Theater Fall Schedule Promises Something Old
Local News - Newsmakers
Written by Steve Troubador   
Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:26

The fall lineup at the community Celebrity Playho(use) will offer something “old and familiar” to Millbank’s residents. Old, says theater director Rev. Bjorn Thorstadt because there is nothing new. Familiar, he says, because the stories are ones you love.

Rev. Thorstadt said he dreamed up the schedule after disappointing sales for the theater’s all Euripides spring season. He was surprised there weren’t more Greek tragedy fans in the area. “I admit, attendance has been down this year. Even though I felt I was at my best in ‘The Trojan Women,’ we had only a handful of people see it.

“I often accost people on the street and ask why they aren’t coming to the theater to see ‘Iphigenia in Touris’ or ‘Iphigenia in Aulis,’ both starring me, by the way. They almost always say it’s because they were watching television. I thought, instead of art, let’s give the people what they want. Let’s bring television out of a box in the living room and onto the stage.”

The Reverend’s plan is to make Millbank fall back in love with theater by showing that even their favorite programs can be enhanced when their neighbors perform them in an intimate setting with colorful costumes. He said the fall schedule features something for everyone, young and old including mystery, adventure, comedy and romance.

The seasons starts in September with “The Scarecrow and Mrs. King” based on the television series of the same name. It will featuring Rev. Thorstadt as tough-talking Lee Stetson and Melba Lycing as divorcee Amanda King. Rev. Thorstadt was able to watch and transcribe the entire episode by watching it on YouTube, a web site popular for its videos of old TV programs and frightened cats.

The Fonz. Heyyyyyyy.The season will follow that with a laugher, “Happy Days”, featuring Rev. Thorstadt as both Arthur Fonzarelli and Howard Cunningham in a story about jumping a motorcycle over buses. Because the original episode was not play length, Rev. Thorstadt has written additional script that “deepens our understanding of Fonzarelli’s battles with loneliness.” The play also includes six new songs, and young Tina Murray will make her stage debut as Joanie Cunningham.

Romance lovers and mystery fans alike may be interested in October’s faithful production of episode two from season three of “Remington Steele,” titled “Steele Trying,” in which Rev. Thorstadt will play the fictitious suave detective and Melba Lycing returns as novelist Laura Holt.

Weekend afternoons in October will also feature a special children’s production of “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” a wacky teen comedy that Rev. Thorstadt said he was able to acquire productions rights to for free because nobody at the studio would return his calls. The Playho(use) is still seeking a “hip, fun teen” to star in this production.

The season will close in November with an ambitious eight-hour version of the reality-television hit “The Biggest Loser.” The Playho(use) will have the actors fast and take diuretics during the performance to replicate the program’s dramatic weight loss.

When asked if plays based on TV shows may be in conflict with the Playho(use)’s mission of bringing culture to Millbank, Rev. Thorstadt said, “I worried about that myself. At first I thought it might. And then I thought, it might, but less.”


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Last Updated on Saturday, 17 August 2013 12:36

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