Shows to see, auditions to try and classes to take

By Jacqui Theobald

Photo: The cast of “Expecting Isabel;” Front row [l to r]: Rachel Wilson and Angela Timpone; Back row [l to r]: Rick Flynn, Dorothy Michalski, Ellen Ballerene, Joshua Lisec and Amy Taint; photo: K. L. Storer

“Hamlet” at Playhouse South

Shakespeare’s so-called perfect play, “Hamlet” is about to spend some time in the Miami Valley. Playhouse South will perform the classic, beginning Friday, Feb. 28 for two weekends through Saturday, March 8. Director Jen Skudlarek has chosen to present the well known story in modern dress on a simple set, while being absolutely true to the Bard’s words, somewhat abbreviated for length. Running time is about two and a half hours, to accommodate our contemporary attention spans.

All the components of tragedy are in place, including murder and revenge, misunderstandings and accusations, madness and suicide and fate decided by duel. Advanced placement high school students do the reading, and Playhouse South will do its part to support education by offering nicely reduced student group rates.

Alex Chilton carries the heavy load of the title character – a role and a play he said has been a favorite since high school. “As I explore Hamlet now, I’m discovering he’s so much more than I thought,” Chilton said. “All the contradictions are so open to interpretation.”

Chilton is a University of Dayton student and was seen there in director Tony Dallas’ recent production of “Antigone” as Creon. Chilton, like Sudlarek, praised his fellow cast members, appreciating their willingness to explore and open themselves to the many dimensions of the troubled characters.

Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, is played by Joann Valley, a native of Trinidad and classically trained. Chilton noted how much he appreciates the rehearsal process with her and others in the large cast, as they grow together.


Playhouse South performs “Hamlet” for two weekends through Saturday, March 8. Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 p.m. There will be a Sunday matinee March 2 at 2 p.m. All performances are in the Clark Haines Theatre in the Barnes Board of Education Building, 3750 Far Hills Avenue, Kettering. For tickets and information, please call 888.262.3792 or visit playhousesouth.org.


“Expecting Isabel” at Dayton Theatre Guild

If you have ever known or been a couple dealing with the challenge of infertility, you will recognize the ups and downs of dealing with family, doctors and others who can make a couple feel their life is not their own. Opening February 28 for a three weekend run through March 16, “Expecting Isabel” is a contemporary play by Lisa Loomer. She begins with comedic highs and, in the second act when Nick and Miranda try to adopt, darker lows. The playwright has won several prizes including a Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play, “Isabel,” of 1999.

Rachel Wilson plays reluctant Miranda, with an alcoholic waspy mom; Shawn Hooks is Nick, from a warm, working-class Italian family. Many other characters are done by an ensemble of Amy Taint, Dorothy Michalski, Rick Flynn, Joshua Lisec, Angele Price and Ellen Ballerene, with Angela Timpone as Isabel. Robb Willoughby directs.


Dayton Theatre Guild presents “Expecting Isabel” for three weekends through Sunday, March 16. Friday and Saturday shows for the first weekend are at 8 p.m., and 3 p.m. Sunday. The second and third weekends open Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at 430 Wayne Ave. For more information, please call 937.278.5993 or visit daytontheatreguild.org.


Classes for adults and girls 8 to 12 offered by the Human Race Theatre Company

Taught by professionals, including three from Human Race, spring classes will be held during March and April.

Acting Basics runs Monday nights, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for six weeks from March 3 to April 7. Kay Bosse will teach the craft of acting and auditioning with personal attention on individual interests. $150

Playwriting II runs for eight weeks on Saturdays, March 8 through April 26 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Playwright Michael M. London promises a focus on building a play with “a lot of writing, thinking, support, laughter and tasty food breaks” Prerequisite: Playwriting Level I or permission from the instructor. $200

Reading Music runs five Saturdays from March 29 through April 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., taught by Scott Stoney. He helps would-be singers identify notes by numbers and takes the mystery out of intervals, chords and even keys. He promises a “bit of homework” each week. $120

For Girls 8 to 12

Becoming Annie by learning three of the enduring songs from this musical theater favorite is the focus of this class, which runs four Saturdays from March 1 through 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. Katie Pees provides the vocal coaching and works on dance techniques and character development. The last day of class is a sharing session. $120

Becoming Cinderella has a similar focus on the techniques of learning to “become a believable princess,” taught by Kandis Wean. Students will also perform a short show for parents and guests the last day of class. The five sessions run all Saturdays in April through May 3 from 10:30 to noon. $110


All classes are at the Phillips Creativity Center at 116 N. Jefferson St. Registration is required one week before the first class. For more information including registration and possible scholarships, please call Education Director Marilyn Klaben at 937.461.3823 ext. 3132, email Marilyn@humanracetheatre.org, or visit humanracetheatre.org.


Two different auditions

Feb. 25 at Dayton Playhouse

“Oklahoma” – Come sing and dance a bit to show what you can do in this 1944 nostalgic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Brian Sharp directs. Auditions are at 7 p.m. at Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. Nine women and 14 men, ages 16 and up needed. For more information, please visit daytonplayhouse.com.

March 3 and 4 at the Dayton Theatre Guild

“An Inspector Calls,” also a mid-’40s original, requires four men and three women ages 20 to 50. Director David Shough says he would “like to see something of your ability to create a character,” from 7 – 9:30 p.m., 430 Wayne Ave. For specific descriptions and details, please visit daytontheatreguild.org.


Reach DCP freelance writer Jacqui Theobald at JacquiTheobald@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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

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