Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Size Fits All presents the "These Kids Are Funny!" show at Civic Theatre


Who's funnier, teens or adults? One Size Fits All answers the question ... with some help.
  • * Who: One Size Fits All & the Jefferson Players
  • * What: The "These Kids Are Funny!" Show
  • * When: Saturday, April 3 at 8 p.m.
  • * Where: The historic Monon Depot Theatre, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette

On Saturday, April 3, members of One Size Fits All will team up with members of the Jefferson Players, Jefferson High School's drama club, in an improvisational comedy showdown. The mixed teams will perform songs, create scenes and have audiences rolling in the aisle as they compete for points and the title of "Funniest Team."

In addition, the audience will be asked to offer suggestions related to Harry Potter in celebration of the "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine" exhibit running through April 8 at the John W. Hicks Undergraduate Library.

Tickets for the "These Kids Are Funny!" show can be purchased the night of the show at the historic Monon Depot Theatre or reserved in advance by calling 765-423-7529. Tickets are $4.00 per person and all proceeds go to Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

This show is family friendly and fun for all ages.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Share Your Thoughts: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


Now that The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

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?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Announcing the 2010-2011 Season


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette has announced its 2010-2011 season, which includes 16 shows in three separate series and two special productions.

"The 2010-2011 season includes well-known musicals, theatre classics and contemporary hits," said Steven Koehler, managing director of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. "This diverse season will appeal to our audiences and volunteers alike."

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2010-2011 season is divided into three series: MainStage, Civic Youth Theatre and Staged Readings.

"The MainStage series is our signature series with five diverse selections, including musicals, dramas, comedies and classics performed at Civic Theatre's historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette," Koehler said. "Civic Youth Theatre productions engage young people age 18 and younger both in acting roles and backstage positions. The Staged Readings are entering their fourth season and focus on plays with great dialogue and themes."

The MainStage season opens September as the musical The Taffetas takes an affectionate look at 1950s all-girl singing groups. Tuesdays with Morrie, based on Mitch Albom's runaway best-selling book, follows in November. The third MainStage show is Arthur Miller's classic post-war drama All My Sons in January, followed by the British sex farce about politicians, Out of Order, in March. The final show in the MainStage season will be the horror-comedy musical Little Shop of Horrors in May.

Civic Youth Theatre begins with the 24-Hour Theatre Project, an event during which all participants will create a show from scratch within 24 hours of their first meeting. The one-time performance will be October 9. Three classic stories follow, starting with Once Upon a Mattress, a musical based on "The Princess and the Pea," in February. William Shakespeare's Macbeth, a tragedy about the abuse of power and the madness it causes, will be performed in April. The warm-hearted children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit, about the unconditional love a boy has for his toy rabbit, concludes the season.

The five staged readings held during the year will take place the Tuesday following the opening weekends of the MainStage shows. The first is The Diaries of Adam and Eve, based on two short stories by Mark Twain. The second script is Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive in which a young woman's life is irrevocably changed as she takes driving lessons from her uncle. As Bees in Honey Drown, a satiric comedy about fame and celebrity follows. For the fourth year, the Staged Reading series will include at least one world premiere of an original script. The title for the 2010-2011 has not yet been determined; information about submission guidelines and deadlines will follow soon. The final staged reading will be the Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women, written by one of America's greatest living playwrights, Edward Albee.

"All of the plays in these series offer strong points of view about the world and the relationships we develop with others," Koehler said. "Audiences will be moved by the stories – both comic and tragic – they see on stage during the 2010-2011 season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette."

For the first time, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will offer two short-run special productions. The first is the world premiere of Enter Love, a musical written by local artists Lynn Lupold and Don Seybold. Enter Love will take place in August. The second is the classic Christmas story The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, which will run in December. Both productions take place at the historic Monon Depot Theatre.

"These short-run productions are fully produced shows," Koehler said. "At these times when the Monon Depot Theatre traditionally sits empty, we look forward to bringing stories about the nature of love and the joy of Christmas to our audiences."

