Sunday, May 29, 2011

Share Your Thoughts: Little Shop of Horrors


Now that Little Shop of Horrors has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Announcing the cast of Rent


Director Julia Colby has announced the cast of Rent, the summer production in the 2011-2012 season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The cast includes:

Mark – Tim Devery
Roger – Jeff Spanke
Joanne – Ebony Barrett-Kennedy
Maureen – Amanda Reichelt
Mimi – Elizabeth Russell
Benny – Allias Jones
Angel – Christian Davis
Collins – Dejuan Jackson
Alexi Darling / Mark's Mom – Nicki Eberle
Bag Lady / Roger's Mom – Alanna Green
Paul / Squeegie Man – Chris Allen
Mimi's Mom / Coat Vendor – Ashley McElroy
Gordon / Restaurant Man – Joe Heath
Mr. Jefferson / The Man – Chad Smith

Rent opens Thursday, July 14 and runs through Saturday, July 16 at the 1,500-seat Tippecanoe County Amphitheater at 4449 State Road 43 N in West Lafayette. All performances begin at 9:00 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Enter Love: Auditioning in Chicago

The momentum for Enter Love: A Musical for Our Times is building!

After the songs by Lynn Lupold premiered at a cabaret in Indianapolis, the world premiere of the musical - with a book by Don Seybold - took place at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in summer 2010. Now, auditions have been scheduled for May 21 at Quest Theatre Ensemble in Chicago for a production that will run September and October.

Read more about the auditions here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Melanie Buchanan: An interview


After seven exciting, entertaining years, Melanie Buchanan will leave her position as director of Civic Youth Theatre at the end of May, when she will travel with her husband, Jason, to Lima, Peru.

Friends are invited to a reception in Melanie's honor from 6 until 9 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at Adelino's Old World Kitchen.

After surviving her last semester at Purdue — and finals, Melanie received her second bachelor's degree and then took some time to answer questions about her time at Civic Theatre.

Question: You initiated several new programs during your years as youth director — after-school activities at local elementary schools, additional outreach programs, youth acting troupe, and others. Can you talk about the benefits of those types of programs to the students/youth?
Melanie Buchanan: I think it is important for children to have positive role models and activities that they care about in their lives — some kids are great athletes, but others have interest in arts or theatre or dance or whatnot. I often think these children get left behind, because either their parents don't know how to get them involved (or don't know about theatre/arts/etc. at all) or they don't have the time to get their child to and from rehearsals/classes. Everyone needs a place where they feel important, respected and talented, and I think many kids find that at Civic (or at least I hope they do). The more activities children are involved in, the less time they have out on the streets or sitting at home or watching TV. It keeps them healthy, active and goal-oriented. It makes them care and want to succeed, helps boost their egos and self-esteem, and everyone knows that teenagers sometimes need a little encouragement in the self-esteem area.

Q: Has there been one outreach program or experience that really stands out, and if so, what was it and why?
M.B.: I am really glad that I started First Class Only (acting troupe). I think it's really cool to be able to take the troupe out to schools that don't have theatre arts in their curriculum. Many of the schools where they have performed had never had a live performance, let alone by a group of teenagers. It's also fun to watch the troupe members interact with their peers or the younger students, stepping out as a leaders and role models for them.

Q: In general, how does involvement with the arts and with community theatre benefit children?
M.B.: It helps build self-esteem, confidence, teamwork, collaboration. It keeps them busy. Often they meet people they may never have encountered in their "normal" every day lives.

Q: Is there a favorite among the shows you've directed?
M.B.: I liked both of the Shakespeare plays a lot. I learned so much from the kids, and I think they learned a lot from me. I also really enjoyed Dirty Work at the Crossroads, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and How to Eat Like a Child. The summer camp musicals will also be near and dear to my heart, since that program was my little blossoming flower (LOL).

Q: What have you learned as director of Civic Youth Theatre?
M.B.: More than I can express:
* Patience with children and adults (or at least more patience than I started with).
* Listening, really listening to what the children told me (as well as them chattering away backstage, which always drives me batty).
* How each child is different and has to be approached differently: once you get to know a child/teenager/person, you have to handle them as an individual, understand them in their own way. Blanket terms or issues never work.
* The differences and uniqueness are what makes each person who they are, and those characteristics should be praised. Never be embarrassed at who you are.
* That I became attached to every child and parent, way more then I had ever anticipated I would.

