Tag: bloomington

Meet Mr. Peach – Steve Scott

Meet Mr. Peach – Steve Scott

Steve Scott becomes Mr. Peach in Farndale Macbeth

As we get closer to our Farndale Macbeth opening, we want to introduce you to some of our cast and crew. First up is Steve Scott. Steve has been a fixture in the MCCT and BPP worlds for years, but his role in Farndale is unlike anything he’s ever done before!

What brought you to MCCT in the first place?
A former President of MCCT, Eric Anderson, saw my silly theatrics when I taught children’s classes at my martial arts school. In 2012 he asked me to play the role of “the fireman” in “Studs Terkel’s Working: The Musical”. I loved it.

Why did you want to be a part of Farndale?
The role of Peach offers me a chance to stretch out and test my range as an actor.

What is the most challenging part of your role?
The wardrobe, the makeup. I’ve been getting a LOT of help with that!

What is something unexpected that you’ve learned by being a part of community theater?
It isn’t so much what I’ve learned but who I’ve gotten to know. I’ve met some outstanding people through my years at MCCT.

What is your favorite thing about this show?
It’s tremendously funny. I acted in four of MCCT’s Shakespeare productions and get the biggest kick out of seeing a farce built around “The Scottish Play”.

What is your biggest challenge with this show?
See #3. With the addition that walking in heels might be a challenge…

What would surprise the audience to know about you?
In real life I’m Mr. Peach’s antithesis. If I can make Steve Scott disappear and become a convincing George Peach, I’ll count it a success.

Farndale opens April 12 at Stages Bloomington. Tickets are $15 and available now. Get yours here!

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
Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision) Cast Announcement

Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision) Cast Announcement

Uncertainty (or Imprecision) by Nicholas Krohn, is a new comedic play about three friends who meet at a bar on the same night to provide moral support for each other as they embark on their respective online dating prospects for the evening. Along for the ride is the bartender supplying the trio with plenty of liquid courage as well as two well-known (and completely out of their respective dimensions) scientists supplying plenty of terrible advice for the trio of friends as they embark on their first physical meeting with the people they have been chatting with online. The dates themselves prove to be one disaster after another in this bizarre and madcap comedy that proves once and for all that dating is the worst, but we all may as well laugh about it.
 
Stan: Emily Bedwell
Stephen Hawking: Gregory Maus
Werner Heisenberg: Emily Mcgee
Eric: Matt Fletcher
Allison: Jessica Joslin
Stacy: Heather Wesner
Mitchell: Lucas Kempe-Cook
Swan: Bill Goveia
Debra: Evangeline Mee
 
Uncertainty (or Imprecision) will be performed September 9-11 at Oddball Fermentables in Bloomington. Tickets will go on sale in early August! Don’t miss it!
Audition Announcement: King Lear

Audition Announcement: King Lear

Director: Steve Heise
Assitant Director: Jennifer Whitaker
Stage Manager: WE ARE LOOKING
Auditions will be held on:
July 14th, Saturday, 3-6pm, Room 214 Monroe County Public Library
July 15th, Sunday, 12:30-4:30pm, Auditorium Monroe County Public Library
*If you can’t make these days, please email  MCCTLear@gmail.com

We will have sides available and may ask you to read several. We may also ask that you read against different actors for different roles. No prepared materials necessary.

Be sure to have an idea of your conflicts, both recurring and single instance, for the period of August 5th, 2018 to October 21st, 2018.
Performances will be from October 12th to October 21st, 2018 at the Rose Firebay, locate in The Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center.
Tickets on Sale Now for “The Show Must Go On: A Queen Cabaret”

Tickets on Sale Now for “The Show Must Go On: A Queen Cabaret”

“The Show Must Go On: A Queen Cabaret” was a huge success, with dozens of people coming out to all three venues to support three amazing benefit organizations.

Each night’s performance will benefit a different local organization. So come out, join the fun, and be prepared to bid on some auction items from local businesses and organizations.

Here is a photo gallery from the show:

Actor Profile: Mike Milam goes from MCCT Supporter to Cast Member in His Acting Debut

Actor Profile: Mike Milam goes from MCCT Supporter to Cast Member in His Acting Debut

After years of supporting MCCT behind the scenes, Mike Milam braves the stage as Alonso in The Tempest. We asked him about why he made the transition from proud supporter to actor, and how his knowledge of Shakespeare adds to this production of The Tempest.

How did you get involved with MCCT?

I became involved in MCCT because my daughter, Jennifer Whitaker, is on the board, and I and my wife, Pam, have been supporters for several years. Pam is also involved in MCCT matters, working on props, and, in fact, my grandson, William Whitaker, has played in several MCCT productions and in the present one.

How long have you been acting?

About a month. This is my maiden voyage. I cannot even recall being on stage in grammar school although I may have been once in that distant past.

What do you do when you aren’t rehearsing Shakespeare?

My day job is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of International Programs at the University of Indianapolis. After teaching ancient and modern drama, including the Bard, for a number of years, I decided to take a whack at Shakespeare, so to speak. I am on sabbatical this summer and next year, so after the Tempest, I will be reading, writing, working around the house, and relaxing for some time.

What has been the hardest part of this production?

