Group holds auditions for first performance in new home

OSCEOLA COUNTY — When a group of actors formed the Crossroads Theatre Guild in 1986, their first performance was a comedic, award-winning love story titled “You Can’t Take it With You.” Twenty-six years later, after a two-year pause in action and 10 years without a home base, the group will inaugurate its new stage with the same play that started it all. “It’s family-friendly, it’s a comedy and it’s just so much fun,” said Guild President Deb Lockwood, who will co-direct the play with Timothy Locker. “You’re going to laugh from the time it starts until the time it’s finished.” The guild will host the production in November at its new theatre — the former Reed City First Congregational Church — located at 249 W. Upton Ave. in Reed City. The guild, which was the first entity in the Reed City area to bear the word “Crossroads” in its title, is proud to make a comeback in the area. “We are just so excited to have a home and our first show chosen,” Lockwood said. “We’ve got a lot of the costumes and props still from the first show and we just wanted to do something to christen our new theatre.” The romantic comedy, filled with strange characters in unique circumstances, was first performed on Broadway in 1936 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937. The play has parts available for 18 characters, including the young lovers Penny Sycamore and Toney Kirby, whose stark opposite families are at the center of the comedy. Along with on-stage parts, volunteers are needed to fill many behind-the-scenes roles. Spaces are available for a prop master, sound/special effects specialist, set builders, stage manager, light technician, box office receptionists, costume designer, stage hands, hair and make-up artists, public relations manager, poster designer, advertising manager and concessions workers. “It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, get involved and use your creativity,” Lockwood said. Auditions will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23 and 24 and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 25. “Even if you’re not wanting to try out for a part but you’re interested in participating in another way, come during those times and we’ll talk to you,” Lockwood said. New guild member Richard Karns said he is excited about the guild’s unique facillity, complete with stained-glass windows and a high ceiling. “I’m excited for the possibilities,” Karns said. “The potential is here. It’s small, but the windows themselves add to the look of the theatre.” During the productions, the windows will be covered with black material to block out the light so viewers can focus on the scene on stage. Working on the play will be like working in another world at times, Lockwood said, as the hard work and creativity of set designers takes shape in the play’s set. “Unless you’ve been involved in theatre, you don’t know what you’re missing,” Lockwood said. Actors will be expected to attend two practices per week up until the week before production, when rehearsals will be held every day. Anyone interested in auditioning for a role or helping with the production can contact Lockwood at (231) 734-9859, Locker at (231) 832-3145, guild member Lois Ingraham at (231) 832-4830 or visit the theatre during audition times.
Crossroads Theatre Guild Production of “You Can’t Take it With You” Performance dates: Nov. 9,10,16 and 17 Needed:
  • 18 actors, various roles
  • Prop master
  • Sound/special effects specialist
  • Set builders, stage manager
  • Light technician
  • Box office receptionists
  • Costume designer
  • Stage hands
  • Hair and make-up artists
  • Public relations manager
  • Poster designer
  • Advertising manager
  • Concessions workers.
Audition dates:
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 23
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24
  • 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 25
Auditions and production will be held at the guild’s new theatre, located at 249 W. Upton Ave. in Reed City. More information: call co-director Timothy Locker at (231) 832-3145, co-director Deb Lockwood at (231) 734-9859 or guild member Lois Ingraham at (231) 832-4830.