Category: News

Writer Profile: Nicholas Krohn Pens Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision)

Writer Profile: Nicholas Krohn Pens Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision)

Playwright Nicholas Krohn drew on real and fictional inspiration to pen Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision) and is excited to see this new version come to life in September.
 
How did you get involved in MCCT? What made you audition for this show?
 
I’m the playwright, so I became involved when the director (hi, Emily!) convinced MCCT to produce my play.
 
How long have you been acting/involved in theater?
 
I’ve been doing theater more or less since the eighth grade when my speech and drama teacher (hi, Mrs. Reising!) took a chance on me by letting me into her class.
 
What do you do when you’re not writing?
 
I’m not sure my brain ever stops writing, but I also play guitar, I’m a voracious reader and an extremely amateur magician. With that and my frequent insomnia, I keep pretty busy.
 
What has been an unexpected challenge of this production?
 
When I first wrote this play a few years ago, I deliberately set out to write in such a way as to give it a long shelf life. Comedies, especially ones that revolve around technology, tend to lose their relevance quickly. To stay away from that, I kept things generic, referring to “online” or “internet” dating as opposed to the specific platform people used at the time. It’s been challenging to accept how close I came to utter failure on that goal. I managed it, but only just. I felt so safe at the time.
 
What has been most rewarding?
 
Just having the play be produced is its own reward, and seeing the super talented cast get excited about putting the play before an audience is a great feeling. And knowing that Emily’s tireless enthusiasm for the material made her want to do this, and MCCT’s support have both been very humbling and touching.
 
Why should audiences come to see Uncertainty?
 
Because it’s a good laugh, and hopefully there is food for thought as well.
 
What are your top three dream roles?
 
In ascending order:
  1. Prospero in The Tempest
  2. The manager in The Office (not necessarily Steve Carrell’s part, just any manager)
  3. A tie between old Batman and old Superman in a film adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Which I’m also available to write. I work cheap.
What made you write Uncertainty (Or,  Imprecision)?
 
I’m not sure I wanted to write this show before I was already well into the process of writing it. For me, there is a point during writing where there is enough material for me to see something interesting taking shape, and then I know what the end product should feel like. At the time I wrote this, I had no real technique for applying structure to my work. Now I do, but even still, that gets rolled into the process of getting to the point of inspiration, and then that initial planned structure changes slightly.
 
tl/dr: I have no idea. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
 

 

Catch the show at Oddball Fermentables
  • Sunday, September 9 at 2:00pm
  • Monday, September 10 at 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00pm
Actor Profile: Jessica Joslin brings Allison to Life in Uncertainty

Actor Profile: Jessica Joslin brings Allison to Life in Uncertainty

During her long, construction-heavy commute from Indianapolis, Jessica Joslin has plenty of time to think about her Uncertainty alter-ego, Allison, and what it means to step back on stage after a long hiatus.
 
How did you get involved in MCCT? What made you audition for this show?
 
Emily McGee has been trying to get me involved with something in theatre down here for several years. I think she had just about given up on me when I came to audition for this. 
 
How long have you been acting/involved in theater?
 
I started Meisner training in spring of 1999. I haven’t been on stage in 17 years prior to this production.
 
What do you do when you’re not rehearsing?
 
Rehearsing. But this time, music. I’m a frontman and bass player for a rock band in Indianapolis. I’m also in graduate school, preparing to test for my LMHCa License to be a mental health counselor.
 
What has been an unexpected challenge of this production?
 
The commute. I drive 1.5 hours to and from rehearsals, and I have a big part in the production. I’m in most rehearsals. That construction!!!! Whew!
 
What has been most rewarding?
 
Being here, going through the process again for the first time in so many years. I think theatre, once in your blood, never leaves. My theatre life was dormant for years. I constantly waged the battle to beat it silent after seeing shows and volunteering for local theatres. It was like laughing again for the first time in a year or something to be able to do this work again.
 
Why should audiences come to see Uncertainty?
 
It is just so darn funny. I mean, when you work on a comedy, you get used to each other’s jokes because you’ve heard the script a million times. However, in this play, the way we all work together, we are constantly laughing in fresh places. This show sounds and looks different every single time we run it. Our director is a genius that way. She just throws all of us in the same soup pot without telling us what the finished dish is supposed to be. So you might get beef stew and you might get chili. No matter what, every drop is just a pleasure.
 
What are your top three dream roles?
 