The full calendar of the 2010-2011 season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is:
  • * Enter Love (Short-Run Production), August 13-15, 2010
  • * The Taffetas (MainStage), September 10-26, 2010
  • * The Diaries of Adam and Eve (Staged Reading), September 14, 2010
  • * 24-Hour Theatre Project (Civic Youth Theatre), October 9, 2010
  • * Tuesdays with Morrie (MainStage), November 5-21, 2010
  • * How I Learned to Drive (Staged Reading), November 9, 2010
  • * The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Short-Run Production), December 3-12, 2010
  • * All My Sons (MainStage), January 28-February 13, 2011
  • * As Bees in Honey Drown (Staged Reading), February 1, 2011
  • * Once Upon a Mattress (Civic Youth Theatre), February 25-27, 2011
  • * Out of Order (MainStage), March 11-27, 2011
  • * World Premiere of Original Scripts, T.B.D. (Staged Reading), March 15, 2011
  • * Macbeth (Civic Youth Theatre), April 8-10, 2011
  • * The Velveteen Rabbit (Civic Youth Theatre), April 22-24, 2011
  • * Little Shop of Horrors (MainStage), May 13-29, 2011
  • * Three Tall Women (Staged Reading), May 17, 2011

Tickets for MainStage shows and special productions will cost $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under. Tickets for Civic Youth Theatre productions will cost $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under. The Staged Readings are Pay What You Can events. Season tickets can be purchased either by visiting http://www.lafayettecivic.org/ or by calling 765-423-7529. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday afternoon matinee performances begin at 2:30 p.m.

Announcing the 2010-2011 Season: MainStage Series


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will produce 5 plays at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette during the 2010-2011 MainStage Series. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under.

The Taffetas by Rick Lewis and Arthur Whitelaw
  • * September 10-26, 2010
  • * It's 1950-something, and Kaye, Peggy, Cheryl and Donna, four singing sisters from Muncie, Indiana are making their national television singing debut. "Spotlight on Music," a fictitious weekly 1950s television show on the real-life Dumont Television Network, sets the framework for an evening of some of the greatest hits of the 1950s. The Taffetas pays tribute to the sounds of The McGuire Sisters, The Fontane Sisters and The Chordettes. Spend an hour and a half with The Taffetas and their three-piece band, and remember what Sunday night television was like on your 12-inch black-and-white screen!

Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, based on Mitch Albom's book of the same name

  • * November 5-21, 2010
  • * Maybe it was a grandparent, a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago. He rediscovers Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live. Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.

All My Sons by Arthur Miller

  • * January 28-February 13, 2011
  • * During the war Joe Keller and Herbert Deever ran a machine shop that made airplane parts. When several servicemen die as a result of defective parts, Deever is sent to prison. Keller goes free and makes a lot of money. The twin shadows of this catastrophe and the fact that the one of the young Keller sons was reported missing during the war dominate the action. The love affair of Chris Keller and Ann Deever, the bitterness of George Deever returned from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free, are all set in a structure of almost unbearable power. The tensions lead to a dramatic conclusion that changed the face of American Theatre forever.

Out of Order by Ray Cooney

  • * March 11-27, 2011
  • * Richard Willey, a British government minister, plans an affair with a typist from the opposition. Things go wrong when they discover a dead body in their hotel room. The Minister calls in his PPS to sort out the mess and from then on matters go rapidly from bad to worse with assorted hotel staff, guests and just about everybody else intervening! Out of Order is a romping, hilarious farce that will leave audiences rolling in the aisles.

Little Shop of Horrors by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith

  • * May 13-29, 2011
  • * A down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

Announcing the 2010-2011 Season: Civic Youth Theatre Series


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will produce three plays and organize an event at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette during the 2010-2011 Civic Youth Theatre series. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

24-Hour Theatre Event
  • * October 8-9, with a performance on October 9, 2010
  • * An intense 24-hour creative process. The 24-Hour Theatre Event will start at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 8 with a group of young artists; 24 hours later they will have written, directed and acted in a world premiere play. With a one-time only performance on Saturday, October 9, this is a theatrical event not to be missed.

