Stage & Theatre
Moline High School's Musical: Joseph and the Amazing Technocolor Dreamcoat PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by M. McNeil   
Monday, 11 March 2013 12:03
With a cast of 80 and a complete orchestra, Moline High School students are putting on the ever-popular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Moline, IL)  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat] is a popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. The show has little spoken dialogue; it is completely sung-through. Its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  This month, 42 Moline High School student actors along with 38 elementary and middle school students, a supporting crew of dozens of students, and an orchestra of 15 will produce four shows for local audiences.  Dates of the show are March 14, 15 and 16 and the media will get a sneak preview of the show this week.

WHO:  Moline High School Students and the children’s choir
WHAT:  Media Preview of the MHS spring musical
WHEN:  Tuesday, March 12,  7:00 pm
WHERE: MHS Auditorium

There will be 4 performances-- Thursday, March 14 @ 7:30 PM; Friday, March 15 @ 7:30 PM; Saturday, March 16 @ 2 PM and 7:30 PM.   $6.00 for students; $8.00 for adults. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the MHS bookstore. 309-743-8833
This show was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly. Joseph was first presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970 and expanded recordings in 1971 and 1972. While still undergoing various transformations and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973, and in its full format was recorded in 1974 and opened on Broadway in 1982. Several major revivals and a 1999 straight-to-video film, starring Donny Osmond, followed.

Musical Theatre Productions by the Moline High School Music Department

1961    Pajama Game
1962    Bells Are Ringing
1963    My Fair Lady
1964    Bye, Bye Birdie
1965    South Pacific
1966    The Music Man
1967    The Sound of Music
1968    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1969    Carousel
1970    Li’l Abner
1971    Guys & Dolls
1972    Pajama Game
1973    Hello Dolly
1974    No, No Nanette
1975    The Music Man
1976    Mame
1977    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1978    The King & I
1979    Hello Dolly
1980    Oklahoma
1981    Irene
1982    Li’l Abner
1983    Funny Girl
1984    Little Mary Sunshine
1985    The Sound of Music
1986    Hello Dolly
1987    The Music Man
1988    South Pacific
1989    Guys & Dolls
1990    How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1991    Bye, Bye Birdie
1992    Oklahoma
1993    Cabaret
1994    West Side Story
1995    Mame
1996    Damn Yankees
1997    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1998    The Sound of Music
1999    Bye, Bye Birdie
2000    Once Upon A Mattress
2001    Grease
2002    Godspell
2003    Phantom
2005        Oliver
2006        A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
2007        King And I
2008        Cabaret
2009        Beauty and the Beast
2010        The Music Man
2011        Bye Bye Birdie
2012        The Sound of Music
2013        Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph Director, Ron May, has been involved in musical theatre for more than 40 years.  His experience began upon the recommendation of his college advisor.  May was urged to become more knowledgeable about musical theatre if he wanted to be a high school choral director.  Immediately after college, May was cast as Thomas Jefferson in the Quad City Music Guild’s production of “1776” and since then has performed additional leading roles in “Damn Yankees”, “Cabaret”, “Evita”, “Godspell”, among others.  As an educator, he has directed/produced more than 50 productions.  In addition to educational and community theatre settings, he has served as musical director for professional productions of “Hairspray”, “Legally Blonde-the musical”, “Whodunit? The musical” (world premiere at Circa 21), “The World Goes Round”, and countless other reviews and industrial musical shows.

It was doing a community theatre production of “The Sound of Music” where May met his wife of 36 years.  He and Cindy (a freelance choreographer) have collaborated in nearly all of his educational musical theatre productions.  They are both collaborating on this production.
Students of Mr. May have gone on to successful careers in professional theatre.   Former students have performed in “Miss Saigon”, “The Full Monty”, and “The Drowsy Chaperone” on Broadway and in national tours of “Peter Pan”.  Many former students are currently pursuing a career in musical theatre across the country.   Some current seniors are exploring acting, musical theatre and/or directing in part because of Mr. May’s influence.


History and Culture Live this Spring at the Rock Island Public Library PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Friday, 08 March 2013 15:58

Rock Island, IL: History and culture will be brought to life this spring in five free programs at the Rock Island Public Library.