Q: What do you hope you have taught the youth who have been part of CYT shows and programs?
M.B.: You are who you are, embrace it and love yourself for it, even if others don't understand it.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say as you move on?
M.B.: That I will miss this program dearly, the theatre and all those who have helped me — the children, the parents, the volunteers, etc. And that I can only hope that if my child wants to do theatre (God help them), that I could find a place as safe and inviting as Civic.

Special thanks to Julie Rosa for speaking with Melanie and writing this blog post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Melanie Buchanan: Shows at Civic Theatre


After seven exciting, entertaining years, Melanie Buchanan will leave her position as director of Civic Youth Theatre at the end of May, when she will travel with her husband, Jason, to Lima, Peru.

Friends are invited to a reception in Melanie's honor from 6 until 9 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at Adelino's Old World Kitchen.

Melanie has been involved with several productions during her tenure at Civic Theatre, from Civic Under the Stars shows to Civic Youth Theatre shows as well as several MainStage productions and staged readings.

Here is an overview of Melanie's production history at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette:

* July 2004: Carousel - Actress

* December 2004: Harriet the Spy - Director

* October 2005: Dirty Work at the Crossroads - Co-Director

* November 2005: Suds - Choreographer

* February 2006: The Witches - Director

* April 2006: The Emperor’s New Clothes - Director

* June 2006: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Director

* October 2006: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Asst. Director

* February 2007: Romeo and Juliet - Director

* March 2007: Tony and Tina’s Wedding - Director

* April 2007: Godspell Jr. - Co-Director

* July 2008: High School Musical - Choreographer

* July 2008: Pirates of Penzance Jr. - Director

* September 2008: Nickel and Dimed - Director

* June 2009: The Stinky Cheese Man - Co-Director

* July 2009: Guys and Dolls Jr. - Director

* September 2009: Dead Man's Cell Phone - Actress

* October 2009: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown - Co-Director

* May 2010: Cabaret - Choreographer

* July 2010: Annie Jr. - Director

* September 2010: The Taffetas - Director

* February 2011: Once Upon a Mattress - Co-Director

* April 2011: Macbeth - Director

* May 2011: Little Shop of Horrors - Choreographer

The Review is In: Little Shop of Horrors


The review of Little Shop of Horrors was published in the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette’s daily newspaper. It was written by Amy Long. You can read it here.

Little Shop of Horrors begins the second of its three-weekend run Friday at 7:30 p.m. and continues with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. All performances take place at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette on the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. The show closes May 29.

To inquire about tickets, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Share Your Thoughts: Three Tall Women


The staged reading of Three Tall Women took place tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette with 61 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, Steve Martin.

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?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Civic Theatre on YouTube: Little Shop of Horrors


The following preview of Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, has been added to the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette channel on YouTube.

Thanks to Steve Scherer for creating this video.



Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 29. For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Opening Night for Little Shop of Horrors: production photos












Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these production photos.

Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight, May 13, 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, May 29.

To order tickets, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Preview of Little Shop of Horrors on jconline.com


A preview of Little Shop of Horrors 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.

Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight, Friday, May 13 and runs three consecutive weekends through Sunday, May 29 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

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, May 11, 2011

The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette awards grant to Civic Theatre


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette patrons will see a change in the historic Monon Depot Theatre's auditorium later this summer thanks to a $15,000 grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette.

Civic Theatre is one of five organizations to receive funds, according to an article from the Journal & Courier, Lafayette and West Lafayette's daily newspaper.

Managing Director Steven Koehler is quoted in the article, noting that Civic Theatre will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at the historic Monon Depot Theatre this summer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Staged Reading Series: Three Tall Women on May 17






The 2010-2011 Staged Reading Series at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette concludes with Three Tall Women, a Pulitzer Prize-winning script by Edward Albee.

Steve Martin directs the cast, which includes Nathan Caldwell, Meg Foley, Laura Mecsey and Lee Sullivan.

The staged reading will be held at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session between the audience, cast and director immediately following the reading. Audience members are encouraged to pay what they can for admission.