Once Upon a Mattress by Mary Rodgers, Marshall Barer, Jay Thompson and Dean Fuller

  • * February 25-27, 2011
  • * If you thought you knew the story of "The Princess and The Pea," you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken's love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn't the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you'll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

  • * April 8-10, 2011
  • * From the world's greatest dramatist comes the dark tale of greed, revenge and murder. "The Scottish Play" is the story of one couple's political aspirations and the depths of depravity that they will stoop to achieve them.

The Velveteen Rabbit

  • * April 22-24, 2011
  • * Margery Williams' beloved tale is faithfully told and carefully expanded for the stage. The Velveteen Rabbit provides young audiences with comedy, pathos, adventure and a final triumph for the hero, who learns that love makes all things real.

Announcing the 2010-2011 Season: Staged Readings Series


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will produce five staged readings at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette during the 2010-2011 season. All staged readings are Pay What You Can events.

The Diaries of Adam and Eve, adapted by David Birney from "Adam's Diary" and "Diary for Eve" by Mark Twain
  • * September 14, 2010
  • * Originally broadcast on American Playhouse, this delightful adaptation is set in a Victorian garden and is structured as a series of diary entries by Adam and Eve. At first, Adam is puzzled by the new arrival in the garden and he is suspicious of her disturbing appetite for fruit. Eve, believing herself to be some sort of experiment, is curious about another experiment in the garden, perhaps some sort of reptile or possibly architecture. Eve gives names to everything, much to Adam's annoyance. He tries to ignore her, so she seeks companionship among the animals, particularly with a certain snake.

How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel

  • * November 9, 2010
  • * A wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. How I Learned to Drive is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel.

As Bees in Honey Drown by Douglas Carter Beane

  • * February 1, 2011
  • * Evan Wyler has just finished a photo session with his shirt off. No, he's not a supermodel; he's a twenty-something New York writer savoring the success of his debut novel. Defined by the media as the "hot-young" thing-of-the-moment, Evan captures the attention of Alexa Vere de Vere, a black-clad woman of mystery who's made the world of celebrity her home. In fact, it's her religion. Maybe she's a record producer, maybe she's a film agent; what is clear is that she wants Evan to write the screenplay of her life story. Just spend time with me, she says, and you'll learn all you need to know. To Evan, who is gay, it's like an invitation into the world of Auntie Mame, Sally Bowles and Holly Golightly all rolled into one. But once Evan fools himself into believing he loves Alexa, she vanishes, leaving him to foot the bill for all the dinners and Armani suits they've gone through. Trying to find Alexa, Evan discovers a chain of people who have fallen under her spell and acted as her meal ticket. For Alexa has no money, no job, no life of her own – only the one she's created for herself. As Alexa puts it: "You're not the person you were born – who wonderful is?"

World Premiere of Original Scripts, to be determined

  • * March 15, 2011
  • * In the four years the Staged Reading Series has been part of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, at least one has been an original script written by a local playwright. In the 2007-2008 season, two original one-act plays were part of the season: Pia Zadora Sings Gershwin by Deborah Gray and A Very Bad Day for Brandon Butterworth by Scott Haan. In the 2008-2009 season, Steve Gooch's original full-length play In the Weeds had its world premiere at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The 2009-2010 season's original script was TILT by Laurie Russell. The world premiere original script for 2010-2011 will be determined late in 2010.

