Theatre at the Center has been offering creative and eclectic productions for nearly 30 years.

The Munster venue regularly features a blend of musicals, dramatic works, comedies, holiday fare, concerts, children's productions and more on its production roster.

Linda Fortunato, artistic director of TATC, said she and her committee enjoy choosing what will star on each season's schedule.

"We started planning this season in October of 2016," Fortunato said about the 2017-18 production schedule.

"We're really excited about this season. We've got a variety (of shows)," she said. Fortunato said the roster not only includes a mix of straight plays and musicals but also presents stories in different time periods and diverse subject matter.

She said she spends a lot of time researching the works scheduled for the theatrical stage.

The upcoming holiday production at TATC is "A Wonderful Life: The Musical," scheduled to run Nov. 16 through Dec. 23. The musical, directed by Bill Pullinsi, is based on the Frank Capra film about a desperate George Bailey who searches for life's meaning during the Yuletide season.

"It's quite close to the film," Fortunato said.

The artistic director said she's also happy to be presenting the play "Steel Magnolias," which runs Feb. 22 to March 25. "Steel Magnolias" tells the story of the bond between a group of women and how they deal with tragedy and life's ups and downs. "It's a play that is beloved," Fortunato said.

In addition, TATC will present the musical revue "Forever Plaid" from May 3 to June 3 as well as a show titled "A Very Electric Christmas" on Dec. 29 and 30.

"'A Very Electric Christmas' is very interesting and unique," Fortunato said. She said the show will appeal to families with its bright colors, costumes that light up and a varied musical score.

Among other productions scheduled for the 2017-18 season are the play "The Lady with All The Answers," about advice columnist Ann Landers; concerts by The Four C Notes, The Signal and Theatre for Young Audiences productions such as "I Have A Dream," about Martin Luther King; "Twas the Night Before Christmas"; and "Beauty and the Beast."

Check the following schedule for upcoming TATC productions:

• "A Wonderful Life: The Musical," Nov. 16-Dec. 23

• "A Very Electric Christmas," Dec. 29 and 30

• "Steel Magnolias," Feb. 22-March 25

• "Forever Plaid," May 3-June 3

• "The Lady With All the Answers," July 12-Aug. 12

Concerts and Special Events:

• The Four C Notes, Dec. 31

• The Signal, Jan. 20

• Kashmir, The Led Zeppelin Show, Jan. 27

• ComedySportz, Feb. 3

• From the Farm Cooking Show with Phil Potempa, Feb. 4

• Creole Stomp, Feb. 10

Theatre For Young Audiences shows:

• "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," Dec. 5-16

• "I Have A Dream," Jan. 22-26

• "Beauty and the Beast," April 9-15

FYI: Theatre at the Center is at 1040 Ridge Road, Munster. Call 219-836-3255 or visit


Features reporter

Eloise writes about food and entertainment for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight children in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.