In The Spotlight


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!      

The Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild is on the lookout for suspects!  But, not just any suspects as it holds auditions for “Clue: The Musical” on Monday, April 17 & Tuesday, April 18 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church.


The musical, licensed through Samuel French, Inc., brings the iconic Parker Bros. board game to life with all the suspects at hand including Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett. The cast calls for singers aged 18 and up to fill eight roles of 4 to 5 males and 3 to 4 female parts. Each potential performer will be expected to sing with piano accompaniment to a song of their choice and read from a number of selected pieces. This process will establish singing ability & range, vocal strength and physical type to best choose the cast. All who audition can enter the church, on the corner of Union & Findley Streets via the ramp entrance.


The musical is projected to be staged for three weekends in late June and into July in both Punxsutawney and Cook Forest. For further details visit the Guild’s website at punxsytheatre.org or call show directors Jef & Kathy Dinsmore at 814.938.0378. The internationally popular game is now a fun filled musical which brings the world's best-known suspects to life and invites the audience to help solve the mystery: who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room and with what weapon. “Clue: The Musical” lyrics are by Tom Chiodo, book by Peter DePietro & music by Wayne Barker, Galen Blum, Vinnie Martucci.


   We know, we know! The word "funeral" doesn't sound like this a comedy, but it is; after all, the first three letters of the word are F-U-N. Besides, has the Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild ever let audiences down when it promises to deliver comedy? Below are the particulars as this show nears its opening night.

   The writing team that just goes by Osborne & Eppler, describes the show in the following way:  Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces -- that is if they don't kill each other first. Not only does matriarch Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she's also faced with church-committee harpy Ozella Meeks sticking her nose in the family business, Dewey's snake-in-the-grass brother making a grab for her house, and two grown daughters reliving their childhood rivalry. Funerals bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people and the Fryes are no exception. A big-hearted comedy about family -- Southern-style.

The cast is a troupe of eleven players. They have spent a long rehearsal process to get all the nuances and wording of each character just right under the direction of veteran Guilder Terry A. Fye.  Kathy S. Dinsmore is the widow Dorothy Frye and Morgan Barrett, Ilona Fye and Luke Deet are her three children Sammy Jo, Harlene and Dewey Jr., respectively. Joining them are Tony Simmons as Dub, the deceased?s brother; Doug Fye as family lawyer Atticus; Tim Cooper as Beecham, Sammy Jo?s husband; Laura Deets and Krystol Elkin as  Dorothy?s friends Martha Ann & Fairy June;  S. Thomas Curry as Benny, the deceased?s best friend and Sandy Gearhart as Ozella, representative of the funeral committee.

   Not to be neglected are the usual able crew of Matt Dinsmore, Debra Dinsmore and Charlotte Fye, as well as, newcomers Joe Estes and Meredith Evans, they have all assisted the director in bringing the Frye?s family dilemma to the stage.

    Now, all it needs is an audience to take it in, to enjoy and laugh. Southern Fried       Funeral runs a total of five performances. The dates are Friday, March 03 & Saturday, March 04 followed by Friday, March 10 & Saturday, March 11 beginning at 7:30pm. The show concludes on Sunday, March 12 with a 2:00pm matinee. 

  Start PTAG?s new season right with a good dose of laughter courtesy of the Frye family. See you at the show!

 

 

 

 

 




 

  

 


The Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild is now proud to announce its 2017 season. Once again the merry troupe of players will present three very different shows to delight theatre-goers in the Guild's 42nd season. Here is a description of each:

Southern Fried Funeral 
by Osborne & Eppler 

Dewey Frye is dead and the rest of his family is left to pick up the pieces -- that is if they don't kill each other first. Not only does matriarch Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she's also faced with church-committee harpy Ozella Meeks sticking her nose in the family business, Dewey's snake-in-the-grass brother making a grab for her house, and two grown daughters reliving their childhood rivalry. Funerals bring out the worst, the bes
t, and the funniest in people and the Fryes are no exception. A big-hearted comedy about family -- Southern-style.

This Winter 2017 show has confirmed show dates of March 3, 04 & March 10, 11, & 12. That final performance is a matinee. 


Clue: The Musical (pending licensing)
Book by Peter DePietro; Music by Galen Blum, Wayne Barker and Vinnie Martucci
Lyrics by Tom Chiodo; Based on the Parker Brothers' Board Game 

Who killed Mr. Boddy, in what room and with what weapon? The audience receives forms to help them deduce the solution from clues given throughout the fun filled evening. Three audience members choose from cards representing the potential murderers, weapons and rooms; there are 
216 possible solutions! Only one hard-nosed female detective is qualified to unravel the merry mayhem.

This Summer 2017 production will not only appear on our home stage but also at the Sawmill Theater, Cook Forest.



It's A Wonderful Life - a live radio play (pending licensing)
by Joe Landry

This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940's 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 contemplates ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. 

This is the Fall 2017 production.

Join us for an exciting season! 


Even though the busy members of the Punxsutawney Theatre Arts Guild (PTAG)  have just led their audiences on a spooky visit to "Sleepy Hollow" and the mysterious "House of Usher," the local performers are busy with plans for their next production.  "Southern Fried Funeral" by Osborne and Eppler, a rollicking two-act comedy, will take to the stage later this winter.
 
In order to bring the play to life, the first step is enlisting the talents of a cast of six women and five men to portray the Frye family and their relatives and friends.  Veteran Guild director, Terry A. Fye, will hold open auditions from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. November 9 and 10 at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library.  The easy process involves the completion of a brief questionnaire and then reading a scene or two aloud with the director.  The results of the casting will be announced the following week.

Commenting on the upcoming production, Fye said, "'Southern Fried Funeral' is one of those rare plays that made me laugh out-loud from the moment I first started reading it. The zany characters, the dynamics of the fractured family's relationships, and the surprising developments in the plot make the show an ideal fit for our local theater-goers. I'm excited about casting the show and beginning rehearsals after the holiday season."

He concluded, "The roles for the adult cast (mid-20s through seniors) are designed to make certain each character has his or her moment to be the center of at last one scene.  I am hopeful that a large number of candidates try out so we can have the very best line-up of performers that we can.  Since this is a fun-filled play, both to rehearse and to perform, PTAG invites newcomers to the auditions, too. No prior stage experience is required.  For more details, phone 814.938.6928."

The plot of "Southern Fried Funeral" begins shortly after Dewey Frye has passed and his family is left to pick up the pieces---that is, if they don't kill each other first.  Not only does his wife Dorothy have to contend with sudden widowhood, but she is also faced with church committee women and friends who want to stick their noses into the family's business.  Dewey's snake-in-the-grass brother is making a grab for Dewey's house.  Dorothy's two grown daughters have come home, only to relive their childhood rivalry. 

Funerals can bring out the worst, the best, and the funniest in people, and the Fryes are no exception.  This is a big-hearted comedy about family---Southern style.