Three Tall Women by Edward Albee

  • * May 17, 2011
  • * In Act One, a young lawyer, "C," has been sent to the home of a client, a 92-year-old woman, "A," to sort out her finances. "A," frail and perhaps a bit senile, resists and is of no help to "C." Along with "B," the old woman's matronly paid companion/caretaker, "C" tries to convince "A" that she must concentrate on the matters at hand. In "A's" beautifully appointed bedroom, she prods, discusses and bickers with "B" and "C," her captives. "A's" long life is laid out for display, no holds barred. She cascades from regal and charming to vicious and wretched as she wonders about and remembers her life. Finally, when recounting her most painful memory, she suffers a stroke. In Act Two, "A's" comatose body lies in bed as "B" and "C" observe no changes in her condition. In a startling coup-de-theatre, "A" enters, very much alive and quite lucid. The three women are now the stages of "A's" life: the imperious old woman, the regal matron and the young woman of twenty-six. Her life, memories and reminiscences – pondered in the first act – are now unceremoniously examined, questioned, accepted or not, but, at last, understood.

Announcing the 2010-2011 Season: Short-Run Special Productions


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will stage two short-run special productions at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette during the 2010-2011 season. Tickets for the general public are $15 for adults, $10 for youth age 18 and under. Tickets for Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette season ticket subscribers are $12 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

Enter Love by Lynn Lupold and Don Seybold
  • * August 13-15, 2010, with a possible extension through August 22
  • * A world premiere musical about the nature of love and relationships in the first decade of the 21st century. With music and lyrics by Lynn Lupold and book by Don Seybold, Civic Theatre is thrilled to present this locally created show in its first full theatrical realization.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

  • * December 3-12, 2010 with a possible extension through December 19
  • * When the Herdman children, "the worst kids in the history of the world," are all cast in the annual Christmas Pageant, Mrs. Bradley has her hands full. Stolen communion wine (well, really grape juice), wise men with machine guns and a fire in the middle of the final rehearsal all leave everyone anticipating the Worst Christmas Pageant Ever. But this warm and funny show will leave audiences with the true spirit of the season.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Announcing the cast of Young Playwrights Project


Directors Melanie R. Buchanan, Sherri Bundy and Laurie Russell have announced the casts for all four scripts in Young Playwrights Project, the final production of the 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The casts include:

Come Back to Me by Emily Davis
  • * Eddie – Michael Freels
  • * Adelaide – Sarah Buckser
  • * Mother – Zoe Lister
  • * George – Cody Walker
  • * John – Tyler Reynolds
  • * Dr. Ingles – Megan Beaver
  • * Mrs. Barton – Summer Adams

Dare I Say by Margaret Duvall & Shalu Mittal

  • * Jester/Chorus – Riley Anderson
  • * Adeline – Sarah Weaver
  • * Mallory – Hannah Anderson
  • * Rosemary – Summer Adams
  • * Charles – Evan Nyquist
  • * Victor – Connor Beaver
  • * Sebastian – Michael Freels
  • * Clarissa – Caty Jones
  • * Partygoers – Sydney Cason, Grace Eckhart, Isaiah Hale, Anna Lister, Tyler Reynolds, Emma Scoffield

Romeo & Juliet … and Gretchen by Maggie Furtner

  • * Juliet – Sydney Cason
  • * Gretchen – Isaiah Hale
  • * Romeo – Connor Beaver
  • * Benvolio – JoEllen Doyle
  • * Tybalt – Cody Walker
  • * Waiter – Fiona Beaver
  • * Apothecary – Fiona Beaver
  • * Bystanders – Fiona Beaver, Megan Beaver, Caty Jones, Zoe Lister

Violins by Malena de la Fuente

  • * Charlie – Isaiah Hale
  • * James – Grace Eckhart
  • * Lucy – Ariel Laukins
  • * John – Zoe Lister
  • * Man – Connor Beaver
  • * Terri – Emma Scofield
  • * Waitress – Anna Lister
  • * Restaurant Patrons – Megan Beaver, Sarah Buckser, Michael Freels, Tyler Reynolds

Young Playwrights Project will open Friday, April 16 and run through Sunday, April 18 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. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under.

