Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Forward to 2011: Your Theatre Resolutions


We've looked back at the 2010 calendar year this week, so now it's time to look forward. What are your theatre resolutions for the 2011 calendar year?

Maybe you want to volunteer in a different area of play production. Perhaps you want to attend your first show in Indianapolis. Or you may want to read a certain number of play scripts during the year.

It doesn't matter what they are - whether or not they revolve around Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, share your 2011 theatre resolutions!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Back at 2010: Classes, Programs, Changes and More


We've looked back at the 2010 calendar year at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in terms of productions. Let's talk about other things that have struck a chord during the year – anything from classes and programs offered at Civic to changes and improvements in the facilities and everything in between.

What are some of the 2010 highlights when you think about Civic Theatre?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Back at 2010: MainStage


We wrap up our look back at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2010 calendar year productions with the MainStage productions.

There were five MainStage productions and two special productions mounted during the 2010 calendar year:
  • * A Raisin in the Sun, January 29-February 14
  • * The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), March 12-28
  • * Cabaret, May 7-23
  • * Enter Love: A Musical for Our Times, August 13-21
  • * The Taffetas, September 10-26
  • * Tuesdays with Morrie, November 5-21
  • * The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, December 3-19
What were your favorite MainStage productions and why? What were your favorite performances and direction? What were your lasting impressions of this season?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Looking Back at 2010: Civic Youth Theatre


Let's talk about Civic Youth Theatre productions that were mounted during Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's 2010 calendar year.

There were four CYT productions, including one created during an intensive four-week summer camp, during 2010:
  • * Snow White, February 26-28
  • * Young Playwrights Project, April 16-18
  • * Annie Jr., July 23-25
  • * 24-Hour Theatre Project, October 9
What were your favorite CYT productions and why? What were your favorite performances and direction? What were your lasting impressions of these shows?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking Back at 2010: Staged Readings


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette had a tremendous 2010 calendar year for many different reasons. As we look back on 2010, give us some impressions of what were the highlights.

Let's start with the staged readings.

During 2010, five staged readings were held at the historic Monon Depot Theatre:
  • * Poetry from the Haraka Writers of Purdue University's Black Cultural Center, February 2
  • * TILT, an original script by Laurie Russell, March 16
  • * Parallel Lives, May 11
  • * Mark Twain's The Diaries of Adam and Eve, September 14
  • * How I Learned to Drive, November 19
What were your favorite staged readings and why? What were your favorite performances and direction? What were your lasting impressions?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette wishes you and your loved ones the best this Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Civic Theatre on YouTube: Merry Christmas


The following message from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette personnel, Board members and the cast of The Best Christmas Pageant ever has been added to the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Steve Koehler for creating this video.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Melanie R. Buchanan on audition monologues, songs and callbacks.


"What should I do for a monologue or song for an audition?" "Where do I find a monologue or song?" "What is a callback?" These are great questions that I get asked a lot, so I thought I would address them.

First, read the script of the play you want to audition for. Reading the script allows you to know if directors are looking for comedic or dramatic and classical or contemporary monologue. You definitely want to pick a monologue that is the same genre as the play.

The same can be said for picking a song. Read the musical and be somewhat familiar with the style of music. It is best to pick a song from a similar Broadway musical. And as a rule of thumb, it is best not to audition with a piece directly from the particular musical, unless specifically asked for that.

For example, for auditions for Once Upon a Mattress, since it is an older show, picking a song from a contemporary musical such as Wicked or Rent is probably not appropriate. The show originally opened on Broadway in 1960, so more "classical" musical theater would be suitable. For Macbeth, we are specifically asking for dramatic Shakespearean or classical monologues, so you wouldn't want to audition with a piece from A Midsummer Night's Dream. As for The Velveteen Rabbit, there is a little bit more flexibility than with the others, because the play itself is both uplifting and dramatic.

How do you go about finding a monologue or song? My suggestion is to read more plays and watch more musicals. The library allows you to borrow movies, so I would start there. You can always listen to YouTube clips to get a better understanding of the musical style, although there are a lot of bad productions of plays out there, so beware!

Finding a monologue can be a lot more difficult. You can use the Internet as a starting point, but I would shy away from monologues that are written just as monologues. What does that mean? Well, finding a monologue from a specific play is much preferred to a monologue that stands alone. Once you have found a monologue you're interested in, again, go and read the play. The play gives you the clues as to age, content, back story, etc. These sites have a collection of different monologues from plays:

It can take a lot of time and effort to find just the perfect monologue. And once you have that perfect monologue, there is nothing stopping you from using it at more than one audition.

