Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Share Your Thoughts: The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V.


The staged reading of "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." by Steve Martin took place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. It was followed by a question-and-answer session between the audience, the cast, the playwright and director Julie Doan.

Did you attend the staged reading of "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V."? What did you think about the characters, the plot and dialogue? What were some of the high points? What will you remember about this staged reading?

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.


The Staged Reading Series: The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V. Meet Steve Martin, the playwright.



During Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Staged Reading Series, at least one play written by a local playwright will receive its world premiere. This season's play is "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." by Steve Martin.

Q: What is "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." about?
Steve Martin: It's about being open to possibilities, and the repercussions that result. It's about taming the voice in the back of the head that tears you down. It's about art and food and the stars and language and opportunities.

Q: What inspired you to write the script?
S.M.: My wish to have the power to levitate. An issue of "Astronomy Today." The Color Field style of painting. A bowl of mrouzia. The Hubble Space Telescope. Being unable to speak a non-English language. My desire to travel to Alaska. Writing other plays.

Q: What do you hope is revealed - for you and/or the audience - through the staged reading of "Benny V."?
S.M.: I hope to learn if I've created a cohesive, coherent story and cast of characters that other people will find interesting and be able to empathize with. It's meant a lot to attend a few rehearsals led by director Julie Doan and see how she and the cast relate to the story, to know the script connects with others.

Q: What happens after the staged reading? Where does it go from here?
S.M.: There will be revisions and a few sessions with a dramaturg, then more revisions, after which I'll submit the play to theaters that might be interested in producing it.

Q: Why do you write for theatre as opposed to some other medium?
S.M.: There is nothing more powerful than watching a person in front of me struggling or experiencing joy or realizing a new personal truth. It's very humane.

Q: What are your thoughts on the state of American theatre?
S.M.: It seems vibrant, when I read articles in print and online. There's a lot of work being done to tell new stories and examine old ones. There needs to be more conversations about theatre, though, so people can have an even stronger view of what's happening.

Q: What’s so great about a new play? Are they important?
S.M.: You're getting someone's perspective on a subject they find interesting and worthy of exploration, which means you're getting an insight into that person as well. New creative work - regardless of the medium - also helps address new situations and experiences or those that perhaps have been overlooked for a long time. 

Q: How does Civic Theatre's staged reading of "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." help your development as a playwright?  How does it help the development of American theatre?
S.M.: The script will not be in a vacuum, I'll be able to hear and see how audiences, actors and others respond, which will influence how I write other plays. Perhaps attending world premiere staged readings at Civic Theatre and the annual 10-Minute Play Festival will encourage others to write and to tell the stories that are meaningful to them.

The staged reading of "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." will be Tuesday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette – the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can event.

There will be a question-and-answer session immediately following between the audience, the cast, the director and the playwright.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Review is in: Escanaba in da Moonlight


The review of Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight" is on the website of the Journal & Courier, Greater Lafayette's daily newspaper. It was written by Tim Brouk.

You can read the review here.

"Escanaba in da Moonlight" is in the middle of the second of its 3-weekend run. Remaining performances are tonight, May 16 and tomorrow, May 17 at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. There are performances next Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://lafayettecivic.tix.com or calling 765-423-7529. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for youth age 18 and under.


Friday, May 15, 2015

The Staged Reading Series: "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." on May 19












The sixth and final staged reading of the 2014-2015 Staged Reading Series is Steve Martin's "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." It won the original script contest. It will be performed Tuesday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette – the corner of 5th Street and North Street.

It is a Pay What You Can event. It will be followed immediately by a question-and-answer session between the audience, the cast, the director and the playwright.

The highlight of forty-year-old Benny V.'s day is eating his microwaved dinner and falling asleep at 8 p.m. in his apartment decorated with old college dormitory furniture. Then a mysterious invitation leads Benny V. on a journey that connects him with new people, places and experiences. "The Subtle, Sublime Transformation of Benny V." looks at how we engage the world and how going outside our comfort zone affects our lives.

