Monday, February 16, 2015

Share Your Thoughts: "Retreat!"


Now that "Retreat!" has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

What will you remember about it? What are your thoughts about the performances? The story and plot? The design? What were the standout moments?

"Oliver!" will be the next production of the 2014-2015 season.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Opening Night: Retreat! Production photos.










Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these production photos of Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Retreat! opens tonight, February 13, and will run through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday performance will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under. Visit http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or call 765-423-7529 to purchase tickets.

Opening Night: Retreat! Photos of the cast.















Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, opens tonight, February 13 and runs through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Neil Radtke, the playwright.



Each season, there are four productions in the Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The 2014-2015 season includes Retreat! by local playwright Neil Radtke, a U.S. history teacher at Klondike Middle School.

Question: What is Retreat! about?
Neil Radtke: It takes place at a company retreat that is put on by a firm that specializes in them. Companies that have issues with employees coming together hire the firm, and employees go to a woodsy hotel area to have a retreat. Julia, the main character, is putting on her first retreat and she wants things to go well. The employees who arrive are increasingly causing issues that culminate in an untimely death.

Q: What is the history of Retreat! and Klondike Middle School's annual murder mystery?
N.R.: Klondike Middle School puts on an annual murder mystery dinner theater that I started about 15 years ago. I write, produce and direct. A lot of the plays I wrote are specific for the space at Klondike. When I first started writing Retreat!, I wrote it with the idea of being staged elsewhere. It went over extremely well at Klondike.

Q: How many plays have you written?
N.R.: I started with two adaptations for the annual murder mysteries, but then I've written 10 original scripts for the event since. I've written several 10-minute plays that I've sent to various contests. Sorting It Out was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Pick of the Vine short play festival at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro, California. I'm trying to expand and become more adept at longer works.

Q: What was the impetus behind wanting to be a playwright?
N.R.: I've always loved theater. When I started writing years ago, I thought it would be fun to do. There's so much information out there about the benefits of theatre for kids, and that's the kind of thing that is being cut from schools. You also see too many plays written for adults that they then try to shoehorn to fit kid actors. I saw a need for youth plays that are written for youth performers that are fresh and more timely than fairy tales. The more kids that are hooked into theatre, the better things will be for them.

Q: How do you characterize your writing?
N.R.: I'm very contemporary in my writing. I haven't written anything set in other time periods; they're all set in the present. There are two ways I go about writing. First, I'll write real characters going through real issues. Second, for something like Retreat!, I'll take stereotypes and blow them up out of proportion because those are funny to watch. I'm still in the experimental stage of my writing. I do try different ways to present characters so I can write what I need to write.

Q: What is the writing atmosphere in Greater Lafayette like?
N.R.: I think Civic Theatre's 10-Minute Play Festival is fantastic. Having one slot in the staged reading series for a playwright based in the Greater Lafayette area is important. I've found that publishers want to see that work has been done at some time. The Midwest has a lot of stories that aren't heard enough. There's a lot about New York and even West Coast plays. I think there are a lot of Midwest stories to tell. I co-directed a production of Bus Stop by William Inge, which is set in Kansas and the characters are Midwestern and it was great to see.

Q: Who are your writing influences? What playwrights do you enjoy?
N.R.: I like extremes. If I'm going to watch a comedy, it's going to be a farce. If I'm going to watch a drama, it's going to be extremely dramatic. Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire and The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellmann, which I acted in, are that way. I like extremes because if you're caught in the middle I don't know there's that big of a payoff. If you get an audience invested and take them to extremes, their reactions are such that it works out.

Q: What is next for Retreat!
N.R.: After the production closes February 15, I'm going to sit down the director, Aaron Newton, and we're going to talk about what worked and what didn't work. I know there are some minor brush-ups that I need to do. Then I'll put in more time to revamp it and then send it off to some publishers to get it out there. A lot of people have told me that the show is fun and it needs to be out there so people can have an opportunity to perform it.

