Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Foreigner Student Show

All tickets for tomorrow's show (April 1) are $10. Don't miss out on seeing this fun comedy by Larry Shue. Seating is also available for our other shows as well if you can't come this Thursday.
Go to to order now.

Ellard (Jouni Kirjoli) and Charlie (Michael Bishop) having an entertaining breakfast in this fun comedy.

Dracula Filming - Food Needs

Imagination Theater in partnership with Porter Media Group and Nicknig Films are seeking donation for the following items to feed the cast and crew while filming in El Dorado County April 24th and 25th. A local chef Kevin O’Connor has generously agreed to donate his culinary expertise to plan and serve the meals. Please contact Lanny at 530-903-6361 to coordinate your donation:

List of Items:

1. Apple juice – 3 containers

Snack provisions:
1. Fresh fruit – 3 bunches of bananas, 2 bags of apples 2 bags or oranges and 3 bunches of green grapes
2. Nuts - 3 canisters of mixed nuts
3. Bagels – 3 dozen
4. Cream cheese – 3 large containers
5. Red vines – 2 canisters
6. Beef Jerky – 3 bags
7. Cookies – 3 dozen
8. Chips – 3 bags
9. Pretzels – 2 bags

Dinner items for meals:

Saturday night meal – 50 people
1. Ground beef 12.5 lbs
2. Taco size flour tortilla's (100 count)
3. Refried beans (vegetarian) 8 30oz cans
4. Cheese 2 bags of cheese
5. Spanish rice 16 boxes
6. Green salad 3 bags of lettuce
7. Sour cream 2 24oz tubs
8. Tortilla Chips 4 22oz bags
9. Salsa 2 70oz jars

Sunday night meal – 65 people
1. 40 Chicken breast boneless skinless
2. 5 boxes 16 oz Penne Pasta
3. Asparagus – 6 bunches
4. 10oz heavy cream
5. 4 yeast packets
6. 17 oz bottle of olive oil
7. 4 bags of flour
8. 4 bags of mixed greens

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Foreigner Opens Friday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m.

Get your tickets at or pay at the door. Plenty of seats available for this weekend's matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The box office opens a half an hour in advance of the show.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Foreigner -- Further Study (for students)

  • Many critics of The Foreigner imply that the play has only “commercial” appeal, that it is not much different from the typical television sitcom. Compare Shue’s play with one or more of your favorite television sitcoms and argue for or against this assertion.

  • Some critics of The Foreigner claim that the play reduces southerners to “politically incorrect” stereotypes. Investigate the way southerners are portrayed in both serious literature and in popular entertainment, comparing these treatments with Shue’s portrayal of Betty, Catherine, Ellard, David Lee, and Owen.

  • Research the history of the Ku Klux Klan in America and describe in detail the status and activity of the Klan in America in the early- 1980s.

  • Klanwatch, a branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has monitored Klan and other hate group activity since 1981. By the late- 1990s, Klanwatch was aware of over 400 racist and neoNazi hate groups in America as well as 500 “militia” groups. Research this explosion of hate-group activities in America in the latter half of the twentieth century and discuss whether a comedy like The Foreigner can hope to ameliorate such a social problem.

  • Research the psychological condition of shyness, bashfulness, or timidity. What causes it in real life? How does overcoming real-life shyness compare with Charlie’s triumph over shyness in The Foreigner?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

About the play, The Foreigner


The Foreigner was first produced at the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Repertory Theatre in January of 1983, and the boisterous laughter it created there made the play an enormous local success. Named by the American Theatre Critics Association as one of the best regional theatre plays for the 1983-1984 season, The Foreigner was subsequently produced Off-Broadway in November of 1984 at the Astor Place Theatre in New York City. Lukewarm responses from the critics failed to quench the play’s enormous audience appeal, and as Laurie Winer reported in a 1988 New York Times article, “one of the few Off Broadway plays to overcome negative reviews, The Foreigner played 685 performances and fully recouped its $250, 000 investment.”

Because of the extraordinary commercial success of The Foreigner, Shue’s other plays came to the attention of American theatre companies. His earlier farce, The Nerd, had gone from its successful Milwaukee production in 1981 to similarly successful productions in England. It played in Manchester in 1982 and at the Aldwych Theatre in London in 1984, where it earned more money than any other American play on the West End. Two years after Shue’s death, in 1987, The Nerd was produced on Broadway, and eventually his more serious play, Wenceslas Square (1984), became popular as well. These plays are now staples of university, regional, and community theatres all over America.

