HT: Unique theater plans in the works locally
Sunday, September 20
Joel Pierson | H-T Columnist
I’ve been keeping in touch with the area’s theater creators each week, hoping that plans are still simmering for entertainment for our town.
I happened to catch up with Catharine Rademacher at Bloomington High School South, who had this to report. “I just wanted to give you an update on the Theatre South fall season. We plan to begin the year with (Reginald Rose’s) ‘12 Angry Jurors.’ I thought it was a timely piece that lends itself to great discussion and deep reflection. Also, the show has a lot of possibilities as far as staging. The set is simple and can be staged even simpler if need be. The show does not require complicated blocking, and since we will be working virtually, we can focus more on character development and relationships.”
For practicality reasons, the smaller cast is also important, in case the performance needs to be held virtually. The show is scheduled to go up Nov. 13-14 and 20-21, and — as this year has taught us — a lot can happen between now and then.
“Concurrently,” Catharine told me, “I am still planning to do some smaller projects with radio theater. I feel that shows can be rehearsed and recorded within a few days and put out on podcast through our school newspaper’s virtual paper and podcast program. There was such an outpouring of need from the kids and absolute excitement when I announced that we were auditioning a show. Here’s hoping that energy and enthusiasm will carry me through another season!”
Speaking of radio theater, Monday is a very exciting day for Cardinal Stage, as it’s the day their interactive audio theater project series, Walkabout Radio Plays, will be available. Participants put on headphones and listen to the downloaded original audio play — but there’s more to it than that.
Listeners will also receive maps of Bloomington, featuring sites and stops that relate to the story. You’re invited to listen to a new scene at each stop along the way, or if you prefer, listen in your own backyard.
For the first play, there are benches available at most locations on the walking route. There are some grassy areas, so bug spray is recommended. For those who are unable to walk this route, photographs are available.
The first play, “The Women in the Woods” by Josie Gingrich, will be released on Sept. 21. It’s the story of Ellie, who accepts a mysterious university scholarship, not realizing it comes with a huge catch. She discovers her roots in the town are much deeper than she knew, and she must decide if she is going to take on a responsibility she never could have imagined. Cardinal says, “Listeners will be transported to various locations on Ellie’s journey and see IU’s beautiful campus in a ghostly new light.” Cool.
Visit cardinalstage.org and navigate to their Walkabout Radio Plays page. There will be a button for “Pay What You Will,” and you will receive a link with access to the radio play and downloadable map.
Also ongoing is the company’s “Cardinal at Home” series. September’s play is “Naturalized” by Marcia Eppich-Harris. This is a short play that you can perform with your family and friends at home. Whether it’s a table reading for fun or a memorized, staged production with props and costumes, the choice is yours. Cardinal even invites video recordings of your performance.
“Naturalized” is a 10-minute comedy for four performers, recommended for ages 13 and older.