look at life
Town brings together
community theater, students
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(January 2010) The Madison Consolidated High
School theater program and the community theater group Spectrum Productions
have joined in an exciting collaboration to present Thornton Wilders
play, Our Town. Cast and crew have been hard at work since
the start of November to bring the production to life.
Aaron Kelsey, MCHS theater director, explains that the selection of
play saying, It is a Valentine to the simpler times of the early
20th century and a commentary on life and what we do with it. I felt
Our Town was a good dramatic selection for my students and
program, and a classic theater piece.
Our Town will be performed at the Madison Consolidated High
School at 7 p.m. on the weekends of Jan. 29-30 and Feb. 5-6. Matinée
performances will take place at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. Tickets
will be available starting Jan. 11 at River Valley Financial bank, and
one week before performances at the MCHS box office. Ticket prices are
$8 for adults and $5 for students.
Our Town examines everyday life of an American family, focusing
more on characters and relationships than props and scenery. Director
and Spectrum board member Stephanie Hellman describes the play saying,
Its a basic piece about life; everybodys life. Youll
see yourself in there.
While the play is set in New England, Hellman believes that the real
setting is wherever you feel you can say, thats my
She says the play works well with the sense of community spirit highlighted
during the Madison Bicentennial celebration. Hellman says that, Its
really nice that were doing this with the high school its
a wonderful way to start thinking about life in general and your place
in the world.
The production brings together the talents of two experienced theater
programs. Spectrum Productions was founded in 1998 and ran four shows
a year through 2002. Last year, many of the founding members reunited
to perform Kitchen Witches, and the group is once again
planning an active schedule.
Kelsey, 31, will be celebrating his 25th show with Madison High School
in April with the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat. We are combining our high school theater program
with the community theater Spectrum in order
to learn from one another and to present these rich characters in the
most appropriate way, Kelsey said.
By drawing from the pool of talent at both the high school and the community
at large, Hellman was able to cast actors in roles that matched their
own ages and not cast high school students to play old people.
Nearly 50 people are lending their talents the production.
Kelsey believes that the experience working with Spectrum Productions
will help students realize that theater involvement is not limited to
school plays. We get to learn from seasoned actors in the community,
students can see that being a thespian is a lifelong opportunity,
Hellman agrees and explains that Spectrum is hoping to form long term
relationships with the students and that they will see that being active
in the theater is something that they can continue long after graduation.
Hellman says that Spectrum is constantly looking for more people to
get involved in theater productions. We need all kinds of talents,
not just people on stage. Theres a lot of things that go into
putting on a play.
Hellman points out that it is always thrilling for people to discover
abilities in themselves and friends that they never knew were there.
She believes that community theater Gives people a chance to try
something new. Youll be amazed at the talents. Encouraging
people to take part in local plays she says, Well find a
spot for you somewhere. I think its the most fun thing you can
For more information on Spectrum Productions,
call Stephanie Hellman at (812) 701-3028. For ticket information, call
MCHS at (812) 265-6672.
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