In The Spotlight


Auditions for the fall production Gravy Anxiety will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 4 and 5, at the Baptist Church. Roles are available for 7 women (ages 18 through 60) and 4 men (ages 18 through 60.)

Thanksgiving with the family…what could be nicer? Except that this celebration in Mary Reilly’s tiny apartment looks nothing like the Norman Rockwell picture. Marital discord, bizarre funeral arrangements, vegan issues, the hangover of an acrimonious divorce, and a turkey that catches fire all come into play. And the arrival of annoyingly “nice” visitors from out of town who may or may not make an offer on a house doesn’t help at all. Then, just when several members of the gathering are about to give up and take off for parts unknown, an environmental accident traps everyone inside.

Performances are scheduled for the first weekend in November. More details soon. 

Questions? Call show director Terry Fye at 938-6928 or via this website.

Ready for a theatrical adventure? The Punxsutawney Theatre Art Guild announces auditions for its upcoming summer production of “Around the World In 80 Days.” Auditions will be held Monday and Wednesday, April 9th and 11th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm each night. They will be held at the Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church. Take the ramp entrance to the building and get ready for a chance to participate in a madcap theatre experience.

In order to meet the requirements, PTAG will be auditioning for five or six actors, aged 16 & up, both male and female to bring the Jules Verne classic to life in a farcical take of the race around the world originally written by Jules Verne. “Around the World In 80 Days”, adapted by Mark Brown for Dramatic Publishing, is described thus: Stampeding elephants! Raging typhoons! Runaway trains! Unabashedly slapstick! Hold onto your seats for the original amazing race! Join fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg and his faithful manservant as they race to beat the clock! Phileas Fogg has agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by a detective who thinks he's a robber on the run. Danger, romance, and comic surprises abound in this whirlwind of a show as a handful of actors portraying 39 characters traverse seven continents in Mark Brown's adaptation of one of the great adventures of all time.

It is ambitious, crazy and a whole lot of fun getting the show to the stage. The production is expected to be performed in Punxsutawney and at the Sawmill Theater, Cooksburg the last two weekends in June and the first weekend of July 2018. For further information check out PTAG’s website (punxsytheatre.org) or call show director Jef Dinsmore t 814.938.0378.     


All this week (03.19 - 03.24) is the huge philanthropic event benefiting non-profits in Punxsutawney and other regions. PTAG is a participant meaning you can, via this event, donate dollars to the Guild's cause. 

If you are not clear about what is happening visit the Punxsutawney Memorial Library on March 20th for a kickoff gathering. Learn about the program from knowledgeable people from Bridge Builders & the local non-profits from 8am -10am and/or 5pm - 7pm. You can also find information at bbcf.org. 

Here is what the recent Curtain Call stated about "giving."

The counties-wide Bridge Builders Community Foundation is gearing up for a big week. The Week of Giving is March 19-23. It is an attempt to infuse local communities with financial contributions to help organizations to reach their goals. Bridge Builders will provide an effective way of serving donors and communities by creating and growing endowments that serve the needs in our area.
The Foundation will be in Punxsutawney on February 20 to talk about the unique needs of our town and how you can donate. Find them in the Memorial Library that day.  
 
    Stressing the point of giving is important to organizations like ours. The Theatre Guild does not try to hound people for donations, but we do need them. Possibly it is to our loss that we don’t because the more aggressive groups might get more money than us. But, as a true nonprofit we work with what we are given and turn it right back into production value.  

   We thank everyone for their contributions. Just by receiving this Curtain Call means you have already placed a donation this year. But PTAG wants to do bigger a better. Any money that comes our way through Patrons, or during the Week of Giving, or via other means, won’t get squandered. We won’t blow it on big cast parties, but instead turn it into bigger and better production value. Maybe we could present bigger and better shows, upgrade equipment or compensate special people within the ranks.  
 
   We want to be bigger & better. Raising production value hopefully means increased audiences, which will incite more actors, musicians and crew involvement and those big productions in turn lead to a better quality of life for the town. Whether it turns into a theater space of our own seems like a dream still, but who knows. 
 
   So simply, if you can continue to give, or give more we all will be amply rewarded. Thank You!     



   Pop the cork and come celebrate the Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild’s 43rd season with a trio of shows sure to delight. It all kicks off with a poignant comedy by playwright Bruce Graham. It offers both a dose of comedy alongside a serving of heartfelt drama in a story you won’t soon forget.

