Guild begins rehearsal for first performance in new theatre

OSCEOLA COUNTY — With five roles yet to be filled and an unfinished 14-foot stage extension, rehearsals are underway for the Crossroads Theatre Guild’s first production in its new home. Poised for a November production of the romantic comedy, “You Can’t Take it With You,” 13 actors came together for the first time on Thursday for a read-through of the play’s script. “We have a lot of new people, which is really great,” said Guild president Deb Lockwood. Of the play’s actors, nine are new to the Crossroads Theatre Guild and some have never acted before. First-time actor Joe Gerring will play Ed, an amateur printer married to Essie, a wannabe ballerina. Gerring’s parents both have been involved in theatre guild productions. The Reed City High School sophomore said he joined the production because he wanted to try acting for himself. Reed City resident Jim White also will perform in the play. Having been in the guild’s other performances, “Bleacher Bums” in 1986 and “Lafferty’s Wake” in 2010, White will return to the stage with a Russian accent. “I like acting,” White said. “I like playing bad guys the best.” In “You Can’t Take it With You,” White will play Boris Kolenkhov, a Russian ballet instructor who escaped to America and pretends to teach Essie, how to dance, despite her lack of skill. Also in the play will be Ellen Finkbeiner, as an alcoholic named Gaye Wellington; Jan Renne, as Mrs. Curby; Kim Cooper, as Essie; Melissa Langworthy, as Penny; Anika Walton-Stanciel, as Reba; Barbara Ditto, as the Grand Duchess Olga; Darin Kohls, as Tony Curby; David Johnson, as Grandpa; Dave Jenks as Mr. Depinna; Andy Beemer, as Mr. Henderson; and Kavoceya VanAssche as Donald. Danielle Kokkonen will serve as the play’s assistant director, Bill LaBelle will be a stage hand, Aaron Wilkinson will be a technology guru and Timothy Locker and Deb Lockwood will co-direct. Four male parts are still open, with two have minimum speaking parts. One female part also is available for an individual in her 20s. Actors should be able to attend two rehearsals per week until the week before production, when rehearsals will be held every day. “It’s a great way to be involved in the community,” Lockwood said. Along with actors roles, other roles also are needed for the production, including prop master, box office receptionists, costume designer, stage hands, hair and make-up artists and concessions workers. The performance will be on Nov. 9,10,16 and 17 at the guild’s new theatre, located at 249 W. Upton Ave. in Reed City. Tickets will be $10 and will be available for purchase from any cast member in two weeks. Individuals interested in filling any roles in the production can contact 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.
Crossroads Theatre Guild’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” Performance dates: Nov. 9,10,16 and 17 Still needed:
  • four male actors
  • one female actor
  • prop master
  • box office receptionists
  • costume designer
  • stage hands
  • hair and make-up artists
  • concessions