesse Janowiak,
who will be performing in his final improv show at
Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The roster for the show includes:
M.C. Carol Smith ... who knows how to pronounce "Janowiak"
Gary McFall ... who knows how to pronounce "Jesse"
Matt Kerkhoff ... who cries with joy when Jesse walks past
Tammy Sandel ... who looks a bit like Jesse in a certain light
Laurie Russell ... who doesn't look like Jesse, poor thing
Martin Fernandez ... who wishes he WERE Jesse Janowiak
Jesse Janowiak ... who IS Jesse Janowiak

Also included in the program:

A reading of a poem about Jesse, by three terminally morose teenage girls*
A slideshow about Jesse's fight to save the Galapagos Island ecosystem*
The unveiling of a life-sized ice sculpture depicting Jesse as the Colossus of Rhodes*
Scientific proof that Jesse's gaze has been proven to heal plants' cellular structure*

Isn't it time YOU got to know Jesse a little better?
Do it Saturday, October 18. You'll be glad you did.

The 2008-2009 Civic Theatre Season:
ONE SIZE FITS ALL COMEDY IMPROV
at
Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
Saturdays: October 18; January 10; February 21; April 11 & June 27

* Program subject to change dependent on whether you believe these fibs.

Saturday, October 18 @ 8:00 p.m.
Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
5th & North Streets-Downtown
765-423-PLAY
Tickets: $4.00 At The Door (cheap), Evening Of The Performance or
In Advance by Phone!
Outrageously & Ridiculously Funny Entertainment!
~Greater Lafayette's Longest Running Comedy Show Ever~

ONE SIZE FITS ALL COMEDY IMPROV:
TWO GREAT CITIES, ONE GREAT IMPROV TROUPE !

Come see Lafayette/West Lafayette's own Comedy Improv Troupe battle it out for laughs and prizes! Two teams flex their comedic muscle for laughs as they make up scenes, games, and songs right on the spot based on audience suggestions. You vote for the winners, an MC calls the plays, prizes are awarded, and you might even get pulled up on stage!
Dang! We're Funny!One Size Fits All Improv: Your Friendly Neighborhood Improv Troupe!
www.OneSizeFitsAllImprov.com