On Stage

Openings, premiers and summer camp – oh my!

By Jacqui Theobald
Photo: Children in the 2013 Human Race Theatre Company summer camp perform “The Wizard of Oz”


If you happen to be turning f-f-f-fifty in 2014, The Xenia Area Community Theater, X*ACT has a birthday special just for you. If you’ve already had that celebration, you’ll recognize the emotions that go along with the magic number. If the thought of half a century isn’t looming, but lurks somewhere in the future, you can relax and laugh at those foolish folks. But watch out, it’ll get to you before you know it. The play is “The Big Five-Oh” by Brian Mitchell, directed by Al Yarcho.

Is life better after fifty? If your dog is sick, your kid’s a slacker and your daughter wants to marry a Republican, you may relate to George Thomas – the hero of this play. The poor man has to deal with a neurotic wife, the challenges of family life and hearing the results of his physical. Is he ready to be a grown up?

The Opening Night Gala is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, with a variety of wines from local growers Caesar Creek Vineyards. They are relieved the recent frigid winter didn’t harm their vines as it did others. The play, but not the wine, will be presented Saturday, May 31, Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees June 1 and 8 are at 3 p.m. Call 937.372.0516 or go to XeniaACT.org for reservations and information about those birthday specials.



What could be more fun for kids who love or lean toward the dramatic than the gift of working with the educators of the Human Race Theatre Company this summer? A two-week program will feature how-to-do-it from auditions to applause and everything in between. Jena Rebbin Shaw will make it fun and sneak in that educational part – painlessly. This year’s play is “Snow Queen” by Dayton area playwright Stacey Lane.

In the spirit of providing a total arts experience, The Summer Stock Kids will get to go to K-12 Gallery and, with their staff, use visual art materials to create costumes and props. Education Director Marilyn Klaben said this is the third year of this partnership.

“In return, we invite the K-12 kids to our dress rehearsal on the last Friday of our program,” Klaben said.

Registration Closes June 2.

Camp dates are Monday through Friday for two weeks, June 9 to 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with two performances on June 21. Classes and performances are at the Caryl D. Philips Creativity center, 116 N. Jefferson St. The fee is $395. A few scholarships are available. For registration and more information, please call Marilyn Klaben at 937.461.3823, ext. 3132, email Marilyn@humanracetheatre.org or visit humanracetheatre.org/summerstock.



Mayhem and Mystery, performing throughout the year on Monday nights at the Spaghetti Warehouse, works hard to keep its original plays fresh. Running Sunday, May 25 through Monday, June 30 (no show June 9), this summertime offering is “Take a Stab at Stand-up.” Writers and performers Tamra and Jerry Francis invite audience members to try a hand at standup as part of the show. Family-friendly jokes are encouraged. The cast includes John Hambrick and Judy Shaw. The plot revolves around a Hilarious Humorists Open Mic Contest that may prove to be quite hazardous to certain participants. Cost is $25.95 per person for dinner and Mystery Show; tax and tip not included. For reservations, please call 937.461.3913. For more information, please visit mayhemmystery.com.



“Play It by Heart,” the scheduled regional premiere by The Human Race Theatre Company, has already been extended to run Thursday, June 12 through Sunday, July 6.

“It’s a perfect way to celebrate America’s music,” Steven Box, Human Race marketing and communications director of said. Kevin Moore will direct the play by Pulitzer and Tony winner Brian Yorkey, (“Next to Normal” and current Broadway hit “If/Then”). With a 10-person cast and a six person music group, it boasts an original score referencing the Nashville Sound to New Country. Nils-Petter Ankarblom is musical director. For ticket information, please call Ticket Center Stage at 937.228.3630 or visit humanracetheatre.org.



FutureFest, Dayton Playhouse’s summer new script extravaganza will be Friday, July 25 to Sunday, July 27. Passes will be $95 for the six shows, opening and closing festivities beginning Wednesday, June 11. Individual show tickets, $18 each on sale July 1.

The finalists have been chosen and include playwright M. J. Feely, a previous five-time finalist, who this year has two plays of the final six, “Masterwork” and “The Paymaster,” and finalists “Sugarhill” by Linda Ramsay-Detherage, “The Killing Jar” by Jennifer Lynne Roberts, “Wash, Dry, Fold” by Nedra Pezold Roberts (previous semi-finalist) and “The Humanist” by Kuros Charney (previous semi-finalist). Over 150 submissions were received, narrowed to 12 by First Readers, with a different committee selecting the final six plays, all blind submissions.



Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m. audition for all new plays at the Dayton Playhouse. FutureFest Program Director Fran Pesch invites applicants for production staff to contact her at fpesch3@hotmail.com. 



Town Hall Theatre wants to HIRE a Production Stage Manager, a Scene Painter, a Shop Carpenter and Backstage Run Crew. Call Mark Metzger, managing artistic director at 937.432.2830 or write mmetzger@townhalltheatre.org.


Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP theatre critic Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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