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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two year anniversary for Civic Theatre's blog


Two years ago today, Civic Theatre Managing Director Steve Koehler published the first post on this blog, inviting "great discussions, imaginative posts, and great creativity." In the two years that this blog has been running, 514 posts have been published, more than 11,500 unique visitors arrived, and more than 27,250 pages have been loaded.

Thanks to numerous volunteers who have given of their time and talent, the blog has been the site for promoting new productions, directors, actors and volunteers from behind the scenes. Several volunteers have contributed photos and videos to the blog and several more have shared their opinions about what they have seen and heard on stage at the historic Monon Depot Theatre.

Like last year's post with on first anniversary, this post concludes by thanking all of the readers who support this blog. You've been the sole reason content is created, and our hope is that it has been informative and interesting for you. As the 2009-2010 season heads into the homestretch and the 2010-2011 season looms, we fully look forward to sharing even more stories, highlighting more people and promoting more shows in its third year of existence.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Review Is In: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


The review of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was published in the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper. It was written by Dick Jaeger. You can read it here.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) begins the second weekend of its three-weekend run this Friday at 8:00 p.m. and continues with shows at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. All performances take place at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. The show closes Sunday, March 28.

To inquire about tickets, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Share Your Thoughts: TILT

The staged reading of TILT took place tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette with 83 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, director Julia Colby and playwright Laurie Russell.

Did you attend the staged reading? What did you think about the characters, the plot and other elements of the script? What were some of the high points? What will you remember most about this staged reading?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Civic Theatre announces a summer hiatus

Officials at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette have announced that they will take a hiatus from the annual Civic Under the Stars summer production.

Civic Under the Stars is a program started in the summer of 1996 with a production of Annie Get Your Gun, directed by then-Managing Director Larry Sommers. In the following years, Civic Theatre produced more than 30 shows at the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater. More than 55,000 patrons over the years enjoyed watching large and small shows under the stars in the 1,500 seat open-air theatre.

"The program has a wonderful history, and has been a wonderful addition to the summer activities of Greater Lafayette," said current Civic Theatre Managing Director Steven Koehler. "The facility is magnificent and the staff of the Amphitheatre has always been professional and helpful to Civic Theatre officials and volunteers alike."

Koehler cited current economic realities as the reason for the hiatus. "As with many other programs, costs have increased over the years," he said. "Although the shows continue to have great success, we felt that it was best to reassess the program while it is still successful. The Board of Directors wishes to make it clear that this is a one-year hiatus, to give the Board and staff a chance to redesign and modify the model for Civic Under the Stars. There is every intention to return to the Tippecanoe County Amphitheatre in the summer of 2011."

Civic Theatre on YouTube: TILT

The following preview video of TILT, the fourth of five staged readings held during the 2009-2010 season, has been added to the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Steve Scherer for creating this video.



The staged reading of TILT will be held Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can event.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 20: Writing a Play – Part 4


On Saturday, March 20, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will offer a class titled "Writing a Play - Part 4." It will be held 12 noon to 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, March 12, 2010

WLFI spot for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)



Opening night for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged): production photos











Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these production photos.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) opens tonight, March 12, at 8 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. The show will run three consecutive weekends through March 28. To order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Preview of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) on www.jconline.com


A preview of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) 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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Civic Theatre on YouTube: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)


The following preview video of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the fourth production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season, has been added to the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Steve Scherer for creating this video.



The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) opens Friday, March 12 and runs through Sunday, March 28. For more information about the show, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's office at 765-423-7529 or visit its Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Staged Reading Series: TILT on March 16









Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2009-2010 Staged Reading Series continues with TILT by Laurie Russell.

Julia Colby directs the cast, which includes Nathan Keiller, Doug Pruim, Neil Radtke, Marilyn Howland Ross, Steve Scherer, Lisa Stanforth, MaryBeth Weckerlin and Brent Wick.

It will be performed at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session between the audience, cast, director and playwright immediately following the reading. Audience members are encouraged to pay what they can for admission.

