Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Memory - David Santogrossi

David Santogrossi, drummer, carpenter and good friend of Civic Theatre lost his battle with cancer this past Thursday January 28th.

David was a part of Civic Theatre in so many ways. As a drummer and percussionist he had "played scores and scores of scores for Civic musicals," as he stated in his bio for The King and I. What a true statement that was. David played a part of practically every musical Civic Theatre has produced since moving into the Monon Depot Theatre, close to 30 years ago. He also shared his musical talents with Purdue Theatre, Red Barn Theatre and the Vanity Theatre. In addition to his musical contributions David was Master Carpenter or on set crew for dozens more. David also gladly volunteered as an usher, making him a part of virtually every Civic Theatre production for the past 30 years. Needless to say we will miss David's talent and hard work.

I have known David only the past few years, barely a blip of his overall impact on Civic, and the lives of all of us. I will miss chatting with him before shows, helping schlep his drum kit at the Amphitheater, saying "hi" to Gelato, his constant companion and so much more about him. If you would like, please feel free to share your memories of David.

Visitation for David will be:

4 to 7 pm Saturday
Soller-Baker Lafayette Chapel
400 Twyckenham Boulevard
Lafayette, IN 47909

You can also leave condolences at the Soller-Baker website here.

Please rest in peace David.

February 6: Writing a Play - Part 3


On Saturday, February 6, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will offer a class titled "Writing a Play – Part 3." It will be held 12 noon - 2 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

Class participants will develop their own play over the course of the theatrical season. Classes feature a supportive and creative process that will result in a final script suitable for submission to Civic Theatre's 2010-2011 Staged Reading Series. The instructors are Civic veterans Steve Gooch, Arliss Jeffries and Steve Martin. The two-hour class costs $20.

To register for the class, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's office at 765-423-7529. Space is limited.

Friday, January 29, 2010

WLFI spot for A Raisin in the Sun



The Staged Reading Series: the Haraka Writers on February 2

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2009-2010 Staged Reading Series continues with a poetry slam by the Haraka Writers of Purdue University's Black Cultural Center.

The Haraka Writers consist of Purdue students and community members committed to expressing the African-American experience through short stories, essays and poetry.

The poetry slam will be performed at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on Tuesday, February 2 at 7 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session between the audience and the performers following the performance. Audience members are encouraged to pay what they can for admission.

To learn more about the Haraka Writers, click here to visit the group's page on the Black Cultural Center's Web site. To learn more about the Staged Reading Series, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Steve Koehler and Ebony Kennedy speak about A Raisin in the Sun on WLFI

On Thursday morning's news program on WLFI-TV, A Raisin in the Sun director Steve Koehler and actress Ebony Kennedy spoke with Laura Kirtley about the content of the show, the cast of characters and the show schedule.



A Raisin in the Sun opens tonight, Friday, January 29 and runs three consecutive weekends through Sunday, February 14. To learn more about the show, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's office at 765-423-7529 or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site.

Opening night for A Raisin in the Sun: production photos



A Raisin in the Sun opens tonight, January 29, at 8 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. The show will run three consecutive weekends through February 14. To order tickets, call Civic Theatre's box office at 765-423-7529.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preview of A Raisin in the Sun on www.jconline.com


A preview of A Raisin in the Sun appears online at http://www.jconline.com/, the Web site for the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper.

You can read the preview here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Civic Theatre YouTube

Civic Theatre has joined the ranks of user generated content.
Steve Scherer has created this preview video for the upcoming production of A Raisin in the Sun. We will be producing these videos for all future productions and possibly even more features.
you can become a subscriber of our YouTube Channel and follow our exploits on FaceBook.




A Raisin in the Sun runs from January 29 through February 14.
765-423-PLAY (7529)
Tickets available here

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 30: All You Wanted to Know About Shakespeare, But Were Afraid to Ask


On Saturday, January 30, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will offer a class titled "All You Wanted to Know About Shakespeare, But Were Afraid to Ask." It will be held 12 noon to 2 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

This class is a basic rundown of acting Shakespearean plays. Designed to take away the mystique and fear of the Bard, this class will focus on speaking the verse and some basic methods that separate (or not) acting in a classic play versus a contemporary play. The instructor is Civic veteran Arliss Jeffries. The two-hour class costs $20.

To register for the class, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's office at 765-423-7529. Space is limited.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Photos from the New Volunteer Orientation

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's New Volunteer Orientation took place Saturday, January 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

Attendees learned from established Civic volunteers about several facets of theatre, all of which are done by volunteers at Civic. The posts that follow show the Civic volunteers who shared information.

Thanks to everyone to attended, whether you are new to Civic or if you have volunteered for a while and shared your experiences.




Photos from the New Volunteer Orientation: set construction, costumes and props

Dave Lahr, Tom Moran, Gerri Fish and Kris Kazmierczak spoke with attendees in the scene shop about being on the construction crew, working on props and being a costumer.



Photos from the New Volunteer Orientation: box office, house management, ushers and main office

Steve Koehler and Gerri Fish spoke with attendees in the lobby about managing the box office, being the house manager or an usher, and volunteering in the Civic office.