Keep in mind that these are merely suggestions. Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is a community theatre and we completely understand and know that you are not professional actors, nor do we expect you to be. We definitely keep that in mind when holding auditions. If someone comes in with a monologue that doesn't seem to showcase what we are looking for, we may ask you to do something else. For example, if you bring in a dramatic monologue for a comedy, we may ask you to tell a joke! If you bring in a song that is not in the same genre, we may ask you to sing a short bar from a different musical. We may also ask you to return for a callback.

What is a callback? Usually callbacks are for the director to see a little bit more of you after your short, short audition. Directors may ask you to read directly from the script or dance. And we aren't asking you to be perfect ... no one expects you to pick up the script and give the best reading of a part or to learn a short 8-count of dance and be able to recall it perfectly. We want to see you try your hardest, which shows your dedication and your desire to be in the show. And if you don't get a callback, that does not mean you haven't been cast, it just means the director does not need to see any additional work from you.

And we don't punish you for getting nervous. We directors know you get nervous ... so if you flub up a line or your hands shake or you miss a step, don't panic! It's perfectly OK to make a mistake or to get nervous. We take that into consideration. We certainly don't want you to feel miserable during an audition!



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Share Your Thoughts: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.


Now that The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

Melanie R. Buchanan on how to become involved with Civic Youth Theatre.


I have a lot of parents, grandparents, teachers, etc., ask me how children can get involved in Civic Youth Theatre, where do they start, who can audition, etc. I would like to put out a note that, hopefully, will address those questions!

CYT offers many options for local children, including classes, plays and summer camps. Depending on the age of your child, they may be able to participate in all of these activities. However, some are limited by age. In January, a new round of classes will begin, and there are some for students as young as 6 years old. In the summer, camps usually start for kindergarteners. Occasionally, we offer a "parent/grandparent and me" class for younger students.

Next semester, we also are producing three plays for all age levels. The first production will be Once Upon a Mattress. This show is a wonderful musical that originally starred Carol Burnett on Broadway. Auditions for this show will be open to any ages, 18 and under. However, because this is not the junior version, I highly encourage parents/guardians to read the script before auditions. You may find that the material is not appropriate for your child.

The second production, Macbeth, is geared toward the older CYT actor. This production will not be translated into modern English. Although this may sound intimidating, it actually is much easier to understand once it is performed, no longer just a script on a page. However, the production will not be 3 hours long, because we do plan to pare down the script (four acts is long enough!). Auditions for this production will be open to ages 13+. Why the age limit? Macbeth deals with more mature themes, and the production will also be quite dark and possibly gory. We want to make sure that those actors who are participating understand the nature of these themes and can maturely handle the content/style.

The last production of the season will be The Velveteen Rabbit, written by one of our own volunteers at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, Laurie Russell. This play is adapted from the original story and will be appropriate for all ages. This will be a good production for a younger actor, but again, we encourage parents/guardians to read the script before auditions to make sure the content is suitable for their child.

Do you have to have any experience to audition? No, anyone is allowed to audition. However, auditions can be very competitive (and heart breaking for those who are not cast), and therefore I would encourage anyone who is interested in the theatre to have a little experience first, whether that be a class or a camp. Also, they can get a better idea of what the theatre is like and if they really are interested in participating.

-- Melanie R. Buchanan



Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter/Spring 2011 Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: A Little Musical and A Little Drama


Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching three classes in late winter/early spring 2011: Let’s Do Some Reading … of Plays!, Skits & Improv, and A Little Musical & A Little Drama. Each class has two separate sessions. Students can choose one session or the other, or both.

A Little Musical & A Little Drama is for students in Grades 4, 5 and 6. The first session of the class begins January 27 and runs through February 24, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Thursday. The second session of this class begins April 7 and runs through May 19, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Thursday.

The cost of this class is $80 for members of Civic Theatre, $85 for non-members. There are a limited number of scholarships for classes.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre’s website.

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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter/Spring 2011 Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: Skits and Improv


Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching three classes in late winter/early spring 2011: Let’s Do Some Reading … of Plays!, Skits & Improv, and A Little Musical & A Little Drama. Each class has two separate sessions. Students can choose one session or the other, or both.

Skits & Improv is for students in Grades 1, 2 and 3. The first session of the class begins January 11 and runs through February 22, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Tuesday. The second session of this class begins April 5 and runs through May 17, with classes from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each Tuesday.

