Ready to hit the stage

REED CITY — The last two weekends in April should see evening parking at a premium in the second block of Reed City’s Upton Street.

The Crossroads Theater Guild will be presenting the latest in the group’s theatrical offerings — Agatha Christie’s “And then there were none.” The play will be performed on April 19-20, and April 26-27 - the last two weekends in April - at the new Guild performance center in the old Congregational Church across form the Osceola County Courthouse. Performance times are 7 p.m. for the evening offering, and 2 p.m. for Saturday matinées. “We’re getting posters printed and the programs are on the way,” said Deborah Lockwood, the stage play’s producer. “We have been under rehearsal for quite some time, and now we are just ironing out some of the production wrinkles.” In this classic mystery drama eight people, all strangers to each other, are invited to Indian Island, off the English coast. They all think they have been hired, invited, or requested to the island’s mansion for differing reasons. Some think they are just going to visit friends. Then, one by one, they begin to die mysterious deaths, and a similarity is drawn between the horrifying occurrences and the old children’s rhyme: “Ten little Indians standin’ in a line, One toddled home and then there were nine; “Nine little Indians swingin’ on a gate, One tumbled off and then there were eight ...” The Guild players have been rehearsing since the middle of January. “At this point we are making sure everything is in place and ready to go,” continued Lockwood. “Everyone seems to be having a good time, and we look forward to passing on this excitement to our audiences. “We have both veteran and new players, and that’s always a good thing. We want to get out there and tell folks, “Hey! We’re back and we’re busy. Come join us.’” Lockwood hopes people will not only come to see the play for an evening of entertainment, but also to support local theater and to see how they might get involved as well. “As we wrap up this production, I hope people will understand there are opportunities for everybody to get involved,” she said. “This isn’t all about the people on stage. Some folks want to get involved but may not feel comfortable in front of an audience. “There’s a lot to do backstage and behind the scenes, and it is just as important, and just as fun as the action up front. “We have lighting people, sound people, special effects people, and so much more. “There really is something for anyone who wishes to take part in a community project such as ours.” Guild organizers are already discussing a number of potential summer projects, including some collaborative efforts with neighboring theater groups. There are ideas for growing, developing, and getting more and more people involved in sustainable local theater. There are also plans in the works for the creation of a some youth program for the summer, introducing kids to the joy of theater arts while simply giving them something to do. “We’re busy,” said Lockwood. “There is a place for everyone in our projects and programs. “It’s time to join in.”