Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
The last two weeks of July bring an exciting time to Crossroads Repertory Theatre. That’s when the four shows of the season are in repertory — hence, the name of the theater. In other words, audiences may experience a different show each evening.
“The magic of theater truly comes alive during this time,” explained Arthur Feinsod, Crossroads Repertory Theatre artistic director. “One night the audience enters to see the fantastical world of Neverland, the next night 1890s Paris, the next a cabin in Maine … with the actors playing entirely different roles.”
The rotating schedule began this week and continues through July 28. This year’s season offers four very different plays, appealing to a variety of audiences.
“Completely Hollywood (Abridged)” is a madcap dash through 186 of the greatest movies of all time. This fast-paced comedy features the trio of Ryan Niemiller, Brandon Wentz and Eric Wilburn, three Indiana State University theater alumni who have worked together for 10 years. Written by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor with additional material by Dominic Conti, the show features costume changes, audience participation, special effects and plenty of laughs. It is directed by Kristin Kundert-Gibbs, a veteran Crossroads Repertory Theatre director who is now a faculty member at the University of Georgia. See “Completely Hollywood (Abridged)” at 7:30 p.m. today and July 28 and at 4 p.m. Sunday. Following the Sunday matinee, Indiana State University professor emeritus Sharon Russell will present a free Sunday Talk about Hollywood’s most-loved films.
The second play is the humorous and touching “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson. Terre Haute actors Cathy Sponsler and Lew Hackleman play Chelsea and Norman Thayer, the daughter and father who finally work toward reconciliation after a lifetime of not really liking each other. Indiana State University theater faculty member Julie Dixon plays Ethel Thayer, the wise wife who must deal with her husband’s walk into old age. Their summer on the serene Golden Pond in Maine becomes livelier with the arrival of Chelsea’s boyfriend’s teenage son, played by Jonathan Wachala, who brings a new energy to the aging couple’s life. Directed by Indiana University professor of theater Dale McFadden, “On Golden Pond” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and July 26.
This summer’s musical offering is a brand new work called “Return of Neverland.” With book and lyrics by Andrew Park and music by Scott Lamps, this sequel to J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan” follows the adventures of Wendy’s teenage daughter, Jane (Clara Butts), as she is lured to Neverland by dreams featuring Peter Pan (Wachala), Captain Hook (Jason Bowen) and Smee (Wentz). Still bent on seeking revenge on Pan, Hook devises his most sinister plan yet. He must entice Wendy (Carolyn Conover) to give him a kiss, causing Peter Pan to lose his eternal youth. Sword fights, first kisses, bumbled plans and mystical fairies make this musical a treat for the whole family. Directed by Feinsod, the last two performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 21 and 25.
Finally, director and adapter Chris Berchild has moved the worlds of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to 1890s Paris, where the wild nights at the Moulin Rouge set the stage for fantasy. Seven actors play the 22 characters who make up the worlds of the royals, the fairies and the traveling acting troupe. The modern use of technology and video bring the Parisian and woodsy settings to life as the audience witnesses love tangles caused by magic elixirs, royals planning a wedding and actors performing a play for the bride and groom. Final performances of this updated Shakespeare work are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and July 27.
All shows are in the New Theater on the Indiana State University campus. Tickets for all performances are $15 for general admission. Indiana State University students get one free ticket per show with student ID, while ISU faculty and staff receive a reduced price for tickets. Children’s tickets are available for “Return of Neverland” at $8 each. Tickets may be purchased online at www.
crossroadsrep.com or at the ticket office inside the theater at 540 N. Seventh St. For additional ticket information, call (812) 237-3333.