Mary Todd Lincoln lived a life filled with triumphs and tragedies, but few people really know her. Aided by actress Laura Keyes, the Rock Island Library shares the first lady’s side of the historical story during Women’s History Month in Mrs. Lincoln Goes to Washington. The one-woman show, set against the Lincolns’ first trip to Washington City in 1847, will be performed from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Monday, March 18 in the Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.

Laura Keyes graduated from UW-Madison with a Master’s Degree in Library Studies, and is currently the Library Director at The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg. Her past stage roles include Mary Todd Lincoln in Mrs. Lincoln, Elizabeth in Frankenstein, Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Claire in Fuddy Meers, Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

If Mary Todd’s story leaves you wanting to hear more about her famous husband, the library will offer “Lincoln and Liberty, Too,” a special performance of Civil War songs and stories in April by Bob Welch of Dubuque. Combining storytelling and history with music on guitar and banjo, Welch’s Civil War songs bring history to musical life. The performance is at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, April 2 in the Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.

With current interest high as a result of the Lincoln movie, and the importance of April in Civil War history, Welch has been particularly busy performing at school and public venues. Past performances have included the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, the American Civil War Museum in Gettysburg, PA, the Sailors Creek Battlefield in Virginia and historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, MN.

Both the Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln and Liberty programs are made possible by sponsorship from the Friends of the Rock Island Public Library.

April also marks the 45th anniversary of the death of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The library and the Afro-American Heritage Center of the Quad Cities will recognize the event with a film and discussion of “A Ripple of Hope.” The independent historical documentary retells the events of April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated outside a Memphis hotel room. The film and discussion will be presented from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 3, in the Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.

A Ripple of Hope retraces the steps of Presidential Candidate Robert Kennedy as he absorbs the news of King’s death and responds with courage and compassion. Though advised not to speak, Kennedy delivered a moving impromptu address to a tense crowd in Indianapolis. Featuring digitally restored news footage and original music by John Colby, the Grammy Award winning music director of the Ken Burns Civil War soundtrack, A Ripple of Hope dramatically narrates the events of that tragic day through the eyes of those who were there.

Also in April, the library celebrates William Shakespeare’s 449th birthday anniversary with two events.

On April 23, the bard’s presumed birthday, Don Wooten and Genesius Guild will present a look at a fascinatingly complex character and play with “Who is Macbeth?” In what is considered to be Shakespeare’s shortest and bloodiest tragedy, Macbeth employs themes and elements from all other Shakespearean plays. But who was Macbeth really? What do we know about him? Learn more with this free event on 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 23, Rock Island Main Library, 401 19th Street.

Next, the library considers Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with help from high school student performers from Rockridge High School, and a discussion led by members of Prenzie Players. Students will present a pivotal scene from the play, followed by discussion, at 6:30 pm on Thursday, April 25, at the Rock Island Main Library Community Room, 401 19th Street.

All programs are free and open to the public. For more news about Rock Island Public Library events, visit, call 309-732-7323 (READ) or follow the Rock Island Library on Facebook and Twitter. A monthly calendar of library events is available online and at Rock Island Library locations.


Department of Management: New AFSCME Contract Saves Iowa $94 million PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Friday, 08 March 2013 15:26

(Des Moines) – Today, the Department of Management released the following information related to cost avoidance the State of Iowa obtained by entering into aggressive, professional negotiations with AFSCME.


Key elements of new state contract with the AFSCME bargaining unit:


1.       0% across-the-board (ATB) raise for FY 14 and 0% ATB for FY 15

2.       Annual STEP increases for FY 14 and FY 15 included

3.       No change in health insurance


Total cost of new AFSCME contract for FY 14 and FY 15:

General Fund:                   $56 million

All State Funds:                 $107 million


Key elements of Governor Culver’s AFSCME contract for FY 12 and FY 13:


1.       2.5% ATB raise for FY 12 and 2.5% ATB for FY 13

2.       Annual STEP increases for FY 12 and FY 13 included

3.       No change in health insurance


Total cost of Culver AFSCME contract (if applied to our current workforce):


General Fund:                   $104 million

All State Funds:                 $202 million


Savings to State of Iowa resulting from new AFSCME contract:

General Fund:                   $48 million

All State Funds:                 $94 million


According to available data, the FY 14 -15 AFSCME contract represents the first time since the inception of public sector collective bargaining in Iowa that the State has successfully negotiated no across the board pay increases in both years of a contract. Clearly, Iowa taxpayers have benefitted from having a seat at the table during the collective bargaining process with Iowa public sector unions.


