This summer’s theatre warms up with auditions, productions

Photo: J. Gary Thompson (left) and Annie Pesch in Young at Heart Players’ ‘First Kisses,’ at Dayton Playhouse June 2–4 and 9–11

By Jacqui Theobald

Audition for FutureFest at the Playhouse, May 29 and 30

Now in its 27th year, FutureFest has set the auditions for six never-before-produced plays selected from hundreds of new scripts submitted the past year from across the nation. Three will be presented fully staged with auditions at 7 p.m. Monday at the Dayton Playhouse.

Three will be presented as staged readings, with auditions at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Playhouse. The six plays will be performed in an order to be announced later, over the weekend of July 21–23: one Friday night, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday.

Five professional adjudicators from theatres across the country will offer critiques. The audience is given time to ask questions and offer comments on the scripts. Previous adjudicators have recognized Dayton and its theatre lovers as remarkably astute and knowledgeable.

In total, nearly 40 actors are required, male and female, white and black, though most roles are not specified by race. The age range is quite broad, from an 8-year-old boy to a male and two females in their 80s, as well as several teens and many other varied ages. Some in various casts will play double roles.

Dayton Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton. Auditions start at 7 p.m. For more information, please visit

A complete listing of plays with brief plot descriptions will be featured in June’s On Stage.


Young at Heart Players present ‘First Kisses,’ June 2–4, 9–11

“First Kisses” is a love story of one couple over 60 years by Jay Hanagan. It features Annie Pesch and J. Gary Thompson, who will age on-stage at the Dayton Playhouse with the Young at Heart Players. Both are talented, versatile actors. It’s magic.

Dayton Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton. June 2–3 and 9–10 shows start at 8 p.m.; June 4 and 11 shows start at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, please call Fran Pesch at 937.654.0400 or visit 


The Human Race Theatre’s ‘Family Ties,’ June 1–25

Many will remember with great fondness—or not—the ’80s TV show Family Ties with Michael J. Fox as Alex Keaton, the very conservative son of hippie parents. Ever wonder what became of the young idealist? Playwright Daniel Goldstein and his team have chosen Dayton’s professional Equity theatre, The Human Race, for the regional premiere of a new play that will bring us up to date, probably with a set of newly imagined paradoxes. There’s an all-star professional cast.

The Human Race Theatre is located at 126 N. Main St. in downtown Dayton. For tickets or more information, please call Ticket Center Stage at 937.228.3630 or visit

For the review of ‘Family Ties,’ please pick up DCP the week of June 6.


Michael Bashaw’s ‘Theatre of Sound’ at the Theatre Guild, June 9 and 10

It’s been 10 years since Bashaw has presented his “sound sculpture” concerts in the area. He’s joined by Sandy Bashaw, John Taylor, and Erich Reith, who make absolutely beautiful music together. They will be doing both older favorites from past concerts and several new “sound sculptures.”

Dayton Theatre Guild is located at 430 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. Concert starts at 8 p.m., doors at 7. General admission is $20.

For the full preview of ‘Theatre of Sound,’ please pick up DCP the week of June 6.


Richmond, Indiana Shakespeare Festival, June 16–July 1

As you make your summer theatre plans, here’s a possible adventure to create an afternoon and evening outing with variety. Enjoy the outdoors in Whitewater Gorge Park, select a Richmond restaurant from the many available, and, best of all, attend real Shakespeare in the Whitewater Gorge. The theatre is a covered though open building, protected but still rustic.

“I’m hoping we can become a destination, like Stratford or Ashland, Oregon,” Patrick Flick, producing artistic director, says ambitiously. The 2017 summer season, their fourth, offers alternate productions of “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” It’s definitely funny and full of Shakespearean misunderstanding, chases, Falstaff manipulation, and a happy ending. “Cymbeline,” a darker story, is less frequently produced. It has had recent presentations that seemed to help clarify the complicated plot, everything from fairy tale to gang warfare. It is both tragedy and comedy.

Two Equity actors head up the Richmond company. Joe Vincent has performed in all of Shakespeare’s plays except four and is delighted to be invited to play the king, Cymbeline. Saffron Henke will appear in both plays. A mix of professionals, local student actors, and experienced regional actors will complete the casts.

The area has ample parking and restrooms, is wheelchair accessible, and has trails linked to the Whitewater Gorge.

The theatre is located at the Starr-Gennett Factory Building in Whitewater Gorge Park, 201 S. First St. in Richmond, Indiana. For special packages including a catered picnic or more information, please visit 


Beavercreek Community Theatre’s Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical, June 16 –25

Chris Harmon directs the wild ride of Bonnie and Clyde and their love affair that takes them on disastrous adventures, descending from robbery to murder. The musical, with book by Ivan Menchell, music by Frank Wildhorn, and lyrics by Don Black, is catchy and includes elements of country and western, blues and pop. The effect is upscale, despite the violence that made Bonnie and Clyde Depression-era folk heroes.

Beavercreek Community Theatre is located in Lofino Senior Center, 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek. For more information, please call 937.429.4737 or visit

For the review of Bonnie & Clyde: The Musical, please pick up DCP the week of June 20.

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Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at

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