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IVCC prepares for fall theater season

OGLESBY — Illinois Valley Community College’s theatre department will be busy this fall with four productions — all performed off campus as the Cultural Centre undergoes upgrades.

Leading the season will be the musical comedy spoof “Dames At Sea,” a tap-dancing, loving lampoon of 1930’s backstage musicals.

Under the direction and choreography of Don Grant Zellmer, the fast-paced, tune-filled show follows the girl from Centerville who comes to Broadway and goes on to save the big show when the reigning egotistical diva gets seasick, and in the tradition of Busby-Berkley musicals, becomes a Broadway sensation.

“Dames At Sea” will be performed in St. Bede’s Little Theatre Oct. 16-19 and 23-26.

One week later, in celebration of the Halloween season, a return of the successful storyteller show will play on the St. Bede stage one night only Oct. 30: “Spooky Tales Shaken and Heard II.”

Under the direction of theatre instructor Dr. David A. Kuester and professional storyteller Trish Kelly, the show is a collection of scary tales told by individuals. Rounding out the cast is the IVCC Show Choir, under the direction of Zellmer, performing Halloween-themed numbers.

In November, the department will present theatre for children at the Hegeler-Carus Mansion, “Grunella The Story Stealer,” an original work by director Kuster.

Playing Nov. 13-15, with multiple shows per day, the show features much audience involvement as Grunella tries to hijack fairy tales and make herself the star of each instead of the princesses — all of whom have lost their memories due to her spell. With the help of Fairy Godmother, Enchantra, and the audience, plans and spells are put in place to thwart Grunella’s plans.

The IVCC Show Choir, under Zellmer’s direction and choreography, will cap the semester with a holiday musical revue at St. Bede Dec. 5-6 with “Jingle Bell Jukebox,” a fast-paced singing and dancing revue featuring traditional and pop sounds of the season.

The show will also feature holiday-themed comedy by the IVCC Improv Team, under the direction of Kuester, and the IVCC Choir, under the direction of Norman Engstrom.

Auditions are Aug. 27 and 28 for all productions and are open to students and community members. Audition details will be released soon.

“The cast of our spring musical, Gypsy, was made up of about one-third community members; we value their dedication and involvement,” said Kuester. “By having this mix of all ages and backgrounds, our productions are a combination of both an educational opportunity for students, and a performing outlet for community members interested in theatre, dance, music and improvisational skills. IVCC presents another community theatre opportunity for the many performers in the area.”

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