Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In the Wings: "Oliver!" Meet Leo Crampton.



Leo Crampton plays Oliver Twist in Oliver!, the fourth show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The show runs March 6-7 and March 13-15 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street. You can purchase tickets by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529.

Question: Who is Oliver Twist and what is he like?
Leo Crampton: He is a really poor workhouse boy. He feeds on gruel, he's half-starved and he has the guts to stand for more when the kids around him are afraid they would be hanged if they do that. He eventually is sold for five pounds to an undertaker.

Q: What do you like about Oliver Twist?
L.C.: He is very brave. He runs away, he dares to ask for more, he stands up to villains and more.

Q: What do you wish audiences could know about the rehearsal process?
L.C.: Everyone is having a lot of fun as we run the show.

Q: "Oliver!" is based on Charles Dickens' novel. What novel do you wish were made into a musical?
L.C.: Dickens is a very good author, so one of his other novels might be very good.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Oliver!" Meet Craig Martin.



Craig Martin plays Fagin in Oliver!, the fourth show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The show runs March 6-7 and March 13-15 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street. You can purchase tickets by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529.

Question: Who is Fagin and what is he like?
Craig Martin: Fagin is trying to stay alive. He's a crafty fellow who has found a way to get by using young kids to thieve for him, but in a semi-innocent way. He provides a better home for them than they might find on the streets. He's looking to maintain and maybe find a better course for his life.

Q: What do you like about Fagin?
C.M.: He's full of life and energy, and all of the foibles of mankind. He knows he's doing the wrong thing at certain times, yet he revels in it. He takes adventure from it and finds it interesting and fun, yet he also feels guilty for what he's done. He struggles throughout the show to do the right thing or to do what gets him by.

Q: What do you wish audiences knew about the rehearsals for the show?
C.M.: It's painstaking and takes time to play everything out, but it's a lot of fun to take energy from these younger performers.

Q: "Oliver!" is based on Charles Dickens' novel. What novel do you wish were made into a musical?
C.M.: "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. It's very Dickensian and there are a lot of bizarre features and elements. It would take a really creative, wild mind to pull it off.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Oliver!" Meet Kate Martin.



Kate Martin plays Nancy in Oliver!, the fourth show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The show runs March 6-7 and March 13-15 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street. You can purchase tickets by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529.

Question: Who is Nancy and what is she like?
Kate Martin: Nancy considers Fagin, Bill Sykes, Bet and the boys as her family. She is like a big sister or mother figure for these boys. She likes to see them as often as she can.

Q: What do you like about Nancy?
K.M.: Her views change. In the beginning, she knows she's a thief and she's poor. She's resigned to her life with Bill. Eventually, what is important in life changes for her, including protecting Oliver. She questions if it's right to throw a little kid into that kind of life when he has another option. She sticks to her morals and she's loyal to the people she loves.

Q: What do you wish audiences knew about the rehearsals for the show?
K.M.: Rehearsals have been kind of strange. We had been segregated into smaller groups. The kids get to hang out the whole time, but the adults don't see each other a lot. When we put the whole thing together, we see everyone in their scenes. Working with the kids is fantastic, they are so thrilled about being on stage and it's so fun to watch.

Q: "Oliver!" is based on Charles Dickens' novel. What novel do you wish were made into a musical?
K.M.: I want to say "Pride and Prejudice," but I think there's a musical already although it could be done better. Anything by Jane Austen would be great.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

In the Wings: "Oliver!" Meet Emily Hoffmann-Noll.



Emily Hoffmann-Noll plays a workhouse child in Oliver!, the fourth show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The show runs March 6-7 and March 13-15 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street. You can purchase tickets by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529.

Question: Why did you audition for "Oliver!"?
Emily Hoffmann-Noll: I really like acting. I've acted in school plays and church plays. For my school play, I was a frog. For my church play, I was Mary.

Q: What is fun about being in the show?
E. H.-N.: All of it. I get to do stuff that I don't usually get to do.

Q: "Oliver!" is based on Charles Dickens' novel. What novel do you wish were made into a musical?
E. H.-N.: Harry Potter number three. It's my favorite book.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

Monday, March 2, 2015

In the Wings: "Oliver!" Meet Erin Irvin.



Erin Irvin plays the Rose Seller and is in the adult ensemble in Oliver!, the fourth show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

The show runs March 6-7 and March 13-15 at Sunnyside Intermediate School, 530 N. 26th Street. You can purchase tickets by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529.

Question: Why did you audition for "Oliver!"?
Erin Irvin: I love the show, to begin with. This has been my first free semester; I'm studying veterinary technology and it's been very hard coursework and a very full schedule. I finally had free time to try out.

Q: What is fun about being in the show?
E.I.: The cast is super fun. I think the show is funny, and there are some roles that can be interpreted in several ways. It's fun to watch people be creative in ways that I never would have thought of.

Q: What do you wish audiences could know about the show?
E.I.: Kate Walker is an excellent director and doing her best. You can tell her passion for the show is coming through. I wish audiences could see how the cast is developing their characters since we started rehearsal.

Q: "Oliver!" is based on Charles Dickens' novel. What novel do you wish were made into a musical?
E.I.: "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis would be neat as a musical. It's a more Christian-based story, and it would be really cool with awesome songs out of it.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Share Your Thoughts: "Retreat!"


Now that "Retreat!" has closed, share your thoughts about the production.

What will you remember about it? What are your thoughts about the performances? The story and plot? The design? What were the standout moments?

"Oliver!" will be the next production of the 2014-2015 season.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Opening Night: Retreat! Production photos.










