Author: mcct

“Tempest in a Teapot” Cast

“Tempest in a Teapot” Cast

Before every performance of “The Tempest,” MCCT is proud to present our children’s theater’s debut show: “Tempest in a Teacup.” This abbreviated, fast-paced version of the show will give audiences a preview of “The Tempest” and help them understand the story a little better.

Here is our “Tempest in a Teacup” Cast:

  • Prospero – William Whitaker
  • Ariel – Veronica Piurek
  • Antonio – Sabrina Balle-Voyles
  • Alonso – Avery Beck
  • Gonzalo – Nola Somers Glen
  • Caliban – Duncan Bowman
  • Wood Sprites – Charlie Black & Sam Riggins
  • Ladies of the Court – Rosie Black & Evelyn Riggins
Meet the Cast of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

Meet the Cast of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

Rehearsals for “The Tempest” have begun and we are excited to announce the cast of our 2018 Shakespeare in the Park offering!

  • Prospero – Becky Stapf
  • Ariel – Tayler Fischer
  • Ariel – Lane Clement
  • Ferdinand – Caleb Curtis
  • Miranda – Sammie Amidon
  • Stephano – William Henry
  • Trinculo – Alan Craig
  • Caliban – Rene Llewellyn
  • Antonio – Chris Lauderbaugh
  • Alonso – Mike Milam
  • Boatswain – Jason Lopez
  • Gonzalo – Roy Sillings
  • Sebastian – Nathan Carey
  • God/Sailor – Maryann Iaria
  • God/Sailor – Heather Riggins
  • Sailor – Sabrina Balle-Voyles
  • Sailor – Mary Carpenter
  • Sailor – Lorraine Lamour
  • Sailor – Gwen Livesay
  • Sailor – Dianne Shewmaker
  • Sailor – William Whitaker
Actor Profile: Eric Van Gucht portrays Teddy in “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?”

Actor Profile: Eric Van Gucht portrays Teddy in “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?”

Monroe County Civic Theater is entering into its 32nd season as Bloomington’s only all-volunteer, amateur community theater company. First up, director Isadore James Torry brings us a gripping drama where small town diner patrons and staff are held hostage and forced to face their own mortality… and each other.

Eric Van Gucht plays Teddy, the perpetrator of these crimes in the MCCT production of Mark Medoff’s “When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?” the 1974 Obie Award winner for Distinguished Play. The production will be performed at Cafe Pizzaria, April 6-8, 7pm.

This is the first in a new series of MCCT actor/crew profiles. I’ve asked Eric to talk about playing Teddy, his experiences as an IU Theater graduate, and what community theater means to him.



When did you first want to be an actor? Was there a first acting experience that really made you love it and can you tell us about that?


I was in seventh grade, around age thirteen, when I started doing theater seriously. I had a neighbor who had done it for several years, and I saw him acting and thought it would be fun to try. At the time I didn’t expect my theatrical career to last as long as it has, but I’m glad it did. At my first serious audition for a middle school play I ended up getting the lead role and never looked back. It’s been a very good friendship between the craft and I.

One production that I really loved which made me really want to pursue theater beyond just a high school level was The Fantasticks as a junior at Bloomington North. I got to be on stage with my best friend, and it was the first serious show (i.e. show not written for middle school audiences) that I’d ever experienced. It remains one of my favorites to this day.


What would you say your biggest hurdles were as an actor/theater student? Did you consider other degree programs?

Good question! One of the hardest parts about theater was learning how to deal with failure. Since I had a couple of lead roles in middle school, I came in a little overconfident as a high school actor. In those four years I ended up doing two productions where I acted on stage, and two more where I worked backstage.

For beginning actors an important lesson to learn is that the nature of competing in professional theater means you’re going to get a lot more noes than yeses. I’ve done a lot of work with Monroe County Civic Theater and other local groups, and I’ve gotten involved in a few independent shows connected to IU.

I also have a B.A. in French, and between the two degrees I feel like I have a good command of words. I never really considered any other degree programs at the time, but in hindsight it might have helped me to consider other options. I love to do theater, but creativity has a lot of competition in it.