I would love to do Laura from The Glass Menagerie before I start looking my age. I love any Ibsen and Shaw roles, and can’t wait to truly hit middle age just to be able to be a great Virginia Woolf. I’d like to keep my options open on that third one. I mean, I didn’t know about this role at all, and I love it dearly. 
 
What is the best/worst thing about playing Allison?
 
Playing Allison is sometimes scary for me because she’s almost exactly like me in my youth. It’s the best and worst thing. Sometimes I freak out a little thinking, “This feels too easy!!!! Did I really do the work?!” Then we get to really hard part in my lines and I realize, Oh yeah. I did the work alright.
 
Anything else you’d like to add?
 
Thanks to MCCT for taking a chance on a fresh face and an out of practice actor.
 

 

Catch the show at Oddball Fermentables
  • Sunday, September 9 at 2:00pm
  • Monday, September 10 at 7:00pm
  • Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00pm
Actor Profile: Gregory Maus Steps into Stephen Hawking’s Life

Actor Profile: Gregory Maus Steps into Stephen Hawking’s Life

Gregory Maus is stepping on to the stage for the first time since…well, it’s been awhile. Learn a little more about him and why he is excited to bring Stephen Hawking (yes, that Stephen Hawking) to life in Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision) this September!
What made you audition for Uncertainty?
My friend Lucas suggested that I try out for the play. Presumably, he thought my stick-like physique and arrogant pedantry made me a good fit for Hawking.
How long have you been acting/involved in theater?
I mean, life is theater…man…you know?… As far as actual productions though, I did a few parts in church plays during high school ten years ago, but haven’t done it formally since then.
What do you do when you’re not rehearsing?
Mostly I procrastinate on getting anything done for my Ph.D. program, including playing tabletop and computer strategy games and memorizing lines.
What has been an unexpected challenge of this production?
Personally? Transportation. Based on the try-out location I foolishly assumed that rehearsals would be within biking distance for me. I have since had to parasitically prey off the kindness and generosity of my cast mates with cars.
What has been the most rewarding part of being in an MCCT show?
Getting to know my all-too-generous castmates has been delightful, whether chatting during breaks or on car rides.
Why should audiences come to see Uncertainty?
It’s the most hilarious rendition of dead drunk physicists commenting on ridiculously terrible dates that they’ll ever see. (Probably.)
What are your top three dream roles?
Myself: That would imply that I’ve done (or at least been involved with) something sufficiently significant and/or interesting that a play or movie exists about it, and I’m apparently still alive, healthy, and free to play it. Hannibal Lecter because creepy sociopathic geniuses are fun. And, of course, Alexander Hamilton, well-meaning and perhaps over-ambitious geniuses are also delightful and how can one pass up Miranda’s writing?
What is the best/worst thing about bringing Stephen Hawking to life?
What I really enjoy about playing Hawking (or at least Uncertainty‘s version of him) is this fun dichotomy between his starry-eyed wonder at the transcendent beauty of the cosmos, contrasted with his all-too-human pettiness born of deep insecurities. I suspect that the worst thing will be if people expect me to actually explain his theories, but despite my efforts and initial enthusiasm, I have yet to actually finish A Brief History of Time.
Make plans to see Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision) September 9-11 at Oddball Fermentables in Bloomington. Tickets go on sale August 15.
King Lear Cast Announcement

King Lear Cast Announcement

Monroe County Civic Theater’s Fall production of KING LEAR has a cast! And a wonderful one at that. Meet the players –

Lear – Roy Sillings
Fool – Martin Cusato
Kent – Steve Scott

Goneril – Nicole Hill
Albany – Cairril Adaire
Oswald – Eric P. Van Gucht

Regan – Jennifer Whitaker
Cornwall – Nic Newby

Cordelia – Gwen Livesay
France – Parker Jones
Burgundy – Phillip Addison

Gloucester – Bill Goveia
Edgar – Oliver Moss
Edmund – Jason Lopez

Doctor – Dianne Shewmaker
Old Man – Dan Heise
Curan – Ashton Webb

Various Attendants, Servants, etc – Ashton Webb and Justin Brown

King Lear will be performed October 12-21 at the Firebay in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. We are still looking for tech crew for this show, including a Stage Manager. Interested? Email mcctlear@gmail.com.

