That magical moment when the lights go up on a live performance with Equity actors and top-tier directors and designers... special events featuring renowned entertainers...opportunities for communities to learn and grow in the performing arts-all that and more are right here at Theatre at the Center. "We're bringing professional Chicago theater to everyone's back yard," exults Theatre at the Center's marketing director Patty Bird.
The 2012 season is a diverse offering of five eclectic shows. Always. . .Patsy Cline is based on the true story of Patsy Cline's friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger. The musical play includes many of Patsy's unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight. In the new comedy, Making God Laugh by Sean Grennan, empty nesters welcome home their children over family holidays spanning three decades. You will find that home is not only where the heart is, but also where the laughs are. Little Shop of Horrors follows Seymour, a skid row floral assistant, who allows his craving for fame and fortune to seduce him into playing nursemaid to an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. 42nd Street is a timeless fairy tale about a stage-struck understudy who becomes an overnight star. Features a hit parade of songs: Lullaby of Broadway, We're In the Money, and the spectacular title number. Plaid Tidings is a brand new show that offers the best of Forever Plaid, the smash hit musical. Our boys are back to do their first Christmas special in a holiday treat that is truly "heaven-sent" and perfect for the whole family.
Theatre at the Center offers exceptionally entertaining special events that make for truly memorable audience experiences. This season's treats: Switchback, an award-winning Irish band, whose unique American Roots music blends with Celtic Soul. An Irish dinner and beer-tasting event adds to the fun. The Purdue Varsity Glee Club. From classical to contemporary, gospel to show tunes, the Glee Club's broad repertoire and talent masterfully beckon audiences to leave day-to-day lives and float away on a tapestry of music. And America's famed comedy troupe The Second City presents Laugh Out Loud. Whether it's ripped from the morning headlines or a classic gem from their 50 year archives, The Second City is always a laugh out loud hit.
Education Through Theater
Making live theatre available for all audiences is one of Theatre at the Center's top priorities. Exposing children to live theatre at an early age helps build awareness and appreciation for the arts, as live theatrical events nurture creativity and imagination.
The Theatre for Young Audiences program is a family-friendly variety of presentations for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school groups, with study guides for teachers that intersect with classroom subjects. The 2012 Theatre for Young Audiences offering: Junie B. Jones in a colorful, funny, fast-paced musical; and Little Red Riding Hood.
Kids ages 5 through 18 explore acting through improvisation and scene work, using their voices and bodies in strong characterizations, advanced acting techniques, and singing and music with the opportunity to take the stage, all taught by professional actors.
Commitment to communities
While theatre tends to inspire and connect communities, it also creates jobs and contributes to the economy by generating revenue and helping to keep our community alive with local and out-of-town tourism. Theatre at the Center constantly endeavors to fulfill its mission to bring the "disciplines of the performing arts that are at once appealing, educational and accessible to the entire community." In 2011, they donated over $40,000 in theatre tickets to local charities and, when possible, offered free performances to community service organizations and underserved children.
Theatre at the Center also offers special group rates that can be combined with sumptuous meals. The theatre is handicapped accessible and special hearing devices are available.