The cost of this class is $80 for members of Civic Theatre, $85 for non-members. There are a limited number of scholarships for classes.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre’s website.

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.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter/Spring 2011 Classes from Civic Youth Theatre: Let’s Do Some Reading … of Plays!


Civic Youth Theatre Director Melanie R. Buchanan will be teaching three classes in late winter/early spring 2011: Let’s Do Some Reading … of Plays!, Skits & Improv, and A Little Musical & A Little Drama. Each class has two separate sessions. Students can choose one session or the other, or both.

Let’s Do Some Reading … of Plays! is for students in Grade 7 and above. The first session of the class begins January 24 and runs through March 7, with classes from 5:00-6:00 p.m. each Monday. The second session of this class begins March 14 and runs through May 2, with classes from 5:00-6:00 p.m. each Monday.

The cost of this class is $80 for members of Civic Theatre, $85 for non-members. There are a limited number of scholarships for classes.

For more information about this class, e-mail cyt@lafayettecivic.org, call the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre’s website.

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 10, 2010

Announcing the original script in the 2010-2011 staged reading series: Roman Cokes


During the staged reading series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, an original script by a local playwright is selected for a world premiere. The original script chosen for the 2010-2011 staged reading series is Roman Cokes by Jeff Spanke.

The staged reading of Roman Cokes will be held Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. The reading will be a Pay What You Can event. A question-and-answer session with the playwright, director and cast will follow immediately.

The staged reading series is in the middle of its fourth year. Original scripts that received a world premiere in previous years have been:
  • * Pia Zadora Sings Gershwin by Deborah Gray
  • * A Very Bad Day for Brandon Butterworth by Scott Haan
  • * In the Weeds by Steve Gooch
  • * TILT by Laurie Russell

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Young at Heart" ticket discount on Thursday, December 9


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is offering a special "Young at Heart" promotion for the Thursday, December 9 performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

To put everyone in the Christmas mood, all tickets sold during the 24 hours prior to curtain will be priced at $10, the price of a single youth ticket.

Everyone deserves to feel like a kid again during this festive time of year, and now is your chance to pay like a kid as well.

To order tickets or learn more about the show, call Civic Theatre at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in the news: SIA Foundation grant


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is in the news, but not for its productions or volunteer opportunities.

Managing Director Steve Koehler is quoted in an article in the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper, about grants recently made by the SIA Foundation.

In the article by Max Showalter, Steve says Civic Theatre received more than $3,000 to upgrade lighting in the theatre's lobby. The lighting equipment already is on its way to the historic Monon Depot Theatre, where it will be installed by Civic Theatre volunteers.

You can read the full article here.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Announcing the cast of All My Sons


Director Rachel Lambert has announced the cast of All My Sons, the third production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The script is by Arthur Miller.

The cast includes:
  • Joe Keller - Craig Martin
  • Kate Keller - Jane Hoaks
  • Chris Keller - Matt Webb
  • Ann Deever - Laura Mecsey
  • George Deever - Neil Radtke
  • Jim Bayliss - Ryan Jones
  • Sue Bayliss - Felicia Roberts
  • Frank Lubey - Brandon Gelvin
  • Lydia Lubey - Sadie Smith
  • Bert - Andrew Bigelow

All My Sons will open Friday, January 28 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, February 13 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon matinees will 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's website.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Send a high school senior to New York City!


High school seniors involved in Civic Youth Theatre will be taking a trip to New York City in summer 2011. To offset costs, the students are selling baked goods and hot chocolate before each performance of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Items cost $1.00 apiece.

You can enjoy a tasty treat and support these students by purchasing items from their bake sale before each show, including tonight's (December 4) and tomorrow afternoon's (December 5).

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the holiday show at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, runs three consecutive weekends through Sunday, December 19. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. There also will be a performance Thursday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. You can learn more about the show or order tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Civic Theatre on YouTube: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


The following preview of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the holiday show of the 2010-2011 season, has been added to the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Steve Scherer for creating this video.



The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens tonight, December 3 and runs through Sunday, December 19. For more information about the show, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Opening Night for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: production photos









Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these production photos.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens tonight, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre on the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. The show will run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, December 19. To order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preview of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on jconline.com


A preview of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever appears online at http://www.jconline.com/, the website for the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper.

You can read the preview here.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens Friday, December 3 and runs through Sunday, December 19 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances 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 website.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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.