Actor Profile: As Ferdinand, Caleb Curtis Explores Bravery, Love and Loss

Actor Profile: As Ferdinand, Caleb Curtis Explores Bravery, Love and Loss

MCCT newcomer Caleb Curtis brings to life Ferdinand, the Prince of Naples, in The Tempest. We sat down with him before his MCCT debut to talk about dream roles, Ferdinand’s love and uncertainty, and what makes being a part of Shakespeare in the Park is really like.
How did you get involved with theater?
A friend of mine who was a part of Monroe County Civic Theater in the past heard that I was looking to be in a show before I went to Interlochen Camp of the Arts for the rest of the summer and suggested that I audition. So I did, and here I am!
How have you approached the role of Ferdinand?
Ferdinand is the Prince of Naples, and with that comes a massive amount of responsibility! I believe that Ferdinand is very reluctant to accept this position in life, and because of that has a supreme lack of confidence in himself and his abilities. Ariel mentions to Prospero that Ferdinand was the first to LEAP from the boat when it wrecked, and to me, that sounds like a man who is afraid. Throughout the course of the play, when Ferdinand speaks of himself, he is either building himself up to an amusing rate or tearing himself down, which I think supports the fact that he is very insecure. Miranda is not only the love of his life but through his love for her, he finds a strength that he never knew he had and she gives him the confidence that might help him one day accept his position in life.
What’s it like rehearsing each night in the park?
It allows me to absorb some vitamin D! In all seriousness, I really enjoy the ability to rehearse outside, considering most of my rehearsals take place in a cold dark theater. Sure, it gets hot sometimes, but the heat and the surroundings of the park really lend itself to this play! And for being in the middle of downtown Bloomington, this park is extremely beautiful!
What are your top three dream roles?
Edmond From A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Christopher from the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and a tie between Ned Weeks from The Normal Heart and Prior from Angels in America.
Why should Bloomington audiences come out to “The Tempest”?
This production of The Tempest is extremely immersive! The space that we find ourselves in, the nature of the play, and the way our director Rory has blocked this show takes the play off the stage and puts it right in front of the audience! I think this is a timely play that tackles many important themes including love, abuse of power, displacement, dealing with feeling alone, and even facing death. And, you even get a good laugh once in awhile! This cast is really doing the best they can to make this a memorable version of this frequently done play, and I think the work we’ve put in shows!
What do you hope the audience takes away from this production?
I hope audiences are able to identify with some aspects of these characters and the quirks and fears that they have! I hope the audience is able to receive the needed message that this play provides that Shakespeare has wrapped in a bow of magic, charm, and humor.

Come see Caleb and the rest of the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park cast and crew May 31-June 3 at Waldron Hill Buskirk Park (formerly Third Street Park).

  • Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:00pm, with a pre-show performance of Tempest in a Teacup at 6:45pm.
  • The Sunday matinee is at 3:00pm with a 2:45pm preshow.

As always, Shakespeare in the Park is free!

Designer Profile: Jacy Harper Brings The Tempest to Life Through Costume

Designer Profile: Jacy Harper Brings The Tempest to Life Through Costume

As opening night for The Tempest draws near, we caught up with Jacy Harper, our costume designer for the show.
You’re a student right now, what are you studying?
I am majoring in Theatre with a minor in education.
How did you get into theater?
I got into theatre when I was in 5th or 6th grade and got to see our high school perform Into the Woods. After that, I was dead set on being a part of that.
What sparked your interest in costuming?
When I was in 8th grade I got my first sewing machine from my aunt and I had always wanted to make my own clothes. However, when I got into high school I found that making elaborate costumes for cosplay is way more fun than ordinary clothing. And because I’m already involved in theater, I was waiting for my chance to work on costumes for a show.
Do you have any favorite inspirations that contributed to your designs?
I feel that for this show specifically, I took a lot of inspiration from nature, as cliche as that sounds. I’ve been really obsessed with people/creatures mixed with Earth. After talking about color palettes, I thought this would be a good show to pull that into. Especially with the characters Caliban and Ariel.
Off of that, do you have any favorite pieces in this production?
With that said I think that Caliban, Ariel, and the Goddess costumes are my favorite pieces along with Prospero’s coral ruff.
Anything you don’t want the audience to miss?
I don’t want the audience to miss the Bloomington logo on the back of Prospero’s cloak.
How do think this show will connect to the Bloomington community?
I think that this show is very connecting because we have people of all ages and backgrounds in the show itself and we invite people of all ages and backgrounds to see the show as well and have aspects that everyone will enjoy. Especially with the children putting on the Tempest in a teacup. I also think that having a dementia-friendly performance is really great for the community.