To learn more about TILT or the third annual Staged Reading Series, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site, http://www.lafayettecivic.org/

Monday, March 8, 2010

Announcing auditions: Young Playwrights Project


Audition dates have been announced for Young Playwrights Project, the final production in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2009-2010 Civic Youth Theatre season. Auditions will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 and Sunday, March 21 in the Civic Theatre office at 313 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

The four scripts being produced during Young Playwrights Project are:
  • Violins by Malena de la Fuente
  • Romeo & Juliet … and Gretchen by Maggie Furtner
  • Dare I Say by Margaret Duvall & Shalu Mittal
  • Come Back to Me by Emily Davis

Directors Sherri Bundy, Laurie Russell and Melanie R. Buchanan ask that auditioners prepare a monologue no longer than one-and-a-half minutes in length. There are several parts of all ages for both boys and girls. Anyone between the ages of 6 and 18 is welcome to audition. Please call 765-423-7529 to schedule an audition appointment.


Young Playwrights Project will open Friday, April 16 and run through Sunday, April 18.

The Staged Reading Series: TILT. Meet Laurie Russell, the playwright.


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Staged Reading Series includes at least one original script in its five-script season. This year's original script is TILT, written by Laurie Russell.

Laurie is a longtime volunteer at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, both acting in and directing numerous productions. Some of her favorite playwrights are Tony Kushner, Larry Shue and Robert Harling.

"Tony Kushner is brilliant. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, he's just amazing," she said. "When I was stuck after writing Act I of TILT, I read an article about him in the Chicago Tribune. At the end of the article, he said 'Writing is mechanical. You sit down and you type. You don't wait for inspiration. You sit down and type.' So when I sit and type, that article with his picture sometimes is sitting there looking me in the face. I love Larry Shue because he throws a little bit of the unexpected in his scripts. And Robert Harling combines pathos and humor in his scripts. I think those always go hand-in-hand. You can be laughing one minute and crying the next."

Laurie shared the given circumstances at the start of TILT.

"The action takes place in a university town in the Midwest, but the location isn't stated," she said. "A young man enters his childhood home with another young man; they are a couple. And the first one explains that he has not told his family that he's gay. After that comes numerous family reactions to this news. Some reactions are positive, some are not."

She described the impetus for writing the play.

"I have always wanted to write a comedy that had some pathos in it, but I didn't want it to be syrupy," she said. "I wanted a hopeful ending, but not a 'Happily Ever After' one. It's not entirely about my family; there are some things completely out of left field. When I write a play, all these characters just start talking. I'll be out cleaning stalls in the barn and whole lines of dialogue will come to me."

Laurie shared what she gets from having her script completed and read in front of an audience.

"Our family has had all sorts of nice talks because I've worked with my son and my husband on the script. It's brought out a lot of dialogue among the family," she said. "It's exciting to have someone saying my words and to see how an audience will react. Something may seem hysterical when you write it, but the audiences doesn't respond at all."

Laurie said TILT's prospects may extend beyond the staged reading.

"I know a theatre in Ithaca, New York, that produces scripts about lesbian, gay and bisexual characters. I may send it to them for review," she said.

TILT will be performed as a staged reading on Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. The reading is a Pay What You Can event.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 13: Lighting the Subject - Basic Lighting Design


On Saturday, March 13, Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette will offer a class titled "Lighting the Subject – Basic Lighting Design." It will be held 12 noon to 2 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

This class includes a rundown of the lighting equipment at Civic Theatre and what makes it work. Attendees also will learn basic theories on color, timing and sculpting from a lighting perspective. The instructor is Civic Theatre Managing Director Steve Koehler. 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, March 6, 2010

In the Wings: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Photos of the set.

The following photos show the set for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), the fourth production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. These photos of the not-then-completed set were taken in early March.

Master Carpenter: Dan Becker






Friday, March 5, 2010

In the Wings: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Meet Bill Ross.


Bill Ross performs in 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.

