Yorkshire Playhouse 2017 Season: The Importance of Being Earnest

Yorkshire Playhouse 2017 Season: The Importance of Being Earnest

The weather outside might be frightful now, but summer will be here before you know it. And what would summer be without a little romantic comedy? In 2017, the Yorkshire Playhouse is bringing you the classic romantic comedy that started the genre and still holds its own today! Intrigued? Read Mitch's blog post and join us for the Yorkshire Playhouse's production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Yorkshire Playhouse 2017 Season: The Madwoman of Chaillot

Yorkshire Playhouse 2017 Season:  The Madwoman of Chaillot

The Yorkshire Playhouse is excited about our 2017 Season, and we think you will be, too! This year we've put together a series of blog posts to introduce each of the magnificent shows in our season. We hope, as you read a little about each show, you'll begin to be as excited as we are!

Don't forget Memberships for the 2017 Season are available!

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Matt Spencer's Directorial Debut at the Yorkshire Playhouse

It started in high school when “A Christmas Story” Director Matt Spencer and his wife, Holly, met and shared a love for the theater and each other. They will be married 20 years next May. About this time three years ago, Matt’s job as an Environmental Engineer moved their family of seven to York. Both Matt and Holly got involved with Yorkshire Playhouse when Holly was cast in “Nunsense II.” It rekindled their love of working with theater productions, helping out in the community, and they made lots of new friends in a new town. 

“God Spell” back in high school was Matt’s first time at directing. Since coming to York he played a duel role in “Leaving Iowa” as Joe Hosfinger, the crazy farmer, and a motel clerk. He assistant directed and played a soldier in the production of “The Mouse That Roared.” 

Earlier this year, Matt submitted Philip Grecian’s “A Christmas Story” as the holiday play. The movie came out in 1983 when Matt was seven or eight years old. He says he remembers the feeling of wanting a certain gift so badly, as Ralphie does in the movie. Rather than a gun, Matt was wishing for GI Joe action figures like his older brother had.  Matt feels like most people have seen the movie and relate to the classic story. “Everyone loves this movie.” He watched the movie with his cast, he wanted them to get a feel for their character but not imitate the characters.  Matt feels his cast members will bring their own talent and expression to the role they play. 

When selecting his cast, of course Ralphie was critical. Matt found Ralphie in nine-year old Brody Booth, who not only looked a little like Ralphie, he brought the enthusiasm and talent the director was looking for. Brody has done some summer children’s theater, as well as being cast in last year’s “Miracle on 34th Street.” 

The adult Ralphie, played by Jameson Trauger, narrates the play and explains a lot of young Ralphie’s feelings and emotions to the audience. Matt says he loves working with both children and adults. He explained that “with an adult, if they need to be sad, you just say, act sad. With children you often have to take them to a memory or scenario that will bring them the feeling." Matt says rehearsals have been great--lots of laughter and fun every time. 

Matt explained that the play and the movie have the same classic scenes and flow. However, in the play, Ralphie has a love interest that eventually leads him to feel girls aren’t so bad. 

“I am excited for everyone to see the show, everyone will leave with a smile on their face, it’s been great.” We are excited for Matt, as he makes his debut as a director of “A Christmas Story” at the Yorkshire Playhouse.

Written by: Mary Alley

In the picture on the left is Matt Spencer and son Jett Spencer in "The Mouse that Roared" and to the right Jameson Trauger and Brody Booth (grown and young Ralphie).

Support Community Theater and Enjoy Five Live Performances Throughout the Year!

When you become a member of the Yorkshire Playhouse you save on regular season shows and choose your seats BEFORE the general public! Season memberships are an awesome value and your ticket admissions are flexible and can be used in any combination throughout the season.

Our members also save on any additional tickets purchased all year. Family or friends visiting in town during a show night? No problem! Additional tickets for ANY show are only $12.50 each, a locked-in savings of $2.50 on EVERY additional seat you purchase when you have a season membership.

Want to save EVEN more money? Purchase your Yorkshire Playhouse membership before December 31, 2016, and your final ticket cost is only $10 each!