Thanks to Kris Kazmierczak for taking these production photos of Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Retreat! opens tonight, February 13, and will run through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday performance will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for youth age 18 and under. Visit http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or call 765-423-7529 to purchase tickets.

Opening Night: Retreat! Photos of the cast.















Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, opens tonight, February 13 and runs through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Neil Radtke, the playwright.



Each season, there are four productions in the Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The 2014-2015 season includes Retreat! by local playwright Neil Radtke, a U.S. history teacher at Klondike Middle School.

Question: What is Retreat! about?
Neil Radtke: It takes place at a company retreat that is put on by a firm that specializes in them. Companies that have issues with employees coming together hire the firm, and employees go to a woodsy hotel area to have a retreat. Julia, the main character, is putting on her first retreat and she wants things to go well. The employees who arrive are increasingly causing issues that culminate in an untimely death.

Q: What is the history of Retreat! and Klondike Middle School's annual murder mystery?
N.R.: Klondike Middle School puts on an annual murder mystery dinner theater that I started about 15 years ago. I write, produce and direct. A lot of the plays I wrote are specific for the space at Klondike. When I first started writing Retreat!, I wrote it with the idea of being staged elsewhere. It went over extremely well at Klondike.

Q: How many plays have you written?
N.R.: I started with two adaptations for the annual murder mysteries, but then I've written 10 original scripts for the event since. I've written several 10-minute plays that I've sent to various contests. Sorting It Out was named a semifinalist for the 2015 Pick of the Vine short play festival at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro, California. I'm trying to expand and become more adept at longer works.

Q: What was the impetus behind wanting to be a playwright?
N.R.: I've always loved theater. When I started writing years ago, I thought it would be fun to do. There's so much information out there about the benefits of theatre for kids, and that's the kind of thing that is being cut from schools. You also see too many plays written for adults that they then try to shoehorn to fit kid actors. I saw a need for youth plays that are written for youth performers that are fresh and more timely than fairy tales. The more kids that are hooked into theatre, the better things will be for them.

Q: How do you characterize your writing?
N.R.: I'm very contemporary in my writing. I haven't written anything set in other time periods; they're all set in the present. There are two ways I go about writing. First, I'll write real characters going through real issues. Second, for something like Retreat!, I'll take stereotypes and blow them up out of proportion because those are funny to watch. I'm still in the experimental stage of my writing. I do try different ways to present characters so I can write what I need to write.

Q: What is the writing atmosphere in Greater Lafayette like?
N.R.: I think Civic Theatre's 10-Minute Play Festival is fantastic. Having one slot in the staged reading series for a playwright based in the Greater Lafayette area is important. I've found that publishers want to see that work has been done at some time. The Midwest has a lot of stories that aren't heard enough. There's a lot about New York and even West Coast plays. I think there are a lot of Midwest stories to tell. I co-directed a production of Bus Stop by William Inge, which is set in Kansas and the characters are Midwestern and it was great to see.

Q: Who are your writing influences? What playwrights do you enjoy?
N.R.: I like extremes. If I'm going to watch a comedy, it's going to be a farce. If I'm going to watch a drama, it's going to be extremely dramatic. Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire and The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellmann, which I acted in, are that way. I like extremes because if you're caught in the middle I don't know there's that big of a payoff. If you get an audience invested and take them to extremes, their reactions are such that it works out.

Q: What is next for Retreat!
N.R.: After the production closes February 15, I'm going to sit down the director, Aaron Newton, and we're going to talk about what worked and what didn't work. I know there are some minor brush-ups that I need to do. Then I'll put in more time to revamp it and then send it off to some publishers to get it out there. A lot of people have told me that the show is fun and it needs to be out there so people can have an opportunity to perform it.

Q: What's next for you?
N.R.: The 10-Minute Play Festival is coming up, and I've written a few things. I need to decide which two I want to submit. Klondike's 2015 murder mystery dinner theatre is coming up, too. I've been storyboarding and working on that. There are contests I'm going to continue to submit to, and sometimes you get good feedback on scripts that way.

Q: If a person were to tell you that she wants to be a playwright, how would you respond?
N.R.: I would say, good. It is fun and it is rewarding. You have to have a story to tell and write it. Get it down on paper. It's one thing to desire, but it's another to write it down. You'll never write your first play until you type your first word.

I also believe that playwrights must be involved with theatre. Civic Theatre offers great opportunities for that, on stage and off. Also, attend theatre, watch theatre, read plays and understand theatre. I've become a much better playwright being involved at Civic and understanding what it takes to put a production on, what makes a good show, having to deliver lines and seeing what works for an audience. It would be very difficult to write in a vacuum without being immersed in theatre is.

Retreat! runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In the Wings: "Retreat!" Meet Maya Vanderberg.



Maya Vanderberg plays Ms. Clackinack in Neil Radtke's Retreat!, the third show in the 2014-2015 Civic Youth Theatre season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

Question: Who is Ms. Clackinack and what does she want?
Maya Vanderberg: Ms. Clackinack is one of the employees. She does not want to be at the company retreat. She sees herself as above everyone else and is frustrated with everyone.

Q: Why did you audition for Retreat!
M.V.: I auditioned because I know a lot of people who have done a show at Civic, and I wanted to try it myself. I love acting, so I thought it would be a fun experience.

Q: What is fun about being in a mystery?
M.V.: It's fun because you know you're keeping the audience on their toes. You know what is going to happen, so it's fun to throw off the audience.

Q: If you could set a mystery in any location, where would you set it?
M.V.: I would set it somewhere crowded, like a school where everyone thinks they know everyone else.

The show runs Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. You can purchase tickets by calling 765-423-7529 or visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.