    The official description states - It's a very special day at the racetrack, where "Champagne" Charlie, a race-track regular, has had a race named in his honor. A dreamer and teller of tall tales, Charlie is accompanied by his wife of fifty-three years, Mary Lee, an incurable romantic, who still finds Charlie very attractive. They are accompanied by Jackie, a family friend and race track bookie, and their daughter, Mary, a divorced high-school drama teacher, and the realist in the family who has nervously invited along her long-time boyfriend, Paul, to finally meet her parents. Since this is such a special day, Charlie conspires with Jackie to place the bet of his life—his entire meager savings ("the whole she-bang")—on a long-shot hunch.

 And their off! You will see that the set takes you off to the horse races on Memorial Day 1990. Overlooking the track is a nice picnic area that Charlie & family have settled onto complete with a cooler of beverages for the day. Hmm, can you guess the beverage of choice? They spend the day betting the horses waiting for the sixth race. That’s the race named in Charlie’s honor and there is a lot riding on their chosen horse. The question is should Charlie have bet "the whole she-bang?" How much does he stand to lose? How much might he win? Therein lies the story.

   Though Mary is warm over the memories of her parents bringing her to the racetrack all her life she is a bit concerned that her parents shouldn’t be squandering their money and that they have more important uses for it in their older years, like taking care of their health. A few heated discussions with her Mom, makes that clear. But Mary Lee won’t hear of it.

And Charlie is oblivious. He is just living the high life because everyone loves him down at the tracks. He is placing bets with Jackie right and left and showing racing novice Paul all the ins & outs.  

   Making sure this story gets told right is Guild director Kathy S. Dinsmore. She has assembled a cast that will offer detailed characters that will draw on every emotion to give an enjoyable show. Bob Starzenski returns to the Guild stage as the man of the hour - witty “Champagne Charlie.”  His wife, Mary Lee has Kathy in the role and their daughter is played by Debra Dinsmore.  These three easily show the love of this family and all the fun they have, even when they are sweating out the big bet. Also appearing his Tony Simmons with a splash of wise-ass humor as Jackie, a shady but fun guy. And  Tim Cooper personifies Paul, a character who brings his own issues to the forefront. Will he fit into the family? 

   You won’t know if they will see a big payday unless you come see  The Champagne Charlie Stakes.  Performance dates will be March 2, 3, 9, & 10 at 7:30pm and March 11 at 2:00pm. 

 


Here is a brief description of the three shows being presented in 2018 (rights pending). Hope you like the choices. 


Winter/Spring 2018

The Champagne Charlie Stakes

by Bruce Graham
Director: Kathy S. Dinsmore
Cast: 3 men, 2 women
It's a special day at the racetrack as "Champagne" Charlie, a racetrack regular, has had a race named in his honor. A dreamer and teller of tall tales, Charlie and his wife, Mary Lee, hold court for the occasion. They are accompanied by family friend and bookie Jackie, and their daughter Mary, a divorced teacher and the family realist who has nervously invited along her boyfriend, Paul, to meet her parents. On this special day, Charlie conspires with Jackie to place the bet of his life- his entire meager savings- on a long-shot hunch, all for his family. Can Charlie make one big score, or will he lose it all? The Champagne Charlie Stakes is a funny, heartwarming look at family, friendship, and the lengths people will go to for the ones they love.
This poignant comedy mixes family, love and an oversized bet at the race track to illustrate the power of loyalty, integrity and growing older gracefully?however defined. "The play has a good bit of pathos along with Graham's irrepressible comedic touch." ?Press Focus. "A gentle comedy with its roots in recognizably human behavior?It's a lovely piece of work." ?The Philadelphia Inquirer..

Summer 2018

Around The World in Eighty Days

Adapted by Mark Brown from the novel by Jules Verne
Director: Jef Dinsmore
Cast: flexible, minimum of 4 men, 1 woman
Stampeding elephants! Raging typhoons! Runaway trains! Unabashedly slapstick! Hold onto your seats for the original amazing race! Join fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg and his faithful manservant as they race to beat the clock! Phileas Fogg has agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by a detective who thinks he's a robber on the run. Danger, romance, and comic surprises abound in this whirlwind of a show as five actors portraying 39 characters traverse seven continents in Mark Brown's adaptation of one of the great adventures of all time.

Fall 2018

Gravy Anxiety

by Rosemary Frisino Toohey
Director: Terry A. Fye
Cast: 5 men, 6 women
Thanksgiving with the family?what could be nicer? Except that this celebration in Mary Reilly?s tiny apartment looks nothing like the Norman Rockwell picture. Marital discord, bizarre funeral arrangements, vegan issues, the hangover of an acrimonious divorce, and a turkey that catches fire all come into play. And the arrival of annoyingly ?nice? visitors from out of town who may or may not make an offer on a house doesn?t help at all. Then, just when several members of the gathering are about to give up and take off for parts unknown, an environmental accident traps everyone inside.
 