Julie Doan directs the cast, which includes Bill Ross, Martin Fernandez, Juanita Crider, Jane Hoaks, Drake Meed, Brittany Barnes, Alexa Conn and Bill Knapp.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Share Your Thoughts: Tina Howe's "Approaching Zanzibar"


The staged reading of Tina Howe's "Approaching Zanzibar" took place tonight at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. It was followed immediately with a question0-and-answer session between the audience, the cast and the director, Steve Martin.

Did you attend the staged reading? What did you think about the characters and actions? What did you think about the plot and the themes?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Announcing auditions: The 3rd annual 10-Minute Play Festival


Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette has announced auditions for the 3rd annual 10-Minute Play Festival.

Auditions will be 7-9 p.m. on Monday, May 18 and Wednesday, May 20. Monday's audition will be at the Civic Theatre office, 313 N. 5th Street. Wednesday's audition will be at the Civic Theatre stage, 320 N. 5th Street.

Directors Kyle Borcz, Beth Butram, Arliss Jeffries, Bill Knapp, Steve Koehler, Craig Martin, Tori Rosa and Laurie Russell look to cast several actors of all ages, male and female, for the shows. One show is a musical and one show has a role for an 8-year-old actor.

Those auditioning will be asked to read from the scripts, copies of which are available for perusal at the office. They do not need to attend both nights of auditions, but are asked to plan to stay for the entire two hours.

The plays in the 3rd annual 10-Minute Play Festival are:

* Do You Have the Time? by Shane Guenin
* Fascination! by Timothy Lewis
* Fault or No Fault by Scott Haan
* Fun House Debt by Craig Martin
* Gluten-Free: The 10-Minute Musical by Julie Doan
* O.B.O. by Steve Martin
* Once upon a by Laurie Russell
* The Philopatry of Swallows by Michelle Bonora

The 3rd annual 10-Minute Play Festival will be Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette. It will be a Pay What You Can event.

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.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Staged Reading Series: "Approaching Zanzibar" on May 12













The fifth staged reading of the 2014-2015 Staged Reading Series is Tina Howe's "Approaching Zanzibar." It will be performed Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette – the corner of 5th Street and North Street.

It is a Pay What You Can event. It will be followed immediately by a question-and-answer session between the audience, the cast and the director.

This play by the author of "Pride's Crossing" follows the Blossom family as they travel cross country to see Aunt Olivia, who has cancer. She is a renowned environmental artist who creates enormous sculptures out of kites. The family camps along the way, having various adventures and meeting relatives and strangers. When they arrive in Taos, New Mexico, Olivia is fading in and out of reality, or is she?

Steve Martin directs the cast, which includes Kyle Borcz, Laura Whitcombe, Liam Kelley, Isabella Zollner, Mark Callaway, Marylin Howland Ross, Seth Jacobsen, Mona Bapat and Cassandra Clark. Beth Butram will narrate.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Opening Night: Escanaba in da Moonlight. Video preview on YouTube.


Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight" is the fifth and final show in the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It opens tonight, May 8 and runs through Saturday, May 23 at Civic Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street – the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette.

Tickets can be purchased at theatre the night of the show. To order tickets in advance, call 765-423-7529 or visit http://lafayettecivic.tix.com.

Steve Scherer created a video preview of the production. Director Steven Becker provides commentary.


You can view the preview videos of previous productions on Civic Theatre's YouTube channel.

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.

Opening Night: Escanaba in da Moonlight. Production photos.









These production photos are for Jeff Daniels' "Escanaba in da Moonlight," the fifth and final production of the 2014-2015 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

"Escanaba in da Moonlight" opens tonight, May 8 and runs through Saturday, May 23 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre, 320 N. 5th Street - the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday show starts at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the theatre the night of the show. To order tickets in advance, call 765-423-7529 or visit 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, May 7, 2015

Save the Date: Wednesday, May 13 - Retirement Open House for Bob Sauers!


Bob Sauers has been a part of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in some form or another for several decades, which is amazing for someone so young. No wonder he's won the Lifetime Achievement Award!

We will celebrate Bob's retirement as the long-time office manager/box office manager on Wednesday, May 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the theatre, 320 N. 5th Street in downtown Lafayette.

There will be food and, of course, Bob on hand. Mark your calendars now! See you at the theatre!