Having taught Shakespeare in class, the language with which I am not unfamiliar proves not an encumbrance. However, speaking the lines is a challenge. I found out—and how sharp the point of this remembrance is!—that memorizing lines without speaking them aloud as one does the blocking is impossible.

What has been the most rewarding?

Seeing and being involved in making Shakespeare come alive on stage from the static existence of the page. When we study drama in class, we are concerned with structure, theme, historical context, language and such literary considerations. Being involved in performance has given me insights into what I teach that are exciting and revelatory.

Why should Bloomington audiences come out to see The Tempest?

Because we are going to knock their socks off! They shall weep! They shall laugh! They shall leave enlightened!

They shall leave cathartic! There will be moments of pathos. Acrobatics! Dionysian revelry. Levitation of levity! Tragedy merrily averted. Stunning visual effects. Maybe, just maybe, we shall collectively find out how the genius of tragedy and comedy are one as Socrates so tantalizingly suggests at the conclusion of The Symposium. Now, who would possibly want to miss that?

Come see Mike 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!

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

Actor Profile: Meet “The Tempest’s” Caliban: Rene Llewellyn

Actor Profile: Meet “The Tempest’s” Caliban: Rene Llewellyn

Rene Llewellyn isn’t new to performing but is a relatively new member of MCCT. Read on to discover a little more about Rene’s journey to the local stage, why they believe civic theater is important to the Bloomington community, and why this version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest matters so much in today’s world.

How long have you been acting?

Unofficially, since I was three years old and delivered a compelling performance that convinced our new neighbor to bake me a chocolate cake for my birthday. I was first paid to act ridiculous at the Georgia Renaissance Festival as a street performer and later at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (BARF) in Florida as a “family-friendly” stage performer. Many years later, after moving to Bloomington, I performed as a drag king in a charity benefit at The Back Door. I’ve been performing drag regularly for almost three years now.

How did you get involved with MCCT?

Last summer I saw a Facebook event announcing auditions for Shakespeare in the Park. I felt like that could be fun – kind of like returning to my Rennie roots without the six-week performance commitment and lack of indoor plumbing – but I didn’t really think I’d get accepted. To everyone’s surprise, I was cast as Touchstone in As You Like It. And here I am again.

This show has some non-traditional casting. How do you think that affects the show?

Well, if it were traditionally cast, we’d all be cis men! In order to keep Shakespeare fresh and relevant, I believe the cast should reflect the diversity of the community in which it is presented. The only reason I chose to audition for MCCT in the first place was that they stated up front that the organization was open to non-traditional casting. Theater as a whole is very strictly gendered. I believe going non-trad has an incredibly positive impact on the show because the roles go to the best actors, regardless of their gender. It means more representation. The audience might see themselves in more of the characters; feel more of a connection.

MCCT is Bloomington’s longest running community theater. Where do you see this show’s civic engagement?

The Tempest is a show about power imbalance. There are themes of colonization, displacement, and prejudice. That’s pretty heavy stuff for a comedy! Again, I believe the non-traditional cast will engage more people and hopefully invite discussion on these themes, connecting them to current events in our community.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

Sympathy for the devil. No, seriously, I hope they think about why we demonize people who don’t look like us, or who don’t act the way we think they should act. Then maybe take it a step further and question why we have these unspoken rules in our heads about how anyone else should live their lives in the first place! Think about power. Why do we give it to certain people and not to others? What is our recourse when those people in power use it to hurt others? How long do we turn away or accept it as appropriate, or even justified, before that power is used against us? But above all, I hope everyone understands the importance of staying hydrated while stranded on a magical island.

How have you been preparing for your role?

Our director clued me in to the artistry of motion-capture actor Terry Notary. I can’t hope to come anywhere close to his glorious fluidity of movement but he’s my inspiration for Caliban and beyond. Other than that, I drink a lot of coffee and talk to myself in public. This is slightly different from my normal behavior because I’m actually saying my lines instead of just gabbling like a thing most brutish.

What do you do when you aren’t performing Shakespeare?

I perform locally as drag king Derek Von Zipper. In case you’re unfamiliar with drag kings (as opposed to drag queens), that means I dress up and personify male gender stereotypes and characters while lip syncing, usually in a comedic fashion, and people hand me cash. Feel free to do that during The Tempest intermission! I am also a troupe member of Different Drummer Belly Dancers and we perform all around Indiana, bringing the joy of non-traditional belly dance to the masses. And I cosplay, which means I dress up as a pop culture character from movies or TV shows just for fun, so you might see me around town or at GenCon personifying Tony Stark or Yondu from the Marvel superhero movies, Negan from The Walking Dead, or Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls, among others.

Do you see yourself in your character at all? What has been your “in” to understanding their point of view?

I definitely see myself in Caliban. As a non-binary gendered person, I might appear physically and even mentally monstrous to some people because I do not immediately present as either male or female. It is also easy for me to understand Caliban as someone who has been emotionally abused by a narcissistic authority figure from a very young age. Caliban is a sympathetic character to me for these reasons, while still acting as a villain by choosing to use the tools of his oppressor (manipulation, intimidation) against other characters in the play. Portraying Caliban is both a welcome challenge and a catharsis for me.

Come see Rene and the rest of the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park cast and crew May 31-June 3 at Waldron Hill and 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!