The 2011-2012 Triumphant Season at Spokane Civic Theatre Has Come to a Close
It’s the end of the season as we know it, and we feel fine
Spokane Civic Theatre’s 2011-2012 Triumphant Season, our 65th season, is officially over, but we wanted look back at some of the highlights and backstage tidbits from the season. Along with Civic staff a few of the cast and crews from various productions weighed in. Mark Pleasant, who was fortunate (read: crazy) enough to be in 5 of the 6 shows on the Main Stage, also wanted to add a few snippets of “his” season at Spokane Civic Theatre.
Thoroughly Modern Millie
- One of the best scenes, in my opinion, was when Millie (Ashley Cooper) in Thoroughly Modern Millie is trying to be seductive and ends up doing the splits off of her desk instead. I couldn’t stop laughing as she did a funny little maneuver to get back up and still look suave.
- Mark, who played Trevor Graydon in this show, said that getting rolled out on that desk every night was a cool entrance. As a fun tidbit, he added that this particular desk was in all 5 of the shows that he was in this season.
A Christmas Carol
- One of the scariest moments of the season was in A Christmas Carol when the ghost of Jacob Marley (Brad Picard) came up through the stage, screaming and moaning. The little boy that was sitting next to me (a wiggler) suddenly grew very still and his eyes got big. It was adorable and showed just how convincing Brad’s performance was!
- Mark commented about A Christmas Carol by adding that Tommy Heppler was a brilliant Ebenezer Scrooge and that everyone should get a chance to act with him. Mark hadn’t planned to audition for this show, but he was glad he was able to play a role outside of his comfort zone as the Narrator.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
- Mark’s role as “Watchdog” Melvin P. Thorpe in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was the craziest costume. It was hard not to laugh when he came on the stage with the red, white, and blue shiny clothing with fringe, bedazzled gun holsters, and that white wig that almost looked like soft serve ice cream; it was a good thing he was trying to be funny!
- He added that working with Marianne McLaughlin on this show was a true pleasure. She allowed him to run wild with his role and we’d all like to thank her because it was a riot of a show!
The Count of Monte Cristo
- A lot of us hadn’t seen Peter Hardie act before he played Abbe Faria in The Count of Monte Cristo. His talent through acting and set design really brought nineteenth century France to life. We’re sad to see such a nice guy leave, but I’m sure we will see him appear around the theatre a lot more than we think. How can anyone stay away for long?
Duck Hunter Shoots Angel
- Duck Hunter Shoots Angel was both very touching and hilarious. We found it easy to understand and empathize with all the characters on their journeys to become something more. It had some of the most unforgettable lines of the season, such as “It’s end of the world thang – it’s Arma-getcha!” and “the wheel’s still turning but the hamster died, if you know what I mean.”
- Mark, playing Duane Early, had planned to take a break, but didn’t want to miss a chance to work with Kathie Doyle-Lipe when she was asked to replace the original director for the show. The icing on the cake for him was finally working with Doug Dawson, another one of our amazing local veterans on the Spokane Civic Theatre stage.
- Somebody mentioned that watching Sophia Caruso, who played the lead in Annie, on her journey to Broadway and the support of her mother was wonderful. Sophie is such a wonderfully talented girl that it’s no surprise she’s so close to the famous stage! We were fortunate enough to find another wonderfully talented girl, Quincy McFaul, to be her understudy, ensuring that the production would always be amazing. It was nice to see so many young people in the audience as well, giving them the Theatre bug early on!
- For Mark, playing Daddy Warbucks meant the most of all his roles this season. It was a privilege to work with the amazing Yvonne AK Johnson and the greatest Annie ever, Sophia. He had a ball with the cast, especially Andrea Dawson, Michael Muzatko, Phedre Burney, and Angela Pierson.
- During Annie, did you ever notice Mark trying not to smile and wonder what was so funny during such serious moments? Well, it turns out some of his fellow actors, to remain nameless as promised, may have been distracting him from the wings.
Of course the Main Stage houses only part of the productions at Spokane Civic Theatre. Here are some highlights from the Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre:
Turn of the Screw
- Turn of the Screw, by far the most chilling story I’ve seen so far, was a cast of two: Doug Dawson, a veteran, and Laticia Widman, who had never been in a show at Spokane Civic Theatre before. Laticia was very convincing as the Governess and Doug was excellent playing so many different roles without props. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one spooked for a few days after seeing the show. It was an excellent choice to take to the Kaleidoscope 2013 State Theatre Festival this February!
- Catfish Moon was Chris Wooley’s directorial debut. Tia, his mother, mentioned that her motherly pride was blooming big and this was definitely a highlight for her. It was a beautiful show, with both happy and sad moments, and I don’t think anything could have been done to make it better.
- Also worth mentioning is the set for Catfish Moon, which was wonderfully designed and beautiful, especially with the trick board that needed to fall away as part of the show.
- BINGO was especially fun because the audience got to take a huge part in it. Not only did we get to play and win prizes, but some of us were called on by the cast unexpectedly as well. When Janice Abramson, playing Bernice, jumps onto one of the tables in front of you, it’s sure to get your heart racing.
- The very idea of Premiere! was amazing: can someone fake a Shakespeare play and be taken seriously by the theatre community? Of course, the cast did an amazing job going through all of the emotions caused by the aftermath of this deception.
Of course the camaraderie of the theatre, as mentioned by both Mark and Tia Wooley, whose family is a huge part of Spokane Civic Theatre, is one of the most important connections we can have as a community. I’m sure that I’m not the only person who views Civic as a home away from home and the people there are as much a part of my family as those related to me by blood. As Mark said, let’s keep looking forward to the 2012-2013 Season to Inspire and we’ll see you at the theatre!