  Upcoming Auditions For PTAG's

 Spring Production of 

 

The Champagne Charlie Stakes   


by Bruce Graham 


Dates: Tuesday, January 9 & Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 Times: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church corner of Union & Findley Streets (ramp entrance

Plot: It's a very special day at the racetrack, where "Champagne" Charlie, a race-track regular, has had a race named in his honor. A dreamer and teller of tall tales, Charlie is accompanied by his wife of fifty-three years, Mary Lee, an incurable romantic, who still finds Charlie very attractive. They are accompanied by Jackie, a family friend and racetrack bookie, and their daughter, Mary, a divorced high-school drama teacher, and the realist in the family who has nervously invited along her long-time boyfriend, Paul, to finally meet her parents. Since this is such a special day, Charlie conspires with Jackie to place the bet of his life-his entire meager savings ("the whole shebang")-on a long-shot hunch. Mary strenuously objects until Mary Lee tells her that Charlie is ill, and this will be his last season at the track, and she wants this day to be the most wonderful day of his life. Mary relents, the race is run and Charlie loses everything. Jackie, guilt-ridden, tries to return the money, but Mary Lee will not hear of it. If Charlie wants to tell the tale of the "whole shebang," he can't keep the money, so Mary disposes of it in her own way. Charlie, disappointed, apologizes to Mary Lee; just once in his life he wanted to give and do something grand for her. She assures Charlie that, for fifty-three years, he's done just fine

.

Cast Requirements: Roles are for 3 men and 2 women, actors to play characters who range in age from 40 to early 70's, younger actors are encouraged to audition - All roles are of good size. 


Audition Process: Each potential performer will be expected to read from a number of selected pieces. This process will establish vocal capabilities and strength.  


 Contact: Via punxsytheatre.org or call Kathy Dinsmore at 814.938.0378



   We are fully aware around here that most people have seen the story of It's A Wonderful Life before. Likely, it has been the 1946 movie by Frank Capra starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. It, of course, tells the story of a man, George Bailey,  who has given up his dreams in order to help others in the town of Bedford Falls. Situations turn bad leading to his imminent suicide on  Christmas Eve prompting the intervention of his guardian angel Clarence Odbody. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be had he never been born. It has become a perennial Holiday favorite on  TV in the years after its release. Both Stewart and Reed went on to reprise their roles in radio adaptations shortly after the movie was released. There are also a number of play versions of the story and perhaps you have seen local productions about The Indiana Players (Indiana, PA) stage it quite often.  
 
    The particular version of the story we will be telling is adapted by Joe Landry out of Playscripts. It is a full-length show. The uniqueness that separates it from other versions of George Bailey?s story is that it is done as a radio play. In fact, the Guild?s director, Kathy S. Dinsmore, has even obtained the music from the original 1947 radio play version to lend to the authenticity of the experience. So, when the audiences arrive for the evening?s entertainment they will not be looking upon a multiple set unit comprised of Bedford Falls locales but instead, will see the recording studio of a radio station. 
  
   
The set will take into the studio of WBFR complete with microphones of the day and tables of special effects, plus the necessary "On Air" sign. You are to get the feel that you are in the studio audience of a live broadcast of It's A Wonderful Life going over the airwaves. Not only are there vocal talents to play all the parts, but also a crew of what are called Foley Artists are present. They are the team that adds sound effects to the broadcast via a number of everyday items. For example, if you need the sound of walking through crunching snow than the team makes that sound by moving shoes over a tray of corn flakes cereal. That is how radio works were created then and PTAG includes it here as a unique twist to telling the story It is the Guild's first foray into a radio play and it has proved quite fun. 
 
   The vocal talents to voice all the characters in the story are Tim Cooper as George Bailey,  Shannon Krise as Mary Hatch Bailey, Terry A Fye as Clarence, Jef Dinsmore as Henry Potter & others, Luke Poole as Joseph & others, Tim Simmons as Uncle Billy & others, Tom Troutman as Mr. Gower & others, Laura Deet as Rose Bailey & others, Tony Simmons as Ernie the cabbie & others and Sue Ann Mill as &the Announcer & others. Aiding as a Foley Artist is Luke Deet; Matt Dinsmore is the stage manager.  
 
   So we hope you are interested in seeing the PTAG’s production as a bit of a Holiday treat. It has been fun creating it and are looking forward to sharing in the message found in Its A Wonderful Life: Radio Play.  
 