To learn more about Three Tall Women or the Staged Reading Series, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit its website.

Monday, May 9, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Photos from rehearsal.

Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for providing these photos from rehearsal of Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 Mainstage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.







Little Shop of Horrors opens Friday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 29 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon matinee begins at 2:30 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Photos of the set.


The following photos show construction on the set for Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. These photos of the set were taken in early May.









Saturday, May 7, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Meet Aaron Strand.


Aaron Strand plays Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman and the music is by Alan Menken.

Question: Why did you want to be involved with Little Shop of Horrors?
Aaron Strand: Seymour probably is one of the greatest roles that I could ever play: he is a short, insecure little dude. I came into auditions knowing that I really wanted to play the role. I thought it would be so much fun because I knew it would fit me so well.

Q: What is Seymour like?
A.S.: Seymour is not a bumbling idiot; he's just an insecure guy who has little self-confidence. He's never been a success at anything – he's been either mediocre or poor at everything. He doesn't have the confidence to tell the woman that he loves that he loves her. By the end of the show he is confident, he makes decisions and follows through on them.

Q: What leads to this growth?
A.S.: He sees the woman he loves, Audrey – played by Jessa Dodds – being abused by her boyfriend. That takes him over the top. And then he's also influenced by an alien plant that tells him, "Grow up. Get some guts." And so takes things into his own hands.

Q: What is it like rehearsing a musical?
A.S.: It's different for me with this show because now that I've graduated college, I'm a working professional. During the day, I work and at night I've got rehearsals. I have to find time to study lines and listen to the music. But Laurie Russell, the director, is a very patient person. She motivates us to work really, really hard at rehearsals to get stuff done.

Q: What will an audience most remember about this show?
A.S.: Every single person plays their role amazingly well. Everyone fits their role 100 percent. The audience will say, "That show was cast so well – everyone was terrific!"

Little Shop of Horrors will open Friday, May 13 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, May 29 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 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 website.

Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Meet Jessa Dodds.


Jessa Dodds plays Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman and the music is by Alan Menken.

Question: Why did you want to be involved with Little Shop of Horrors?
Jessa Dodds: Anyone who's heard of the show loves it, usually. It's high energy, it's different and it's wild and fun.

Q: What is Audrey like?
J.D.: Audrey is very run down at the beginning. She has no self-confidence or self-esteem because she has an abusive boyfriend, Orin, played by Martin Fernandez. He has told her so many times that she's trash that she believes it. She doesn't think she can do any better, but all of a sudden there's Seymour, played by Aaron Strand. He treats her like a queen and she is taken aback by that.

Q: What is it like to rehearse a musical?
J.D.: It's a lot of work doing musical numbers as well as learning lines but it's also very fast-paced. I like it that way. It's more work, but it's worth it.

Q: What will an audience most remember about this show?
J.D.: They'll probably remember Audrey II, the plant, the most. You've got two performers – the puppeteer and the voice, Chris Mayfield and Chris Allen – working together to create the character. The show also is very high energy and lots of fun all around.

Little Shop of Horrors will open Friday, May 13 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, May 29 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 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 website.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Meet Craig Martin.


Craig Martin plays Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman and the music is by Alan Menken.

Question: Why did you want to be involved with Little Shop of Horrors?
Craig Martin: A number of people who were talking about the show said, "Oh, you have to be Mushnik." And I hadn't even considered it. And when I read it, I saw that it's weird and funny and strange. And I thought, "I can be a grumpy old man."

Q: How would you describe Mr. Mushnik?
C.M.: He's described in the script as a failure of a Skid Row florist, but he's looking to get ahead. He sees this strange and interesting plant that shows up from nowhere, that Seymour has dragged in, as a gift. All of a sudden, he realizes that this could be it - his way to get ahead - and then he latches on to Seymour, trying to convince him to stick around.

Q: What do you think the audience will most remember about the show?
C.M.: It's the music and how it's written. It's hilariously well crafted, strange and fun. It's got the 1950s doo-wop sound and there are all kinds of little details thrown in that are twisted and tweaked to make them quirky. On top of that they'll remember that everyone in the cast has a moment of golden hilarity. We laugh ourselves sick in rehearsals.

Little Shop of Horrors will open Friday, May 13 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, May 29 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 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 website.