What can you tell us about your current role in “When Ya Comin Back, Red Ryder?” as Teddy, a Vietnam veteran who holds the customers and staff in a 1970s New Mexico diner hostage? How did you prepare for it and how do you think your personal and professional experience helped you learn about the character?

I’m reading Teddy as a misanthrope, someone who’s seen the worst of the world and doesn’t know how to react accordingly. He either doesn’t care anymore, or has a desire to cause pain to the very system that enabled him. At the same time, he is able to get several characters to figure out their own values, so I’d argue there is something significant in that.

The role is very psychologically and physically challenging, but I love roles that are psychologically troubled. These characters often have more life experience due to the inconsistent and chaotic nature of their world.


What are your goals as an actor in our community and beyond? What kind of roles do you think would stretch you?

In terms of stretching myself? I’d love a chance to play a romantic lead in the near future, to try to see if I can succeed. I also would love to play characters that seem to have something missing in their lives. Essentially “man vs. society” and/or “man vs. self” roles, perhaps a combination of the two whenever possible. My goal is to find the balance between art and life, and find the time to enjoy both.

There’s a hidden beauty to art, and I’d love to try to find out what that means. It might help bring back some hope in this world that we seem to be missing nowadays. Basically, I want to explore the therapeutic, healing side of art. I’ve heard a saying: “As long as you have four things – an idea, an artist, a location, and an audience – then art will always survive.” I’ve always loved that saying.


What advice would you like to give for anyone looking to get involved in community theater, or for someone who wants to study acting professionally? Any other words of wisdom?


I’m going to paraphrase something I was told by a fellow actor, which is something I try to use both on stage and in life: “Don’t do the work looking for a reward.” Let it happen naturally, and let the work itself be rewarding. Knowing yourself is very important in life, and I’d argue especially in the arts.

Last Question: who would you like to give a shout out of thanks to for their support?

I’d like to thank my dad Dirk, stepmom Linda, and late mom Ruth for coming to so many shows and fostering my love for the arts; my brother Nick, sister Dinska, and stepbrother Chris because even if they can’t make my shows they always give me words of encouragement; the cast of Red Ryder for keeping me grounded during this production; Andi Dema, a great actor and great man who I am honored to call my best friend; and to Allison Moody, a professor I had for two semesters in college who I consider my mentor.

Interview conducted by Katelin Hope Vesely, MCCT


The historic Cafe Pizzaria is partnering with MCCT for this show.  We will set the stage in their back room with the authentic decor of times gone by. Cafe Pizzaria was the first to bring pizza to Bloomington in 1953, and is still housed in a building which lends itself well to the 1970s restaurant aesthetic in Red Ryder. This will be an immersive experience, with the audience sitting close as if also witness to the events taking place.

Cafe Pizzaria is located at 405 E. Kirkwood Ave.

When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?” is April 6-8 at 7pm. Mark your calendars and purchase tickets in advance through


AUDITIONS for A Queen Cabaret

AUDITIONS for A Queen Cabaret

A musical theater cabaret-style production of songs by Freddie Mercury and Queen

Directed by Katelin Hope Vesely

WhereMonroe County Public Library

When: Saturday March 24th, 11 am-2 pm and Sunday March 25th, 3 pm-6 pm

Private auditions can be set by appointment

This will be a benefit for 3 different nonprofits, in 3 different locations, on June 29th, 30th, and July 1st at 7 pm

Rehearsals will be at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, and private locations


Drummers, Lead/Rhythm/Bass Guitarists, Keyboardists

Lead/Harmony/Choral Vocalists

Tech crew, Props and Costume/Makeup Support


Killer Queen, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody To Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, We Will Rock You

We will have karaoke tracks for you to practice with, and a few instruments. Feel free to bring your own tracks to audition with, and your own instruments!

Email for questions or to set an appointment!


When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder is Cast!

When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder is Cast!

We’ve cast our first show of 2018, When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder. Congratulations to all!

  • Stephen ‘Red’ Ryder – William Henry
  • Angel Childress – Lauren Rose
  • Tommy Clark – TBA
  • Lyle Striker – Cornelius M. Wright
  • Richard Etheridge – Bill Goveia
  • Clarice Etheridge  – Emily McGee
  • Teddy – Eric P. Van Gucht
  • Cheryl – Katelin Hope Vesely

Join us April 6-8 for our first show of the new season!