See you at the show!    



PTAG is now underway with the final show of the 2017 season. It is "It's A Wonderful Life - Radio Play" by Joe Landry. Instead of staging a full-scale version of the famed story complete with multiple sets, the troupe is telling the full story of George Bailey as a radio broadcast. 

A cast of eleven will be personifying all 42 characters in the work. The script is almost an exact wording of the acclaimed Frank Capra movie. Assisting in the telling will be an on-stage crew offering the sound effects as would have happened during a live radio broadcast from 1946.    

The voice actors are Tim Cooper as George Bailey, Shannon Krise as Mary Hatch Bailey and Terry A. Fye as Clarence, Jef Dinsmore, Mollie Smith, Luke Poole, Tim Simmons, Tom Troutman, Laura Deet, Tony Simmons and Sue Ann Smith. The show is under the direction of Kathy S. Dinsmore. 

As the story has become a Holiday favorite the Guild will be performing it later in the year than usual. It will be staged at the Punxsutawney Area Middle School auditorium Nov. 30, Dec 01, Dec. 02 at 7:30pm and at a Sunday matinee, Dec. 03 at 2:00pm. 

 



  Upcoming Auditions For PTAG's

 Fall Production of 

 

It's A Wonderful Life  

A Life Radio Play

by Joe Landry 


Dates: Monday, September 18 & Tuesday, September 19

 Times: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

(Where: Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church corner of Union & Findley Streets (ramp entrance

Plot: This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve


Cast Requirements: Anywhere from 5 to 10 performers are required to voice the entire cast of this classic story. Additional performers are needed for the onstage sound effect artists. We are auditioning those interested from age 16 and up


Audition Process: Each potential performer will be expected to read from a number of selected pieces. This process will establish vocal capabilities and strength. The director may call on auditioners to try different voices in order to find the best cast to bring the show to life.


 Contact: Via punxsytheatre.org or call Kathy Dinsmore at 814.938.0378



 You might not have ever played the game, but you have at least heard that the [suspect] did it in the [room] with the [weapon], right?  You know those suspects as Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Professor Plum and Colonel Mustard, right? Well, you will get to know them a bit better soon when Clue: The Musical takes the stage. Even if you have played the classic Parker Brothers board game you never really knew the hidden motives of why these six suspects would want to bump off Mr. Boddy. All of that will soon be revealed. But first some background.  
 
   The board game was created in 1944 in a thatched-roof house overlooking a cliff in England by Anthony Pratt and his wife to occupy themselves during World War II. It was a little parlor game until it could be mass produced starting in 1949. It came to America in that year as well and has since sold over 50 million copies. The game has even seen official tournaments sponsored by the U. S. distributor Parker Brothers. That is where the musical’s creators, Peter DePietro, Tom Chiodo, Galen Blum, Wayne Barker & Vinnie Matucci, go the idea to pursue rights in 1991 and the musical was born. 
 
  What is unique about this musical, as you will soon see, it that it is not a dramatization of a traditional murder mystery, but told from the perspective of the actual game pieces of the board game. Mr. Boddy himself will host the evening. He will open up the Clue box and the game pieces will once again play out the game, with the audience’s participation, as the pieces have done many times before. However, this time there is a twist! A detective enters the game and is determined to solve the crime as any true-blood detective would. The detective’s presence now alters the way the game is played and throws the game pieces for a loop. How it all resolves remains a mystery, until you attend that is. So don’t miss out of playing Clue like you never played it before. 
 
  Awaiting you at the stage is the return of veterans Chris Snyder as Mr. Boddy, Kathy S. Dinsmore as Mrs. Peacock,  Mollie Smith as Mrs. White, Tim Cooper as Colonel Mustard and Jef Dinsmore as Mr. Green. Joining them are newcomers to the stage, SueAnn Smith as Miss Scarlet, Marcy Sallack as Detective and Tom Troutman as Professor Plum. Together they will travel from room to room of Boddy Manor, to establish motive, manipulate weapons, commit the crime and solve it.  
 
   That means six suspects, six rooms and six weapons leaving 216 possible conclusions to who done it in which room with which weapon! And the fun part is the audience gets to play along!  You can aid the unexpected Detective, via various clues, to deduce the right combination.  
 
  All of this, including the diligent production staff of  Matt Dinsmore, Debra Dinsmore and Nancy Pearce under the direction of Jef & Kathy Dinsmore will make this the right combination of music, drama and set to make for a fun-filled evening. So come out and take in the show and play Clue at the same time. See  You At the Show!