Memberships make wonderful gifts, that continue giving all year long! A gift of live theater can’t be beat! Give your friends and family a night out five times in a year with a gift membership in their name.

Our Yorkshire Playhouse is 100% staffed and run by volunteers. Seasonal Memberships and Box Office tickets sales only partially support the Yorkshire Playhouse. Please consider giving an additional tax deductible donation to our Theater. Playhouse supporters receive special recognition in our programs each season.

Corporate sponsorships are also available for the 2017 season. Your business will receive 20 Playhouse tickets, and an ongoing ad in all our programs. For more information about corporate giving, please contact us at yorktheater@gmail.com for details.

We are a volunteer organization. Volunteers are the heart of the Yorkshire Playhouse, and we welcome the creative energy that makes our theater thrive. Join us and become a volunteer! Box office workers, ushers, performers, costumers, carpenters, painters and stage crews are all critical volunteer activities. Sign up to volunteer at www.yorkshireplayhouse.com/volunteer. 

Letter from the President

President: C. Danielle Deal

President: C. Danielle Deal

Dear Yorkshire Playhouse Members:

The year is coming to a close, and so is another season at the Yorkshire Playhouse. In 2016, our community of actors, directors, and volunteers strove to bring to life five stories on our stage. And what a season it’s been! It started with a comedy about a little nation with a big problem and is about to end with a story of a little boy with a big dream. (Don’t miss the last show of the 2016 season, A Christmas Story performing December 6-11!) As this season comes to an end, we are preparing to begin another.

The Yorkshire Playhouse is proud to announce our 2017 season. This year we will continue to bring to life stories that we believe will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone. Once again we are producing five shows, including our ever popular Christmas show in the season. We are excited to get started, and we hope you’ll join us on our journey.

We’ll begin the season with a classic, The Madwoman of Chaillot. Tired of all the political rhetoric after this election? Come watch a rather strange woman and her crazy bunch of friends put on trial the devious, greedy businessmen and politicians, making the world a better place with a little love and kindness—and a whole heaping scoop of madness.

Next, meet Marty, a woman who just wants to bring a little art to her community in the form of an Acting Class. Meet her husband, a recent divorced carpenter, a former actress, and the awkward high school student who join the class expecting to have a little fun and learn about acting. Watch as the silly games they play reveal truths about themselves and their relationships with each other. You won’t want to miss the award winning show with a funny name—Circle, Mirror, Transformation.

It’s one of the most famous comedies of all time for a reason. This summer Yorkshire Playhouse will be performing The Importance of Being Earnest! Never has mistaken identity been more humorous (or intentional) as two men battle for love and a name, than in this comedy of errors. Ah, the wit—the eloquence—the charm—the confusion? And which one is Earnest? 

She’s a very good cleaning lady; she’s an even better detective. If only the dead body would stay where she left it, she might actually be able to convince the police. Will The Busybody stumble onto the evidence and solve the case before the killer gets away? Join us next fall to find out.

Who hasn’t curled up on a cold winter night with a story about Laura Ingalls Wilder? The Yorkshire Playhouse is proud to bring you a story of a Christmas with the Ingalls family that you may never have heard before. Join Laura as she learns the importance of family and how love endures even when life is difficult. Curl up with us at Christmas time and enjoy A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas!

We are thrilled about our new season, and we believe you will be too! Join us in 2017, as we strive to create art through live theatre! Purchase a membership to the Yorkshire Playhouse! Also, please, considering donating to the Yorkshire Playhouse. Donations help us keep the lights on, and without lights, it’s not much of a show!

Thank you!

 

C. Danielle Deal

President

Yorkshire Playhouse Board of Directors

2017 Season

Madwoman of Chaillot - Directed by: Karla Ott

The wealthy, elite businessmen of Paris have a plan to extract the oil which they believe lies beneath the streets of Paris regardless of the consequences to the poor who live there.  Countess Aurelia plans to stand in their way. It’s a fable, mixed up with a farce, with a healthy helping of reason, and more than its fair share of madness. Watch a Madwoman and her crazy cast of friends do what we all wish we could in one of the most humorous and relevant plays ever written.  Guaranteed to make you laugh till you cry. You won’t want to miss the Madwoman of Challiot!