Show Description, adapted from Wikipedia:

The play takes place at Foster’s Diner, a slow New Mexico rest stop that lost most of its clientele when a new highway bypass opened. Employees include restless cook Stephen (nicknamed “Red Ryder“), mousy waitress Angel, and their no-nonsense boss Clark. Lyle, owner of the adjacent filling station, stops in on occasion to break the monotony with his cheery banter. The boring routine of the daily grind is disrupted with the arrival of two couples, the upscale Richard and Clarisse, and the younger and wilder Teddy, an unbalanced Vietnam War vet, and Cheryl, his hippie girlfriend.

Looking Ahead to 2018

Looking Ahead to 2018








We had a wonderful annual meeting yesterday! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate 2017 and look forward to 2018. Two big things came out of the meeting: our new board and the first look at our 2018 season!

2018 Board of Directors

Steve Heise                   President
Phil Addison                Vice President
Emily Bedwell             Treasurer
Jennifer Whitaker     Secretary


Anna Hughes
Maryann Iaria
Jason Lopez
Roy Sillings
Katelin Vesely

For more details about board duties and MCCT in general, read the by-laws here.

First Look at the 2018 Season

The 2018 season is shaping up to be amazing! Here’s what is on tap (so far!)

When Ya Comin’ Back, Red Ryder
Auditions: January 20 & 21
Show: April 6-8 at the Warehouse

The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park)
Auditions: TBA
Show: May 31-June 3 at Third Street Park

The Show Must Go On: A Queen Cabaret
Shows: June 29-July 1 (various venues)

Auditions: TBA
Show: July 27-29 at Monroe County Martial Arts

Uncertainty (Imprecision)
Auditions: TBA
Show: Late August/Early September

King Lear
Auditions: TBA
Show: TBA

For more information about any upcoming show, email

Join us for our 2018 Annual Meeting

Join us for our 2018 Annual Meeting

Monroe County Civic Theater will be holding its annual members meeting to discuss the past season and the coming year. Look back on our great 2017 season and forward to our ambitious 2018 season plan.

Board elections will also be held at the meeting. We will have five seats open this year as the two year terms of Steve Heise, Frank Buzcolich, Roy Sillings, and Sarah Carpenter, as well as the one year replacement term of Maryann Iaria, come to their end. Remember, you need to be a dues paying member of Monroe County Civic Theater to vote. You can bring your $12 membership fee to the meeting or pay online now.

The following candidates are seeking election or re-election to the board:

  • Steve Heise
  • Roy Sillings
  • Frank Buzcolich
  • Maryann Iaria
  • Katelin Vesely
  • Jason Lopez
  • Isadore James Torry


We will also be discussing our new marketing and fundraising proposals and looking for some talented folks to help us roll out these and other new plans for the organization, including increasing the civic engagement we began during the 2017 season and designing a new logo!

The meeting will be held at Lucky’s Market in the Community Room from 2-5 on Sunday January 14th, 2018.

We hope to see you there!

Meet the 2018 Board Candidates

Meet the 2018 Board Candidates

Steve Heise has been working with MCCT since 1999 and has served on the board since 2015, in the office of Vice-President since January of 2016. He has acted in numerous plays and readings, most recently as Bennett in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Talthybios in Euripides’ Trojan Women, and Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life (adapted by Russell McGee).  Steve has also directed many of MCCT’s productions since joining the board, including co-directing Macbeth with Jennifer Whitaker in 2015, directing Much Ado About Nothing and the staged reading of The Importance of Being Earnest in 2016, and both As You Like It and Travesties in 2017 as well as serving as primary set constructor on all shows since Macbeth and serving as a producer on MCCT’s very successful fundraising symposium for Middle Way House in December 2017. Steve plans to devote over 1000 hours to MCCT in 2018, including directing the company’s fall production of King Lear.





