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Community Players of Streator to perform ‘Les Miserables’

STREATOR — The Community Players of Streator will perform “Les Miserables” on the Engle Lane stage July 12-19.

Director Doug Bartelt applied for the production rights over a year ago on the day they became available for amateur theatres.

When auditions were conducted in April, performers from as far away as Hoffman Estates and Chicago turned out hoping to land a role in the show. Many were setting foot in Engle Lane for the first time, drawn to Streator by the lure of being one of the first community theatres in Illinois to present this powerful musical.

Newcomers are always welcome at Engle Lane and the Les Miserables cast has many first-timers, including several of the principals. Roger Amm of Ottawa has been cast as Jean Valjean with Bob Kinsella of Spring Valley as Javert. Suzannah Walter of Sheridan portrays Fantine with her son Christian Tapp as the young Garvoche. Raley Mauk of Spring Valley is Eponine and Derek Zinke of LaSalle portrays Marius. Also making her Engle Lane stage debut is Rheagan Goluba as little Cosette.

Many Engle Lane veterans are also a part of the cast and crew. Shelbie Wahl Fouts proudly proclaims that she basically grew up at Engle Lane. Shelbie returns to her Streator roots from Roanoake, Va., to serve as musical director for the production. Her husband Donovan Fouts has also joined the cast as Bamatbois. Carlye Pillash of Streator, who plays Cosette, started performing as a youngster in the annual Engle Lane children and youth productions.

Les Miserables has become a global success on stage and screen, sweeping audiences through an epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption, against the backdrop of a nation seething with revolution. Set in 19th century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, and his quest for redemption after serving 19 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread.

In anticipation of ticket demand, an additional performance has been added for Saturday evening, July 12. The remainder of the run will be July 13 through July 19. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m., with the July 13 matinee starting at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the general public go on sale July 7. To order tickets, call the box office at 815-672-3584. Tickets for Les Miserables are $20 each. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The box office is located at the Wm. C. Schiffbauer Center for the Performing Arts at Engle Lane Theatre, 1012 Columbus Road, Streator. For more information, visit www.englelane.org.

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