Terre Haute Living December 2016 - Page 50

During a theater season, full-length plays are performed on CT’s main stage, but some one-act plays are performed for the public in its Oakley rehearsal hall for small audiences of about 70. CT has reading committees that select plays a couple of years ahead of their production. One committee reads dramas, another musicals, other committees read traditional plays and newer plays. The 30 members of CT’s Board of Directors make the final decision. Then play directors conduct auditions and select the casts and crews. “Musicals and comedies sell the most tickets,” Hazledine said, “but we feel a commitment to the craft of theater to do dramas and mysteries. Prep takes eight weeks for musicals as compared to six for other kinds of plays.” According to Shutt, some of the most popular musicals in the past 50 years have been “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady,” “Teahouse of the August Moon,” and “The Music Man.” A few people to perform with CT have gone on to become famous, including Jerry Van Dyke (Dick Van Dyke’s younger brother), who had a variety of movie and TV roles. Joe Benti became the morning news anchor for CBS in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. Rob Youngblood, a Terre Haute North student who had roles in four CT plays in 1988, went to Hollywood and played some TV and movie parts, including appearances on “General Hospital” and “NYPD Blue.” CT opened its 90th season with play No. 428, “It’s Only a Play,” a popular recent Broadway production written by Terrence McNally. The play’s director, Bill Carper, began his relationship with CT as an usher. At the time, he and his wife, Miren Beristain, had just moved into Terre Haute. They so enjoyed their initial involvement that they became regulars. Both have now served in a variety of capacities in casts and on crews. Beristain has been a president of CT and Carper is now the senior vice-president. “It takes a lot of work and preparation to be a director,” Carper said. “Before rehearsals ever begin, the director can need up to six months of advance preparation to do the scheduling as well as conduct auditions to fill a play’s roles. “Once rehearsals start, I encourage my players to think about, and to take on, the character and identity of the kind of person they are portraying. Acting is work. Actors and actresses must learn to perform as if they are in a real situation. When plays are done really well in a life-like way, it’s as if the audience isn’t there for the cast. In a comedy, pacing is essential or scenes will not come off just right. … ‘It’s Only a Play’ had excellent and experienced performers like Peter Ciancone, Robin Baer, Christopher Gagnon, Douglas Lunn, Megan Stevens and Jacob White.” The script for “It’s Only a Play’s” called for a famous showbiz musical standard to be played at its conclusion, so as the cast took a final bow, and the audience stood to applaud its performance, throughout the auditorium “There’s no business like show business!” resounded from CT’s sound system. After the second Friday’s performance of “It’s Only…” many cast and crew members headed to Apgar’s home south of Terre Haute. For years Apgar has planned these parties for everyone involved in the production. Guests of widely varying ages and walks of life melded like one big, happy family over pasta, homemade salsas, beverages and good conversation. CT’s 2016 fall schedule has been busy. As the curtains were closing across the stage following the final Sunday afternoon performance of “It’s Only a Play,” another group of actors and actresses was prepared to go into full practice mode for a musical adaptation of the humorous cult classic “Rocky Horror Show.” The play attracted big crowds for all three shows. College students turned out in large numbers, often dressed in Halloween garb and ready to party. Audience participation, including crowd sing-alongs, was an important part of “Rocky Horror.” Attendees were given little squirt guns to fire in the air during scenes that called for rain — old newspapers that could be used as umbrellas were passed out before the play opened. During a few scenes, pre-selected spectators rushed onto the stage. Overlapping with rehearsals and perfor- Your home Is in Good Hands With Us We Provide 4 Rental Analysis 4 Tenant Screening 4 Advertising 4 Showing of the Property 4 Contract Preparation & Execution 4 Move-in Coordination 4 Repairs & Maintenance Estimates 4 Owner Accounting 4 Monthly Owner Statements 50 Terre Haute Living • December 2016 tribstar.com/terrehauteliving