The State’s Position in Arbitration:

The State and ASFSCME agreed on 0% ATB raise for by FY 14 and FY 15.


The State and AFSCME agreed on annual STEP increases for FY 14 and FY 15.


The State and AFSCME reached an impasse on health insurance.  The arbitrator ruled in favor of the AFSCME position regarding health insurance.

The State’s final offer on health insurance was a 20% employee contribution for all health plans. Employees would have the opportunity to earn a credit of $90 per month towards their share of the health insurance premium by participating in a wellness program.


The State’s final offer on health insurance still exceeded the average of other states when the wellness premium incentive is included.  In comparing Iowa’s wage and benefits using data provided by the National Compensation Association of State Governments:

  • The employer-paid value of the State of Iowa’s status quo health insurance benefit is ranked first when compared to other states.
  • The average base pay of State of Iowa employees is 33% above the base pay of other state government employees.
  • The average total compensation (wages and benefits) of State of Iowa employees is 27.5% higher than the total compensation of other state government employees.


Had the arbitrator ruled in favor of the State’s offer regarding health benefits, the State had estimated additional cost avoidance of approximately $45 million over the 2 years of the contract.



News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Kimberly Kurtenbach Furness   
Friday, 08 March 2013 15:13
Greetings Friends of THE CURTAINBOX,
I am sending this out to all the actors I know letting you know that I have two fabulous projects ahead that I am casting.  One is a feature film and the other is a training video project.  Both projects have fabulous roles for actors of all ages and all roles are PAID.  I need a headshot and resume sent to me in email form if you are interested in being considered for these projects.  Right now, principal photography looks to start sometime in May  and will be primarily shot in the QC.  We are beginning preliminary casting now.  I will be looking for all ages, types and ethnicities.  Send me your most current headshot and resume to:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Thanks much!! Always a pleasure putting fellow actors and students of mine to work! If you know other people who may be interested in submitting for these projects please feel free to forward this message on.

Hotel Blackhawk Signs On To Autograph Collection PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Glenn Kass   
Friday, 08 March 2013 15:12

Historic Davenport hotel “defines the unique guest experience”

Davenport, IA – Hotel Blackhawk management is pleased to announce that effective today it has officially taken its place in the progressive Autograph Collection hotel network.

The Autograph Collection® (, launched by Marriott in 2010 is, “An evolving ensemble of strikingly independent hotels. Each destination has been selected for its bold originality, rich character and uncommon details.” Hotels are listed in different categories such as Artistic Getaways, Historic Explorations, Culinary Delight, Urban Excitement and Wedding Celebration. This new affiliation will also enable Hotel Blackhawk to offer and accept Marriott Rewards®.

Joining a network of properties that promotes individuality is another important step for Hotel Blackhawk’s role in gaining attention for the City of Davenport and the Quad Cities. This effort has been highlighted with notable achievements such as its recent status as a 2013 Recommended Property in the Forbes Travel Guide, 2012 AAA Four Diamond Award-Lodgings, 2012 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Award, the Bix Bistro’s 2012 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence as well as 2011 and 2012 Smart Meetings Platinum Choice Award recognition.

“One-of-a-kind hotels in the Autograph Collection serve the discerning tastes of those looking for travel accommodations beyond the ordinary, predictable routine of hotel chains,” said General Manager Tim Heim. “Hotel Blackhawk represents the type of singular, high-personality hotel that doesn’t just offer guests a unique experience – but actually defines it.”

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15th, 2010. The hotel retains its 98-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, six meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. In addition to the affiliation with the Autograph Collection, the hotel also is part of the Historic Hotels of America network (

For more, visit or find us on (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).


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