News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 30, 2012

Community Theatre of Terre Haute announces 2012-13 season

Gail Hayes
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The mission of Community Theatre of Terre Haute is to entertain, educate and enrich the community through dramatic arts. The 2012-2013 season promises to accomplish all three of those objectives.

The 86th season begins Sept. 28 with the popular musical “Hairspray.” This fun show touching on acceptance of everyone, regardless of race or size, is based on the 1988 film by John Waters. This musical version debuted in 2002 with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan. Audiences met all the lovable and memorable characters again in 2007 with the film version starring John Travolta, Queen Latifa and Michelle Pfeiffer.

The story takes place in 1960s Baltimore, where the ’50s are out and change is in the air. Loveable, plus-size heroine Tracy Turnblad has a passion for dancing and wins a spot on the local TV dance program “The Corny Collins Show.” Overnight she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity. Can a larger-than-life adolescent manage to vanquish the program’s reigning princess, integrate the television show, and find true love without mussing her hair?

Jeff Lorick and Judith Higgins Price are directing the Community Theatre production, which is currently in rehearsal. Additional performances are Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 4-7.

The second show is also a musical and celebrates the holidays. “Nuncrackers” is a sequel to the popular “Nunsense” show chronicling musical nuns. The “Nunsense Christmas Musical” is presented as the first TV special taped in the Cable Access Studio built by Reverend Mother in the convent basement. It stars the nuns you love, plus Father Virgil and four of Mount Saint Helen’s most talented students. Featuring all new songs including “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give than to Receive,” this show is filled with typical “Nunsense” humor, some of your favorite carols, and a “Secret Santa” audience participation.

“Nuncrackers” is by Dan Goggin and will be directed for the CTTH stage by Doug Short. Auditions for “Nuncrackers” will be Oct. 1 and 2, with productions running Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 6-9.

The new year will start off with the oldest play of the season, “The Constant Wife.” This comedic drama was written by W. Somerset Maugham and debuted in 1926 with Ethel Barrymore, great-aunt of actress Drew Barrymore, in the lead role. Recently Lynn Redgrave played the title role on Broadway. This sparkling comedy of modern manners espouses that so long as a wife is supported by her husband she must remain faithful, but when the tables are turned freedom becomes the currency with which both must pay.

Audiences and critics alike have found Maugham’s views of marriage and infidelity witty, charming, light-hearted and enormously entertaining. Auditions for “The Constant Wife” will be Jan. 2-3 for show dates of Feb. 15-17 and 22-24. Community Theatre veteran Sandra Groves will direct the play.

Sara Salooki is set to direct the next play, a newer comedy called “The Red Velvet Cake War.” Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, this riotously funny play features the wildly eccentric Verdeen cousins who’ve picked the hottest day of July for a family reunion in Texas. Things spin out of control when a neighbor’s pet devours everything edible, a one-eyed suitor shows up to declare his love, and a jaw-dropping high-stakes wager is made on who bakes the best red velvet cake.

Audience members will wish relatives like Gaynelle, Peaches and Jimmie Wyvette could make their reunions as much fun. Auditions will be Feb. 18-19. The play opens March 29 and continues March 30-31 and April 5-7.

The season ends with another comedy, Andrew Bergman’s “Social Security,” directed by Sonni Crawford. This hit Broadway comedy is set in the 1980s and focuses on trendy Manhattan art gallery owners Barbara and David, whose lives are upended when Barbara’s housewife sister, Trudy, deposits their eccentric mother, Sophie, on the couple’s doorstep while she and her husband, Martin, head to Buffalo to rescue their precocious college student daughter.

Barbara and David introduce Sophie to suave nonagenarian artist Maurice, who offers to paint her portrait and soon begins to brighten her life in ways she never expected in her twilight years. Marlo Thomas and Olympia Dukakis appeared in the original cast. Social Security will be on stage May 3-5 and 10-12. Auditions will be April 8-9.

Season tickets are on sale now for the 86th season. Each ticket is $50 and includes five punches per ticket A ticket may be used more than once for a single play, or the owner can use just one punch per play. Only the musical and holiday show are limited to one punch per ticket. Individual ticket prices are as follows:

• Main stage play: $15 adult, $10 student or child

• Main stage musical: $20 adult, $15 student or child

Group rates are also available for 10 or more adults attending the same main stage production. Call (812) 232-7172 or visit for ticket information.

The board of directors encourages everyone to get involved at the theater, in addition to buying tickets to see the productions. Volunteers can work backstage, run lights or sound, serve as ushers, help at workdays and more. Community Theatre of Terre Haute is at 1431 S. 25th St.

The plays

Community Theatre of Terre Haute announces its 86th season lineup.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.

• “Hairspray” (2002) — Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 4-6, 2012

Musical with music by March Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman, and book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, directed by Jeff Lorick and Judith Higgins Price.

• “Nuncrackers” (1999) — Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2 and 6-8

Holiday Musical by Dan Goggin; directed by Doug Short

• “The Constant Wife” (1926) — Feb. 16-17 and 22-24

Comedic Drama by W. Somerset Maugham; directed by Sandra Groves

• “The Red Velvet Cake War” (2011) — March 29-31 and April 5-7

Comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten; directed by Sara Salooki

• “Social Security” (1985) — May 3-5 and 10-12

Comedy by Andrew Bergman; directed by Sonni Crawford