Tag: MCCT

AUDITIONS: Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision)

AUDITIONS: Uncertainty (Or, Imprecision)

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.

Contact Emily at emily.solt.mcgee@gmail.com for audition times and sides.

Auditions will be held at the Monroe County Public Library over the course of two days:

  • June 16th 11am-2pm in meeting room 2A
  • June 17th 12pm-2pm in meeting room 1C
The Tempest: Shakespeare in the Park

The Tempest: 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

The Tempest: Shakespeare in the Park

The Tempest: 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

The Tempest: Shakespeare in the Park

The Tempest: 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: 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!

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!

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

Photo gallery:

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.

 

KHV:

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?

EVG:

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.

KHV:

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

EVG:
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.

KHV:

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?

EVG:
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.

KHV:

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

EVG:
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.

KHV:

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?

EVG:

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 https://mcct.yapsody.com/