Bill is making his acting debut with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

"I wanted to be in the show because it's a comedy and there's some improv involved," he said. "I read the script before I auditioned and as I read it I found there were more jokes than what the DVD showed. I picked up different references throughout the script. It's very smartly written. There are little things about the plays that the writers poke fun at, which is great because I hate Shakespeare."

All the actors perform multiple roles in the show. Bill described some of the things he does during the show.

"I sing and dance during Romeo and Juliet," he said. "And I also play an instrument as well; I think it's called a kazoolaphone. There's more, trust me."

Bill suggested what an audience will most enjoy about the show.

"People will look back and remember this as the first play I did before I hit Broadway," he said. "People will say, 'I knew him before he became the big star he is now. When he started dating Jessica Simpson, that was when he changed. But I knew him before that.'"

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 28 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, March 4, 2010

In the Wings: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Meet Chris Mayfield.

Chris Mayfield performs in 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.

Chris is making his acting debut with Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

"I had seen the play performed both on stage and on DVD and loved it," he said. "One of my friends, Abigail Germond, told me that Civic Theatre was producing it and I knew I had to audition.

"I like Shakespeare a lot. Some of his works I find strange, but I appreciate Hamlet. I really like A Midsummer Night's Dream and I've performed in Romeo and Juliet."

All actors in the show perform multiple roles. Chris described some of the things he does on stage.

"I guarantee that I will vomit in each section at least twice," he said, laughing. "I will die and also give birth, in a manner of speaking. I also transform from a woman to a man and at one point I'm Hamlet's uncle, father, girlfriend and mother all at the same time."

Chris suggested what the audience will most remember about this production.

"The audience will love the energy," he said. "Everyone in the cast is so vibrant and vivid. All of us are so into the show, and we know and appreciate the play. The audience will see that we're comfortable on stage, we like one another and we like our audiences."

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 28 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, March 3, 2010

In the Wings: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Meet Martin Fernandez.

Martin Fernandez performs in 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.

Martin has long been familiar with the play because his senior English class at Jefferson High School watches the DVD version of it each year.

"It's great how the writers put everything together," he said. "As soon as I found out Civic was going to produce it, I knew I would audition. I love Shakespeare. He's my favorite author. I didn't love Shakespeare until my junior year in college when I was better able to understand his language. I try to show my students that his language can connect with them, they just have to work through the 'thees' and 'thous.'"

The actors take on different roles during the show. Martin described some of the characters he portrays.

"I play Titus Andronicus, one of Shakespeare's most brutal characters," he said. "The entire second half is based on Hamlet, and I get the honor of playing the title character."

Martin suggested what the audience will most remember about the show.

"The audience will see these plays in a different light," he said. "For example, they will talk about Romeo and Juliet because a guy is playing the girl's part. That's how it was done in Shakespeare's time, but this version is funny. They'll also hear Scottish accents and a rap. They'll remember all these twists to classic Shakespearean plays."

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 28 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, March 2, 2010

In the Wings: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged): Meet Laurie Russell, the director.


Laurie Russell directs 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.

Laurie, who had seen the show in London with some of the original actors, provided an overview of the show.

"Three young men have the goal to make Shakespeare palatable for the average person. They are determined that it should be fun," she said. "The guys who wrote the script really know their Shakespeare and they've made it quick moving, funny and slightly disrespectful. The audience will be able to tell that the authors love their subject, and they're having a good time with it."

Laurie said that she is not a big fan of Shakespeare.

"People make fun of me because I always say he's a hack," she said, laughing. "He takes way too long to say something that I could say in three words. But I love several of the comedies and Hamlet. And I do enjoy when people take his plays and add unusual twists to them, but the plays aren't my thing overall."

This cast is the smallest that Laurie has directed at Civic Theatre.

"This group of actors is so funny and so good. They also understand the physicality that is needed," she said. "If anything, I have to reign them in a little bit."

Laurie concluded by suggesting what the audience will most remember about the production.

"I hope the audience will remember the fast pacing, the cleverness, the props and the sheer energy and talent of the group," she said.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 28 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/.