By Ellie Zumbach
The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County has announced their 2018-2019 season. From hard-hitting theatre works to fun, family musicals, this upcoming season beginning in August will hold a little something for everyone.
“From our first production to our last, we will be sharing some amazing stories this season,” Kait Gallager-Wilsterman, secretary for the Board of Trustees said. “True stories told from the writings of our young protagonist to fictional stories read from a mother’s journal to the stories of friends who want to celebrate with a friend on his birthday. This season is full of these amazing stories of individuals and families. I love that aspect of this season!”
The Little Theatre opened in 1951 as a non-profit service organization, dedicated to providing live theatre to the community of Tuscarawas County. In 1990, a grant from the Reeves Foundation helped them build the theatre they have today. One with dressing rooms, professional lighting, a lobby and more. Over the years, the Little Theatre has produced hundreds of productions from musicals to dramas to children’s shows. Everyone involved does so with no compensation, offering talent and time to create quality shows.
Their 2018-2019 season begins with an experimental work called “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” Originally, a one-woman show, the story follows a real-life woman. On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza as she was trying to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian home. Directed by Kait Gallagher-Wilsterman, this play will run select dates from August 16 – 26. There is the warning that this play has strong language and content and is not suitable for children.
The next show in their season is “Sabrina Fair.” The play is set on Long Island in the 1950s and deals with the involvement of a very rich family named Larrabee with Sabrina Fairchild, the daughter of their family chauffeur. She has just returned from five years in Paris. She has come home to find out if she is still in love with the younger Larrabee son, David. The elder son, Linus, a cynical, good-humored tycoon who has taken control of the family fortune, detects Sabrina’s feeling for his brother, and for his own amusement lays a trap to bring them together. It works: David falls in love with Sabrina and wants to marry her. At the same time, a rich young Frenchman who has known Sabrina in Paris turns up and asks her to marry him. This is a romantic comedy of class and love, set in a time where both are rather complicated. Directed by Kathy Bergstrom, auditions will be held August 5 and 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The Little Theatre. The performance will run October 5 – 20.
The Little Theatre’s Christmas show has always been a company and community favorite and this year, they are putting on “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” It is a hilarious classic about a couple struggling to put on their church’s Christmas show when they have to cast the most awful kids in town. It’s full of mayhem and mischief and maybe will have you think twice about helping with your kid’s Christmas pageant. This show is directed by Lisa Sommers and will run November 29 – 30 and December 1 – 9.
“Thoroughly Modern Mille” takes the stage as the theatre’s winter musical. Set in 1922, this story follows Millie Dillmount from Kansas, who comes to New York in search of a new life for herself. The owner of her dingy hotel kidnaps young girls to sell to the Far East, her wealthy boss is slow in proposing marriage and the man she actually falls in love with doesn’t have a dime to his name. This musical is directed by Bart Herman and will run February 8 – 24.
Next up in the spring of 2019 will be “Company,” a Stephen Sondheim classic. A confirmed bachelor, Robert, contemplates his unmarried state. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks, and even a wedding, his friends explain the pros and cons of taking on a spouse. Directed by Don Irven, the show dates are May 3 – 19.
The last show of the season is “Mamma Mia.” ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. This show will be directed by Pat Potter and Tom Morris and will run June 28 – 30 and July 5 – 14.
“I love the continued growth of The Little Theatre, as I have been a part of the organization since 2004,” Gallager-Wilsterman said. “We are continuing to offer new and exciting productions each season, as well as sustaining a venue for local actors, designers, and technicians to showcase their talents. We are continuing to incorporate new offerings, from our Original Productions Group to our Junior Theatre Troupe. New opportunities are happening for people to become involved with the theatre as we continue to expand. I know the future will continue to be bright for Little Theatre.”
For more information about tickets or auditioning, check out www.thelittletheatreonline.org or call 330-308-6400.
This story originally appeared in the DATE HERE edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.