Theatre Tillsonburg kicking off 32nd season

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Theatre Tillsonburg’s 32nd season is about to kick off, with our 136th production, which is a delightful change from our standard comedies. Richard Harris’ ‘Stepping Out’ is directed by Karen Tripp, produced by Sheila Tripp and runs Nov. 7-10 and 14-17, 2013. Details on it will follow in just a minute.

Our February show is ‘The Foursome’ by Norm Foster, directed by Melanie Watts, produced by Don Fonk which runs from Feb. 6-9 and 13-16, 2014. Four college chums, home for a class reunion, sneak off for a round of golf. For old times sake! But time has slipped by. Secrets start to reveal themselves as the foursome moves from one tee to another, reliving old times and sharing new problems, successes and failures.

Our spring show is ‘Plaza Suite’ by Neil Simon, directed by Ross Hepburn and runs May 1-4 and 8-11, 2014. Three separate stories unfold in a room at New York’s Plaza Hotel. The room is occupied first by a couple experiencing a failing marriage. The second story is about movie producer Jesse Kiplinger and his old flame, suburban housewife Muriel Tatethe; and finally by a set of parents and their daughter who has pre-wedding jitters.

It is quite the season and you might like to purchase season subscriptions. Subscribers always get first choice of seats! Subscribers can re-book tickets with 48 hours notice for a $1 surcharge. Lost or stolen tickets are no problem. Your continued subscription ensures special arrangements to keep your seat for years. Current season subscription prices are $45 for adults and $35 for students and seniors. Call the Theatre Box Office (519) 688-3026 for more details.

Now let me tell you more about our first show ‘Stepping Out.’ What does it make you thing of? Well, the first thing that came to my mind was Fred Astaire in ‘Easter Parade’ doing that fantastic dance number ‘Steppin’ Out’ written by Irving Berlin.

You remember: “Steppin' out with my honey, Can't be bad to feel so good, Never felt quite so sunny, And I keep on knockin' wood.”

No, we don’t have Fred Astaire doing the dance, but it is about dancing. In our show, ‘Stepping Out’ is about eight very different people, with very different backgrounds, who decide to take beginner dance lesson, all for very different reasons. It is the 1980s and they take their classes in a church hall in London, England. For some it is only a social occasion and the lack of their co-ordination is quite noticeable. For others it is about dance. But in this show the focus is not so much the dancing as ‘the interaction and growing relationships with the different people over several months.’

There are some interesting characters. Maxine, (Angela Carvalho) a confident, fast-talking saleswoman (and former Ovaltine dancer), is there on doctor's orders, while self-sacrificing Andy (Katy Wells) participates because it is the only thing she does for herself. Whatever the cause, they make a point of coming every week to chat, relax and, if they can manage to, learn a couple of dance steps.

They are led by Mavis (Judy Cormier), their eternally patient instructor. They are accompanied by the crusty curmudgeon pianist Mrs. Fraser, (Sylvia Rees). Then there is Geoffrey (Pete Matthew) the only man in the class. Is he brave or what?

Also on stage you will find Rose (Cornelia Tolg), Vera (Elizabeth Burand), Lynne (Leslie Poole), Dorothy (Stacey Riley) and Sylvia (Val Donnell). Although the following, have no lines you will see their love of dance; Andrea VanderPluym, Nancy Chesterman and Sarah Sandor.

Backstage, perhaps unseen to the audience but vital to the show are Olwyn Coughlin as Assistant Director and Stage Manager, Jane Brown in Costumes, Pat Linn in Props, Melanie Watts in Lighting with Peter Beechey and Victoria Coward setting lights, and Richard Tilleman is doing sound. Tracey Moxon is doing makeup, but I don’t know who is helping.

Getting the show ready, from my set design, in construction, painting and set décor, were Peter Beechey, Ward Smith, Jeff and Sheila, Karen, John and Stacey Riley, Angela Carvalho, Leslie and Derek Poole, Dave and Sarah Sandor, Melanie, Sherry and Pete Matthews, Anne Corcoran, and Brian Nevins.

As you can see it takes a lot of people, to get the job done.

Of course, this show required choreographers for which we thank Karen and Lindsay Rohrer and Sharon Nunn. They have had to do exactly what Mavis, the instructor in the actual show had to do, get the cast to have ‘some degree of skill in dancing.” Both in real life and fictionally they must work hard to be able to perform in a show at the end and must “overcome the inhibitions, awkwardness and have to work together as a team.”

So, try stepping out with your baby, and get call for tickets now at Theatre Tillsonburg’s Box Office (519) 688-3026 or visit our partners, Tillsonburg’s Station Arts Center for tickets.

Our productions are at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students and seniors (60+) and $17 for adults.





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