Roy Sillings has been working with MCCT since 2005 and has served on the board since 2006. He has acted in numerous plays and readings, most recently as Henry Carr (elder) in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and Poseidon in Euripides’ Trojan Women. Roy also has the distinction of performing in nearly all the Shakespeare in the Park productions for the last decade. In addition to acting, Roy has written and adapted scripts for MCCT productions, directed and sound edited radio plays, and designed sets, including sets for several Shakespeare productions including Pericles, Henry VIII, As You Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing. Roy regularly does research and serves as our dramaturge as well as a mentor to our newer and younger actors. And he designs the signature cocktail for each of our shows – a masterful feat indeed.





Frank Buzcolich has been working with MCCT since 1995 and has served on the board for many years, holding the position of both Board President and Vice President during his tenure. He is currently an at-large member. Frank has been involved in multiple MCCT productions as an actor, director, and producer, including several runs of the Director’s Symposium as well as numerous shows at Third Street Park and the Waldron Arts Center. His most recent role was Mr. Gower in It’s a Wonderful Life (adapted by Russell McGee). Frank would like to continue on the board with the specific interest in compiling a comprehensive history of Monroe County Civic Theater.






Maryann Iaria has been working with MCCT since 2012 and has served on the board for nearly as long. During her time on the board, Maryann has primarily been responsible for publicity, using her contacts with the Herald Times, WFIU, BEAD, IDS, and the IU Theater Department as well as other community organizations to get coverage and advertising into the press and community arts calendars for nearly every show since joining the board and all show since 2015. Maryann has acted in numerous MCCT productions, most recently as Cecily Carruthers (elder) in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, a Chorus member in Euripides’ Trojan Women, and Cousin Eunice in It’s a Wonderful Life (adapted by Russell McGee). Maryann has also served as a property mistress, stage manager, and written two successful REMC grant proposals with former treasurer Brant Hughes.






Katelin Vesely has been working with MCCT since 1995. If elected, this will be her first time serving on the board. During her nearly 23 years with the company, Katelin has directed (A Midsummer Night’s Dream: An 80’s Musical 2002, Celestina 2001), assistant directed (Cyrano de Bergerac 1997, Death of a Salesman 1998) and stage managed (Titus Andronicus 1997, Henry V 1999, Othello 2009, Much Ado About Nothing 2016). She has also acted in and helped with production on over 30 MCCT productions, including 9 since 2015. Her most recent acting roles were as Hymen in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Athena/Chorus in Euripides’ Trojan Women, and Cousin Tilly in It’s a Wonderful Life (adapted by Russell McGee).  Alongside an Honors degree in Art History granted in 2013, Katelin also earned a certificate in Arts Administration through IU in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She would like to bring her academic focus on marketing, social media networking, law and the art, and installation curation to the MCCT board as a member who has a lifelong commitment to the organization and to the Bloomington arts community.




Jason Lopez has been working with MCCT since 2015. If elected, this will be his first time serving on the board. During his time with the company, Jason has acted in 11 MCCT productions, most recently as Tristan Tzara in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Amiens in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Harry Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (adapted by Russell McGee), and Claudio in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Jason has also written and performed musical scores and original songs for MCCT’s productions of Euripides’ Trojan Women and Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He also had his original play Gorilla of Dreams produced for December 2017’s Director’s Symposium. Jason strongly believes that community theater enriches and empowers individuals in positive ways, brings people together, and can strengthen and uplift the entire community.  As a board member, Jason would like to create more opportunities for young people to educate them on the performance process and to express themselves creatively by helping to set up a children’s program for MCCT. He would also like to create ways for MCCT to offer acting and music lessons, script-writing workshops, and create podcasts to share original material.




Isadore James Torry aka I. James Torry has been working with MCCT since 2005. He has served on the board as a non-voting member on and off for a number of years. If elected, this will be his first time serving on the board as a voting member. James has worked as both an actor and director on MCCT productions. As an actor, James has played roles in shows that include Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, Working (based on the work of Studs Terkel), 12 Angry Jurors (adapted from 12 Angry Men). James recently directed MCCT’s successful Fall 2017 production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) and is set to direct MCCT’s Spring 2018 production of Mark Medoff’s When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder?. James also has experience working with Bloomington Repertory Theater, Cardinal Stage, and Bloomington Playwrights Project. As a board member, James would use that experience to help grow the company. He feels that MCCT is a great company with a great heart for community theatre and the community.