Tickets are now available online for the upcoming production by the Stony Point Players.
The Players will be presenting “Live and Local at the Charles: An Evening of Community Theatre,” on Thursday, June 30 and Saturday, July 2 at The Charles Theatre in Charles City. Thursday’s show will be at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s matinee will be at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.showtix4U.com. It is expected that there will still be some tickets available at the door on the days of the shows. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students.
The production will feature a collection of short plays all written by local playwright James Grob. The plays are being directed by Janiece Bergland and Tim Mitchell.
Mitchell said he was enjoying the unique opportunity to direct plays written by a local author.
“It is always great to support local artists,” Mitchell said. “Creativity has no geographical boundaries and quality art can be found in the most unlikely of places — even in small town Iowa.”
Bergland said she read some of Grob’s plays a couple of years ago and encouraged Grob to have them produced locally.
“It is extraordinary to have the opportunity to direct works by a playwright whom I know and whose work I respect,” Bergland said. “Ever since I learned of James Grob’s award winning plays, I urged him to have them presented locally. This year is now the time.”
Grob is a multiple award winner in newspaper, radio and other media while working in theater as a writer, actor and director in his spare time. He is fluent in all genres of playwriting and has had several of his plays produced all over the world, winning several regional and national awards.
Grob described the production as “an eclectic mix of short plays.” The individual plays run from about five minutes long to a little over 25 minutes.
“Some are comedy, some are drama,” Grob said. “If the production were a movie, it would probably get a PG-13 rating – some of the plays have adult themes and adult language.”
Grob has been a reporter, photographer and columnist for Enterprise Media newspapers since 2017, first for the New Hampton Tribune and Nashua Recorder, then beginning in 2018 for the Charles City Press.
He said he was looking forward to the interpretations of his work by the actors and directors.
“It will be so exciting to see them performed in person, and even more exciting that many of the actors will be my friends and members of my community,” Grob said.
Local volunteer actors cast in the short plays include Ginger Meyer, James Severin, Kaity Heckers, Lance Schreier, Holly Duffield, Jacob Diers, Griffin Franksain, DaShawn Griffin, Jodi Holschlag, Elissa Ellis, Erika Joiner, Nancy Western, Lynn Bauer, Tina Schmidt , Michelle Grob, Chris Cleveland, Yvonne Copper and Dani Cavanaugh.
Bergland said the plays range from pure comedy to “heart-touching scenes of loss and love.” She said that the actors encompass a wide range of experience.
“Some are on stage for the first time,” she said. “Others will be familiar to local theater goers.”
Lights and sound will be run by Hannah DeVore, while Addison Tracey is the backstage manager and Bergland has designed and painted the sets and backdrops.
The production will be performed at the Charles Theatre, now that the auditorium at the North Grand Building is under private ownership.
Mitchell said the Stony Point Players were grateful for the opportunity to use the historic local venue this summer.
“We are fortunate to have a facility available such as the Charles to produce very small scale productions during this time of flux while working toward a more permanent solution,” Mitchell said. “It is not an ideal situation for either the Charles or Stony Point, as compromises are needed to be made on both ends to make this work. We are thankful for the efforts of all involved.”
Bergland said it was exciting to be back on the stage at the Charles, and she was pleased to be downtown during Charles City’s Fourth of July weekend celebration. She called the theater’s staff “accommodating and supportive.”
“Over the years many plays and live performances have been held there,” said Bergland, who added that her last experience directing at the Charles was, “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” a Stony Point musical production. “The venue is ideal for smaller productions, with comfortable seating and air conditioning.”
Bergland said that she is delighted to be working with Mitchell, who is a former student of hers and has a wide range of experience as a choral and theater director.
“His portrayal of Ben Franklin in the two productions of 1776, which I directed here, for those who attended it, was unforgettable,” Bergland said. “He brings knowledge and a depth of experience to our collaboration.”
Mitchell said that theater-goers will be treated to “top-notch, quality entertainment.”
“There is such a wide variety of emotions and subjects in this evening of short plays,” Mitchell said. “We get to explore a large variety of the human experience and emotion.”