Come see Jacy’s handiwork and the rest of the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park cast and crew May 31-June 3 at Waldron Hill Buskirk Park (formerly Third Street Park).

  • Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:00pm, with a pre-show performance of Tempest in a Teacup at 6:45pm.
  • The Sunday matinee is at 3:00pm with a 2:45pm preshow.

As always, Shakespeare in the Park is free!

MCCT Presents “The Tempest” for 29th Annual Shakespeare in the Park

MCCT Presents “The Tempest” for 29th Annual Shakespeare in the Park

Monroe County Civic Theater

PO Box 2032, Bloomington, IN 47402

info@mcct.org | mcct.org

For Immediate Release

 MCCT TO PERFORM “THE TEMPEST” FOR 29TH ANNUAL SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK

Bloomington, IN – Monroe County Civic Theater, Bloomington’s first and only all-volunteer theater company, is pleased to announce their production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest May 31-June 3 at Waldron Hill & Buskirk Park in Bloomington, Indiana.

The Tempest is a story of magic, mystery, and intrigue as Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, seek their rightful place in the world. Prospero is a powerful magician and creates a storm at sea to bring enemies to shore and demand his rightful place in the kingdom. Along the way, the audience meets a large cast of characters, from the sprite Ariel to the dark and sinister Caliban.

In addition to The Tempest, this Shakespeare in the Park season introduces the MCCT Children’s Theater program with a pre-show performance of Tempest in a Teacup, a shorter version of the story designed to aid the audience in understanding the plot and celebrating young actors.

The Tempest is directed by Rory Willats, and Tempest in a Teacup is directed by Jason Lopez. All-told, Shakespeare in the Park combines the talents of over 45 local residents, from acting to behind the scenes work on costumes, sets, and sound. Shakespeare in the Park is always free. Attendees are invited to bring blankets and chairs and make an evening of it. Park restrooms will be available.

MCCT was recently given the designation of Bloomington’s first Dementia-Friendly theater group from Indiana University Health. The Sunday performance will be a dementia-friendly, relaxed performance.

When:

May 31, June 1, June 2:       Tempest in a Teacup: 6:45pm        The Tempest: 7:00pm

June 3                                    Tempest in a Teacup: 2:45pm        The Tempest: 3:00pm

More information:
Contact MCCT at info@mcct.org

Stage Manager Needed for The Show Must Go On

Stage Manager Needed for The Show Must Go On

Katelin Hope Vesely is directing this Bloomington, IN musical cabaret of Queen/Freddie Mercury songs and they already have rehearsals for some acts underway, but she has received a new employment position that will prevent her from attending the first hour or two of each rehearsal beginning May 7th (this won’t be the case during performances and hopefully tech week). She is looking for someone to help with the logistical and organizational side of rehearsals. Each musical number is being directed by a Musical Director and so her directorial presence will be focused on casting lead vocalists, conveying thematic ideas, and helping to outsource resources and personnel (such as choreographers, costumers, lighting designers, etc).

Rehearsals begin at approximately 6:30pm Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, so this individual would need to arrive and be available from 6 until 9pm those nights. Rehearsals on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings will begin pending procuring rehearsal space for those evenings, and we are considering some Friday and Saturday rehearsals depending on cast availability. Some aspects of this schedule are negotiable for this position.

 

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Opening the building for the rehearsal space before cast arrives to each rehearsal (as necessary)
  • Providing help designing logistics for the rehearsal schedule, what will be rehearsed, and who will attend
  • Creating a roll call list for each rehearsal
  • Emailing and facebook posting about each rehearsal the night before or morning of
  • Creating a checklist/sign in sheet and checking off who is there
  • Making sure that everyone has materials necessary (may include facilitating printing)
  • Maintaining order at the rehearsals
  • Providing insight, answering questions, troubleshooting, recording questions for later
  • Taking notes about what gets done (including choreography notes) and what needs to be worked on
  • Filling in for any lead vocalist who is missing (quality of singing isn’t being judged, this can be worked around if an otherwise qualified applicant objects to this responsibility)

Monroe County Civic Theater is Bloomington’s only all-volunteer, amateur community theater company. While this position is unpaid, it can be listed on a resume and is a good reference when wanting to show management experience. This show already has 4 musical directors, an assistant director, a venue liaison, outreach coordinators, and a great cast. Please email Katelin at mcctqueen@gmail.com to ask questions and/or arrange for an interview.

Thanks for your support!

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 Clements
  • 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
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.