Tag: MCCT

Crew Profile: B. Stryker DeLong Creates Lear’s World with Fabric and Imagination.

Crew Profile: B. Stryker DeLong Creates Lear’s World with Fabric and Imagination.

B. Stryker DeLong has been behind the scenes and on stage with MCCT for years. We caught up with her amidst costuming and chaos to talk about why she supports local theater and how costuming helps shape the story.

What made you decide to lend your talents to this show?

I’ve worked with Steve Heise before and he asked me to do this Lear.  There are several actors in this production that I love to work with, so it was a go for me. I love working with MCCT because I find the freedom to experiment with different design concepts, different materials, and different ways of thinking of how these things help the actor create a character. 

What is the hardest part of being a part of this production?

The hardest part of this production for me is the timing.  August-October is the busiest time of year for me and finding the time necessary to get this show together along with my other time commitments has been difficult. However, this production team and cast have gone out of their way to accommodate my strange schedule.

How did you get started with MCCT?

A few years ago, a friend of mine was doing Shakespeare in the Park and asked me to help with costumes. I had been doing a lot of work with high school productions and thought it would be nice to work with adults for a change. 

What do you do when you’re not helping with shows like King Lear?

Unlike most of the people involved with MCCT, I am employed in the entertainment industry. I’ve been in theatre since I was 14 years old. These days, I am employed part-time at IU Auditorium with backstage hospitality and as a wardrobe person.  I also freelance as a costumer/costume designer. AND I belly dance with two different troupes here in Bloomington, The Caravanserai Dancers and Different Drummer Belly Dancers.

Why should people come see this production?

I believe that this production of Lear is going to be an exciting evening of theatre. I’ve watched the cast and crew work extremely hard to bring this story to life.

Come see B. Stryker Delong and the rest of the King Lear cast/crew beginning next Friday!

  • October 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00pm
  • October 14 at 3:00pm

Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Rose Firebay.

Get your tickets today at mcct.yapsody.com.

Actor Profile: Gwen Livesay says goodbye to Bloomington with a Tour de Force as Cordelia in King Lear

Actor Profile: Gwen Livesay says goodbye to Bloomington with a Tour de Force as Cordelia in King Lear

Gwen Livesay has made the Bloomington Theater scene her home for several years. As she prepares to move after the close of the show, we talked to her about Cordelia, theater, and what it all means.

What made you audition for Lear? 

It’s one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and one of his best tragedies. Cordelia is one of the strongest female characters in a Shakespeare play, and I was interested in playing that.

Why do you think this story matters for today’s audiences?

I think it matters because it shows how narcissism in a country’s leader can bring about the downfall of that country  Under our current administration, we’re seeing how that plays out.

What new things have you learned as a result of this show?

This show has challenged me as an actor in new ways. Cordelia isn’t onstage very much, but when she is, she has a very weighty presence. I’ve also learned that I’m really good at playing dead.

Community/Civic theater is a unique challenge. What has been the hardest part of this show? The easiest?

Surprisingly, learning the lines has been the hardest part. I’m usually quite good at memorizing lines, but this show has proven harder than usual. The easiest part for me is acting with a group of people I feel at ease with.

How did you get involved with MCCT?

Three years ago, I had a small role in Cymbeline, that year’s summer Shakespeare.  I’ve gradually worked my way up to playing more significant roles and even co-directed one play.

What do you do when you’re not rehearsing and memorizing Shakespeare?

I work at IU Varsity Shop in Assembly Hall.

Why should audiences come to this show?

It’s one of Shakespeare’s best plays.  It also has strong female characters and themes that are still relevant today.

Come see Gwen and the rest of the King Lear cast beginning next Friday!

  • October 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00pm
  • October 14 at 3:00pm

Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Rose Firebay.

Get your tickets today at mcct.yapsody.com.

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 – Nancy Eagan
Albany – Cairril Adaire
Oswald – Eric P. Van Gucht

Regan – Jennifer Whitaker
Cornwall – Nic Newby

Cordelia – Gwen Livesay
France – Dan Heise
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

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.

Here are photos from King Lear:

Bloomington Herald Times Review

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!

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!