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items tagged with A Raisin in the Sun

Leap of Faith: Playcrafters Presents the Biblical Musical "Hard to Believe," Opening September 10
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2010-08-30 12:00:00

Megan Elliott, Linell Ferguson, Wendy Czekalski, Sara Laufer, and Kris Preston in Hard to Believe"I think Playcrafters has traditionally had the reputation of being a stodgy old theatre that only does six comedies a year," says Tom Morrow, a frequent actor and director for Moline's venerable Barn Theatre. "And admittedly, we do a lot of comedies. But every once in a while, we try to stick our necks out and do something else."

That they do. In addition to the titles produced in conjunction with Playcrafters' 2009 "Diversity Initiative" - Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson's Fences - other recent "something else"s have included 2005's Altar Call, a debuting, religiously themed drama written by local playwright Melissa McBain, and 2008's Promises, Promises, one of only a handful of musicals the theatre has produced during its 81-year history.

And on September 10, the Playcrafters Barn Theatre will actually present something of a blend of these latter two works - a debuting, religiously themed musical - when it premieres Hard to Believe, a song-filled re-telling of the Biblical story of Job, directed by Morrow, and written and composed by Tim Stoller and Jonathan Turner. Previously staged, in workshop form, at Rock Island's defunct Green Room Theatre in 2008 and Davenport's Zion Lutheran Church in 2009, Turner says that "the whole theme of the show is about the challenges of faith, and maintaining your faith in the face of all this tragedy."
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Theatre Highs in 2009
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Whether you attend stage works sporadically or, like me, you saw 85 shows in the past year, anyone who enjoyed even one will understand that feeling of leaving a venue thinking, "Wow ... that was really good." I experienced that sensation numerous times this year, and while this list is hardly exhaustive, it'll hopefully give you an idea of just what you've been missing if you missed out on 2009's offerings.


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The Player Is the Thing: A Dozen Memorable Performances
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Narrowing down 2009's sensational stage portrayals into a list of 12 "favorites" is a hopeless task, really, so don't take this as any kind of last word on the subject; you'll find mention of amazing stage work all throughout my year-end coverage. Still, here's hoping you were able to catch at least a few of the following performances, which helped underline just how crazy with theatrical talent our area actually is.


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The Essentials 2009: A Dozen Names to Remember ... and a Bunch You Shouldn’t Forget
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Back in 2006, when I composed my first list of a dozen theatre "Essentials" - theatrical talents whose gifts were employed in a number of area productions - I couldn't have imagined that I'd find a dozen new names to add year after year. Well, as 2009 draws to a close, we can officially add another " ... after year" to that sentence.


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Eight Times Five: Ensembles, Musical Numbers, Stagecraft, Couples, Newcomers, Collegiate Performers, Minors, & Exits
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-12-21 12:00:00

Five Inspiring Ensembles

Powerful lead performances and scene-stealing supporting turns are always welcome; one- and two-character shows can be a gas. But for my money, nothing quite beats the theatrical pleasure of watching a tightly knit ensemble in action, and the following five productions ensured that this pleasure was a continual one.

 


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