ROCHELLE – In its upcoming show, the Vince Carney Community Theater aims to not only entertain, but to also educate and interact with the audience.
The next show being put on by the community theater is titled “The Complete History of Theatre (Abridged).” This is a very condensed version of everything that has happened up to date in theater, but is told from the perspective of three very influential figures.
“It is a comedy with lots of interaction with the audience, talking back and forth and improvisation,” explained Ken Manning, director of the play. “It touches on Greek tragedy and Roman theater and is told by three icons of theater: William Shakespeare himself, Constantine Stanislavski who invented method acting, and actress from the turn of the 19-to-20th Century Sarah Bernhardt.
The crew has kids aged 16 and 17 and the cast has people of all different ages, the youngest being 19 years old and the oldest being in their 50s.
The cast members include: Terry Camplain as William “Bill” Shakespeare, Curt Helgren as Konstantine “Stan” Stanislavsky, Jessie Ellis as Sarah Burnhardt and Alex Cremeans and Jessica Garrison both as Ensembles.
Anyone of all ages can audition to be in a play, the cast requirements vary for each play. Some require kids, some require adults and some both, but no matter the play there are people of all different skill levels involved.
“We use all ranges of experience levels from people that haven’t done much theater that learn from the more experienced actors to experienced people who enjoy bringing entertainment to the masses,” said Manning.
The Vince Carney Community Theater was created in 1981 with the goal of bringing quality productions to Rochelle and Ogle County. Since its creation they have put on many different plays including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Joseph and the Technicolored Dream Coat,” and “Ordinary People” to name just a few.
The response to the plays has been good so far. The community theater would just like to get its name out there more, and hopes their new permanent location in the former Lincoln School building on the south side of town will help to do that.
“The community seems to really enjoy it but there seems to be not as much awareness in the community to our existence as we would hope. We are hoping to build on that with the new site and a permanent home,” explained Manning. “[We hope to] be able to do more productions and types of productions each year. Right now, were doing about three productions a year, but want to scale it up to about seven.”
Funding for the shows comes from money earned through previous show ticket sales along with donations. Ticket prices range depending on the type of play; tickets for this upcoming play are $12 each and can be purchased through the website at vcctrochelle.org. The play will take place at Salt 251 On August 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m., and August 11 at 2 p.m.
Information on how to donate and sign up to audition for future plays can be also be found on the website.