Theater offerings in spring 2017

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I hope you have your sharpies and calendars out — or perhaps in this day and age, your mobile device and stylus poised on your calendar app — because it’s time to mark your calendars again. The 2016-2017 theater season in Sheridan is nowhere near over. In some cases, it’s just getting warmed up.

If any of you came to see Erin Kranz and myself in the Civic Theatre Guild’s production of “Bakersfield Mist,” I first of all would like to thank you for your patronage. Erin and I put a lot of elbow grease into that piece, and it was great to see our work pay off. In context though, if you attended, then you certainly heard director Gene Davis’ pre-show plug for the remainder of CTG’s season. If you did not attend, it is with a playful poke in the metaphysical ribs that I say, “Shame on you.” But, I also somewhat understand how the local theater business works, and in times of economic distress, you, the audience member, must be somewhat scrupulous in spending your entertainment dollar. So, if you didn’t attend to hear Gene’s pre-show banter, I’ll let you know that the CTG has some wonderful entertainment planned for the rest of the year.

Next on CTG’s slate is the small-stage classic, Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart,” an often humorous and touching look at a family of three southern sisters that must figure out the meaning of their family’s legacy. This will be directed by my recent stage partner, and theater virtuoso, Erin Kranz. A treat not to be missed.

Then, rounding out CTG’s season, WYO Theater Executive Director Erin Butler will don her director’s cap once again (a cap that fits her very well; I should know — I’ve been in two of her productions) to direct “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical.” I’m not very familiar with this play at all, but from what I’ve gathered, it will be a very tongue-in-cheek revue of how the genre of musical theater has developed over the years, presented by a smaller ensemble cast. More on ensemble casts, and on the WYO in a moment. “The Musical of Musicals: The Musical” will play in the Mars Theater, as the annual co-production between the CTG and the WYO. For more information on these shows, please see the CTG’s website: www.sheridanstage.com.

As I hinted, here’s more on the WYO. Recently, the WYO developed a series of workshops in conjunction with Sheridan County School District 2 to give school-age students the opportunity to learn some of the business of being a theater professional. Workshop content includes how to prepare an audition, what casting directors are looking for, and in the one I’m teaching with Sheridan College Theater Instructor Lillian Sager, students will learn how stage makeup can allow them to create an incredible character using their faces as a canvas. Lots of fun is in store, to be sure, Sheridan parents. Make sure your kids get to these!

Call the WYO at 672-9084 for more information.

Finally, what is Trident Theatre doing? Well, we’ve got a few rabbits in our hat that we’re planning to pull out. Here’s just a tease. First off, Trident plans to produce “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised],” a humorous attempt to capture the essence of all of Shakespeare’s work within a two-hour period. This is also presented by an ensemble cast, in this case, meaning that only three actors will play all of the required parts in Shakespeare’s canon, with no one actor having more stage time or importance than any other. This will be similar to how “The Musical of Musicals” will play. Next, we’d like to get a children’s theater series this summer, outdoors with a few other surprises. Finally, one play I’ve kept on the back burner is Terrence McNally’s “Master Class.” This is a deeply moving piece (one of the most moving pieces I’ve ever seen onstage) about real-life opera diva Maria Callas, who taught a series of master classes at Juilliard in the 1970s. This play is set as one such master class, and the audience is treated as the body of students in attendance. With each piece Maria hears, the audience is transported through her memories to tumultuous times in the diva’s life, forcing the audience to realize and consider the sacrifices that artists make for their art, and whether or not the sacrifice is worth the eventual cost.

Keep in mind, fans, that Trident will TRY to get all these done. No promises.

So, friends and fans of theater, you’ve got a lot to look forward to in Sheridan in the upcoming months. Keep up your patronage!

I’ll see you at intermission!

Aaron Odom

Guest columnist

By |February 16th, 2017|

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