Photos from the New Volunteer Orientation: lighting designer and sound designer

Bailey Rosa and Kris Kazmierczak spoke with attendees in the booth about designing lighting and designing sound.


Photos from the New Volunteer Orientation: actor, director and producer

John Collier and Larry Sommers spoke with attendees on the stage about acting, directing and producing.


Announcing the cast of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Director Laurie Russell has announced the cast for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the fourth production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield.

The cast includes:
  • * Martin Fernandez
  • * Chris Mayfield
  • * Bill Ross

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) will open Friday, March 12 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, March 28 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 8 p.m., Sunday afternoon performances will begin at 2:30 p.m.


For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In the Wings: A Raisin in the Sun. Meet Jos N. Holman.


Jos N. Holman plays Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, the third production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Lorraine Hansberry.

Jos explained the two reaons he auditioned for the production.

"I love theater but I don't get to experience it as much as I would like. Having this particular play taking place in the Greater Lafayette area was a great opportunity," he said. "The other reason I auditioned is that I am very familiar with this play, Langston Hughes and his writing, and the poem that I call 'Dream Deferred' which is the basis of the script. I also like the historic setting: the Civil Rights era is very close to my heart."

Jos described Walter Lee, his desires and the obstacles he faces.

"Walter Lee is angry, somewhat impetuous, a dreamer, dissatisifed but yet he still is a family man," he said. "Walter Lee is not satisified with his life or his financial status. He wants to own his own business and to become his own man. He faces the idea of, 'How do I get to a point where I am standing on my own in the place I want to be because of my own choices and the decisions I've made?' He tries to take hold of his dream, but all his circumstances are against him."

Jos concluded by suggesting there are several things audiences will remember about A Raisin in the Sun.

"There are some folks, especially African-American folks, who remember the time period in the late 1950s when things were not as they are in 2010. They will relate to what is going on, they will remember and hopefully there will be some fond memories and remembrances and not just sad ones," he said. "Folks will identify with the struggles this family goes through just to own a home. They also will identify with the struggles in relationships between the characters. At the same time some people will go home having been entertained by some comedic action in the play. There are some lighter moments and joyful moments in terms of family interaction as well. And some people will go home and say, 'My, we've come a pretty long way as a society.'"

A Raisin in the Sun runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 14 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8:00 p.m., shows on Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In the Wings: A Raisin in the Sun. Meet Ebony Kennedy.


Ebony Kennedy plays Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, the third production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Lorraine Hansberry.

Ebony was encouraged to audition for the production by John David Collier, one of her colleagues at work and the director of Civic Theatre's production of A Christmas Story.

Ebony described Ruth as a woman who does everything she can to support her family and to ensure its success.

"Ruth is very tired and beaten up by life because everything she does is to make sure her family is supported," she said. "No matter how much Walter beats her up verbally, she is constantly supportive of him. Although she's often reserved and even soft-spoken, she is a very strong woman. She puts up with a lot. There are a few times in the play she breaks down, but she has a lot of emotional control."

Ebony concluded by suggesting what the audience will remember about the production.

"The audience will see that this isn't a play that was meant to be relevant only in the 1950s. A lot of the issues in the play are still very relevant in 2010," she said. "I hope people will make those connections and question that although times have changed somewhat, have we really moved that far from where we were then?"

A Raisin in the Sun runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 14 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8:00 p.m., shows on Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In the Wings: A Raisin in the Sun. Meet Ashley McElroy.


Ashley McElroy plays Beneatha Younger in A Raisin in the Sun, the third production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Lorraine Hansberry.

A Raisin in the Sun marks Ashley's acting debut with Civic Theatre. She had known about the script before she auditioned.

"I have periodically checked the shows that Civic produces," she said. "A Raisin in the Sun is one that I was interested in and thought I had an opportunity to perform in."

Ashley described Beneatha and what drives her.

"Beneatha has a lot of attitude, but at the same time she's trying to find herself and improve herself. She's a 20 year old who is trying to figure out who she is," she said. "She wants to be a doctor and has two love interests, but she keeps reiterating that she wants to be a doctor first. She doesn't want anything to get in the way of that."

Ashley suggested what the audience will most remember about the production.

"The audience will feel the undertone of desperation the characters feel, especially toward the end," she said. "Also, the audience will wonder what happens to the characters after the play ends. What will happen to people who cannot achieve their dreams?"

A Raisin in the Sun runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 14 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8:00 p.m., shows on Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In the Wings: A Raisin in the Sun. Meet Valerie Baynard.


Valerie Baynard plays Lena Younger, also known as Mama, in A Raisin in the Sun, the third production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Lorraine Hansberry.

Valerie had acted in the play previously, which led her to audition for Civic Theatre's production.

"I had played Beneatha in junior high school. It was my first acting experience," she said. "I felt that acting in the role of Mama would bring me full circle."

Valerie described Lena and what motivates her.