Circle Mirror Transformation - Directed by: Mitchell Roush

Don’t let the name confuse you. Named for an Acting game, the play is the story of four people who enroll in a six week acting class and are transformed by the interactions that occur there.  Marty, the instructor, together with her husband James, a recently divorced Schultz, a former actress Teresa, and a quiet high school student named Lauren, act their way to an intimate understanding of themselves. Part drama, part comedy—this play is about the beautifully imperfect lives of its five characters. Come fall in love with these authentic characters as you watch their lives come full circle, mirrored in the acting games in which they participate.  

The Importance of Being Earnest - Directed by: C. Danielle Deal

It may be the most famous comedy of all time, which is why it has stood the test of time. The plot centers around a case of mistaken identity, manufactured by two men both claiming to be, you guessed it, Earnest! You’ll laugh along as the men try to keep up the charade, while their opposing interests and love lives threaten to undo the whole thing. Who will end up marrying whom? And who exactly is Earnest? Don’t miss the Yorkshire Playhouse’s new rendition of an old favorite that begs and answers the frivolous question: “What’s in a name?”

Busybody - Directed by: Emily Petersen

She might just be the cleaning lady, but don’t remind her! When a man is murdered in her building, she reports the crime to the police, who arrive just in time to discover the body is missing! When the dead man turns up alive, the police are sure the cleaning woman is more than a little screwy. But not detoured, she’s determined to find the evidence herself. Will the evidence stay put long enough for the police to believe her? You’ll laugh at the crazy antics of this woman and the exasperated police, as she solves the mystery—her own way.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas - Directed by: Judy Andrews

It’s Christmas time! But for the Ingalls family, life looks bleak. When Laura is asked to act as a companion to Mrs Starr, she’s excited to be the midst of finery. However, when she overhears Mrs Starr offer to adopt her, Laura begins to worry that Ma and Pa will actually give her up. Would that be best for the family? Telling the story of one Christmas from the “missing” years, not chronicled in the books. This poignant and moving story of hope, healing, and family is swept along through dialogue, humor, and period songs. Join the Ingalls family in celebrating Christmas at the Yorkshire Playhouse!

Just a note: Information about the new season and how to purchase a membership will be arriving in the mailboxes for members over the next few days.  Also, information about all the shows will be on our website beginning November 28th and that is also when people can begin purchasing Memberships online.  Memberships will also be available at the box office during A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story - Cast List

 
 

Congratulations to all those in the cast, and our thanks to all that auditioned!

Ralphie -- Brodrick Booth
Ralph -- Jameson Trauger
Mother -- Chrystal Houston
Old Man -- Eric Freitas
Miss Shields -- Kathey Stewart
Schwartz -- Andrew Van Gomple
Flick -- Malachi Coppinger
Randy -- Charlie Van Gomple
Farkas -- Zander Madole
Esther Jane -- Lily Houston
Helen -- Lauren Thomas

 

CONNECTING THE DOTS, AND TOUCHING HISTORY

On Bringing, “The Mousetrap”, to the Yorkshire Playhouse

It’s not very often one gets the chance to contribute to theatre history. An opportunity to take part in something larger, a spectacle that’s proven to survive, literature that, to this very day 60 years later, manages to connect multiple generations. Something like that is rare, and most certainly, fails to touch the likes of a small community.

Well, not anymore!

October marks the 125th birthday of the infamous mistress of mystery--and bathtub wordsmith—Agatha Christie. To commemorate this momentous literary occasion, the Yorkshire Playhouse opted to stage her classic “whodunit?” installment: “The Mousetrap.”

As this title remains the longest running theatrical production in world history (still going strong 64 years later, 8 times a week in London), a more perfect celebration could not have been conjured.

This experience has proven to be a tour-de-force of sorts. Countless memories, the grooming of tomorrow’s generations, and breathing modern life into the beautifully mythic art has lent me—and all those participating—a rather incredible chapter. What seems on the surface to be another delightful community theatre production has, in fact, transformed into an all-encompassing experience audiences are sure to enjoy and remember.