Q: What's next for you?
N.R.: The 10-Minute Play Festival is coming up, and I've written a few things. I need to decide which two I want to submit. Klondike's 2015 murder mystery dinner theatre is coming up, too. I've been storyboarding and working on that. There are contests I'm going to continue to submit to, and sometimes you get good feedback on scripts that way.

Q: If a person were to tell you that she wants to be a playwright, how would you respond?
N.R.: I would say, good. It is fun and it is rewarding. You have to have a story to tell and write it. Get it down on paper. It's one thing to desire, but it's another to write it down. You'll never write your first play until you type your first word.

I also believe that playwrights must be involved with theatre. Civic Theatre offers great opportunities for that, on stage and off. Also, attend theatre, watch theatre, read plays and understand theatre. I've become a much better playwright being involved at Civic and understanding what it takes to put a production on, what makes a good show, having to deliver lines and seeing what works for an audience. It would be very difficult to write in a vacuum without being immersed in theatre is.

Retreat! runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Maya Vanderberg.



Maya Vanderberg plays Ms. Clackinack in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Ms. Clackinack and what does she want?
Maya Vanderberg: Ms. Clackinack is one of the employees. She does not want to be at the company retreat. She sees herself as above everyone else and is frustrated with everyone.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
M.V.: I auditioned because I know a lot of people who have done a show at Civic, and I wanted to try it myself. I love acting, so I thought it would be a fun experience.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
M.V.: It's fun because you know you're keeping the audience on their toes. You know what is going to happen, so it's fun to throw off the audience.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
M.V.: I would set it somewhere crowded, like a school where everyone thinks they know everyone else.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Adam El-Khalili.



Adam El-Khalili plays Mr. Jenkins in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Mr. Jenkins and what does he want?
Adam El-Khalili: Mr. Jenkins is in charge of his area of the company. He wants his employees to be united.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
A.E-K.: I love acting, and it's always fun to meet new people with similar interests.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
A.E-K.: It's a show where the audience will be always thinking instead of just watching.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
A.E-K.: I would put it somewhere in a crowded place because anyone could be the suspect.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Derek Frohberg.



Derek Frohberg plays Detective Schwartz in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Detective Schwartz and what does he want?
Derek Frohberg: Detective Schwartz is an arrogant detective who wants to discover the killer and solve the mystery.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
D.F.: I thought it would be a fun and interesting experience because I've never acted before.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
D.F.: It adds tension for the audience because they have to go through so many twists and turns as the story goes forward.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
D.F.: A desolate place. Everyone would be a suspect because there are not as many people who could have committed the crime.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Hope Quattrocki.



Hope Quattrocki plays Josie in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Josie and what does she want?
Hope Quattrocki: Josie has transferred to the company from another branch in Scranton. She meets Wade and falls madly in love with him, and she won't stop until she can call him her boyfriend.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
H.Q.: I wanted to do another show at Civic. It's a lot of fun to do shows with people who share a similar passion.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
H.Q.: It keeps the audience on their toes. They won't know what's coming next. This play has a lot of turns, and you think you have it figured out but then there's something to surprise you.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
H.Q.: A coffee shop, because there would be a wide range of people coming and going. Once the crime is committed, you're not sure who would be there and who would be held as a suspect.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Kate Bangert.



Kate Bangert plays Julia in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Julia and what does she want?
Kate Bangert: Julia is a manager of the retreat that goes on throughout the play. She wants everything to go well.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
K.B.: I know the playwright, Neil Radtke, and I am interested in acting.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
K.B.: The audience doesn't know what's happening until the reveal in the second act.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
K.B.: Somewhere crowded and public so that there are many scenarios that could play out.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Photos: Welcome Party for Julie Doan

We're sharing photos from last Friday's welcome party for Julie Doan, Director of Education and Outreach!

Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these photos!