"Lena is a very strong woman who wants to stake her claim in keeping her family together," she said. "She tries to pass on her responsibilities to her son. She wants Walter to become the man that her husband was. Lena wonders if Walter can take on the responsibility of being the head of the family."

She concluded by describing what an audience will most remember about Civic Theatre's production of A Raisin in the Sun.

"The themes of hope and starting over fresh will come to the audience's minds," she said. "These are applicable to anything in life: a person always has the chance to start over, and it's never too late to say 'I love you' and there's always hope for tomorrow."

A Raisin in the Sun runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 14 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8:00 p.m., shows on Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the Wings: A Raisin in the Sun. Meet Steve Koehler, the director.


Steve Koehler directs A Raisin in the Sun, the third production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Lorraine Hansberry.

Steve first read the play in high school. He said it was one of the first scripts to impact him.

"The story moved me when I read it in high school. It said something to me," he said. "When we chose the season a year and a half ago, things were looking bad economically: the housing market was going bad and some people were having a hard time finding a place to live. It came back to me that A Raisin in the Sun is as relevant today as when it was originally produced in 1959. It's also a very well-written play: there's a lot of humor and warmth. Alongside the amazing social and political commentary, it's just a very good play."

Steve described the setting of the play and the characters.

"The play is set in the early 1950s in the South Side of Chicago," he said. "It's set years before the housing projects went up in Chicago, but it was still a rough life. The play focuses on the Younger family: Mama (Valerie Baynard), her two children Walter (Jos N. Holman) and Beneatha (Ashley McElroy), Walter's wife Ruth (Ebony Kennedy) and their son Travis (Joseph Ricksy). The play is set the day before a $10,000 life insurance check is to arrive. It will change their lives somehow and we learn about the family members' dreams about life."

He concluded by suggesting what an audience will most remember about Civic Theatre's production of the play.

"They will walk away with an appreciation of Lorraine Hansberry's language and the actors' talent, but they will most remember the strength and love that exists within the Younger family. That is what drives this entire play," he said.

A Raisin in the Sun runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 14 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Shows on Friday and Saturday evenings begin at 8:00 p.m.; shows on Sunday afternoons begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

For more infomration about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Announcing auditions: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Audition dates have been announced for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the fourth production in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2009-2010 MainStage season. Auditions will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, January 17 and Monday, January 18 in the Civic Theatre office at 313 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

Director Laurie Russell asks that all auditioners prepare a memorized monologue no longer than two minutes in length.

All 37 plays in 97 minutes! An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard's plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) lives up to all the hype. The greatest playwright, 37 full-length plays including Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and many more, all chopped up (Macbeth) eaten (Titus Andronicus) and regurgitated (more titles than you might think) and ... well you get the idea.

Warning! This show is a high-speed, roller-coaster ride of all of Shakespeare's plays and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, bladder problems, inner-ear disorders and/or people inclined to motion sickness.

"Pithier than Python ... irresistible" - The New York Times

"If you like Shakespeare, you'll like this show. If you hate Shakespeare, you'll LOVE this show!" -The Today Show

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) will open Friday, March 12 and run through Sunday, March 28.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Announcing the cast of Snow White


Director Missy Freels has announced the cast for Snow White, the third production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by J. Michael Straczynski.

The cast includes:
  • * Mirror - Taylor Bundy
  • * Snow White - Kiara Light
  • * Prince - Marcos Cisneros
  • * Queen - Kayla Davenport
  • * Old Woman - Catalina Cruz
  • * Witch - Malena de la Fuente
  • * The Princess - Summer Adams
  • * Doc - Maria Guido
  • * Dopey - Ariel Laukins
  • * Happy - Maggie Furtner
  • * Sleepy - Grace Eckhardt
  • * Sneezy - Jessica Lazarz
  • * Grumpy - Max Curtis
  • * Bashful - Tori Rosa
  • * Tree 1 - Abby McCain
  • * Tree 2 - Ellie Doll
  • * Tree 3 - Bailey Burton

Snow White will open Friday, February 26 and run through Sunday, February 28 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7 p.m. The Sunday afternoon performance will begin at 2:30 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One Size Fits All presents "The Circus Show" on Jan. 9


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please direct your attention to the center ring of the historic Monon Depot Theatre as One Size Fits All presents

"The Circus Show"
Saturday, January 9 at 8 p.m.

These death-defying performers will create scenes and songs based on your suggestions of different circus acts and sideshows. They'll be working without a net as everything they do on stage will be done without a script.

All suggestions from the audience will center around circus acts and sideshow performers including, but not limited to:

lion tamers
high wire walkers
clowns
midway gamers
knife throwers
magicians
trapeze artists
contortionists
stilt walkers
carnival ride operators
tumblers and trampolinists
elephant trainers
bearded ladies
... and more!

(If you mention Cirque du Soleil, the players might perform in French!)

The show is fun for all ages from 1 to 99.

Tickets cost only $4 per person and are available the night of the show at Civic Theatre, on the corner of 5th and North Streets in downtown Lafayette or by calling 765-423-7529 to reserve.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette wishes you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous 2010.