Equal parts comedy and psychological thriller, this classic style murder-mystery brings us seven of the most quirky and untrustworthy characters one may find. In the middle of it all is a short-tempered inspector attempting to unearth the darkest deviant of the group. Bound to a countryside guest-house due to the worst blizzard in decades, the sleazily entertaining cast of characters struggle to find alliance with another who can be trusted. Packing a twist-ending that’s sure to leave most audience member's mouths agape, the suspense boils to a wonderfully crafted reveal, tying together loose ends for a family of the past torn apart and once forgotten. “The Mousetrap” is as enjoyable as it is the gold-standard of the “whodunit?” formula.

Alongside this timeless script sets a fantastically talented cohort of performers. Therein lies the serendipitous layers of childhood nostalgia and full-circle connectivity.

Some of my earliest and most fond memories of childhood were found in the early ‘90’s at the basement of the Legion Club watching late-night Yorkshire rehearsals. The versatile talents of Sue Roush (Mom) and Karla Ott consistently on full display, giving their all to the art they believed in and sharing it with the York community. Now, here we are! It’s my turn to direct these two lovely women in a show that continues to leave its mark on theatrical history.

For a young budding performer, my early teen years hit at a perfect time in York’s history. I was granted the opportunities to play leading roles in the Playhouse’s first two installments of the Summer Children’s Theatre Program. Through more than a decade of wonderfully-imagined shows, and more than 1,000 kids on stage, the Children’s Theatre remains a staple of summer fun, collaboration, and excellence in York. Making this endeavor all the more exciting is the presence of Connor Mogul, William Wilton, and Clare Wilton. All three of them—wildly talented in their young ages—are products of the Children’s Theatre work. Watching them grow into fine adult creatives, and blend beautifully with a cast comprised mostly of those in generations before, they’ve managed to hold their own and belong. I would also mention the amazing contributions of Emily Petersen, a fellow Children’s Theatre alumnus, growing a successful career in the community, a dependable YP board-member, and delightfully talented actress who takes on a leading role in this show.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, outside of the mind-bending-ending, is the arrival of YP newcomer, Theresa Christiansen. She’s proven to be a burst of theatrical energy and commander of the stage. I’m so grateful she finally crossed that threshold daring to audition. Hers is a presence that should most assuredly be seen often on our stage.

Lest we forget the remarkably talented backbone of the cast, C. Danielle Deal and Kelle Widger, who are regular and incredibly versatile ornaments of the YP stage. They bring a level of experience, chemistry, and powerful performances that spark a contagious spirit of fun.

As an individual that’s been involved with the Yorkshire Playhouse off-and-on in one capacity or another for the better part of sixteen years, it is indeed a treasure to be a part of this production, at this time, with these marvelous people.

Agatha Christie’s, “The Mousetrap”, is one-hundred-percent certified, grade A, high-quality art. The community of York will undoubtedly enjoy this venture thoroughly. A stamp on theatre history is being made, and it says:

The Yorkshire Playhouse – Connecting generations, and bringing you a memorable theatrical experience.

Grab your tickets, and come join us!

Mitchell Roush, Director

"The Mousetrap" Cast List

The cast of "The Mousetrap" at their first read through.  

The cast of "The Mousetrap" at their first read through.  

YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE’S PRODUCTION

OF

AGATHA CHRISTIE’S, “THE MOUSETRAP”

DIRECTOR…………………………………………………………………Mitchell Roush

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR………………………………………………….Danielle Berry-Massey

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT………………………………………………Holly Spencer

STAGE MANAGER………………………………………………………..Clare Wilton

CAST

MOLLIE RAULSTON……………………………………………………..Emily Petersen

GILES RAULSTON……………………………………………………….Conner Mogul

CHRISTOPHER WREN………………………………………………….William Wilton

MRS. BOYLE………………………………………………………………Sue Roush

MAJOR METCALF………………………………………………………..Karla Ott

MISS CASEWELL…………………………………………………………Kelle Widger

PARAVICINI………………………………………………………………..Theresa Christiansen

INSPECTOR TROTTER………………………………………………….C. Danielle Deal

 

Congratulations to the cast and thank you to all who auditioned!