In 1980, Shue studied with a theatre company in Japan. He developed the central idea for The Foreigner when he discovered that the Japanese would tolerate even his most bizarre behavior (because he was unaware of Japanese social customs), dismissing his inappropriate actions as the conduct of an outsider. The Foreigner remains Shue’s most highly regarded work and is considered the most perfectly realized of his plays.

More about the background of the author and his death in a plane crash here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meet the Stage Manager for The Foreigner

Adeline Penn has been enthralled by all things theater since she was a child. She has a B.A. in Theater Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University including an apprenticeship at Falmouth Playhouse where she worked with such theater luminaries as Eli Wallach, Donald O’Connor, John Travolta and Tennessee Williams. Following graduation Adeline was stage manager for a small theater in northern Ohio before sidestepping into a career in radio in Virginia. When not on the air she participated in local community theater in several roles as well as stage managing a number of productions. Another side step brought her to California where she took a long break from theater to perfect her alpine skiing, marry a ski patrolman, and raise a family. After supporting Imagination Theater for many years as a patron, Adeline was happy to return to active participation with a couple of small roles and as part of the backstage crew in The Wizard of Oz. She is looking forward to her role as a Nosferatu in the upcoming production of Dracula. Adeline thanks her children Joseph and Jackie for their love and support. Most of all, she thanks her husband Paul for his patience, encouragement, and love.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Meet "Froggy" from The Foreigner

Richard (Rick) Gaylord (Staff Sergeant Froggy Lesueur)

Rick is delighted to be performing the role of Froggy LeSueur in this, his favorite play with this very talented cast. Live performing is one of Rick’s oldest memories as he began singing in church choirs about 1957. His first acting role (1980) was in San Jose Civic Light Opera’s Paint Your Wagon as Pete. A telephone technician since 1972 (Owner of Rick Gaylord’s TeleFIX) Rick has appeared in over 45 community theater plays and as lead performer in over 10 of those and has occasionally shared the stage with professionals such as Noel Harrison and Jed Allen.

In film, Rick was the lead actor for Bryan Darling’s short film, Catharsis and was the Casting Consultant for one of Bryan’s more recent projects, Lily. In video, Rick sold commercial advertising and performed on both sides of the camera for scores of El Dorado County television commercials, many including Rick's voice-overs. Rick was also producer and editor for a 30 minute video documentary about the local movie Mistaken by Mike Turney.

Rick’s favorite stage role was Charlie in Theatre El Dorado's 1997 production of The Foreigner and his more recent efforts include Greater Tuna (7 males, 2 females & 1 dog) Godspell (John the Baptist & Judas), Big River (the Duke), Music Man (Marcellus Washburn), A Christmas Carol twice (once as Bob Cratchit & once as Scrooge) and Anything Goes (Billy). Rick's award winning roles were Ali Hakim in Oklahoma and the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

Comedy is Rick’s favorite (and most challenging) performing genre leading him to coin the phrase “levity is the only way to fly”. Rick is a private pilot and a grandfather of five, who is very grateful for his family and especially his wife, Marsha, for her continued support.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meet "Betty" from The Foreigner Cast

Linda Wolfe (Betty Meeks)

The Foreigner marks Linda Wolfe’s return to the IT stage after 6 years. She has been active in theater since the age of 10. As an adult, some of Linda’s favorite roles have been Lady Macbeth in Macbeth in Juneau, Alaska, The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz at Theater El Dorado in 1999, and M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias at Imagination Theater in 2004. Linda has also assistant directed several shows at TED and IT, including The Foreigner in 1997, Meet Me in St. Louis in 1998, and Breaking Legs in 2007. Linda teaches at Charles Brown Elementary School and coaches their Oral Interpretation team. She would like to thank her husband, Peter, for his support and their shared love of theater, and her children, Brian and Sarah. Special thanks to daughter, Sarah, for her professional makeup design for Betty. She also thanks Lanny Langston for letting her play this spunky old lady and the awesome Foreigner cast for an amazing ensemble experience. Finally, Linda would like to give a big ol’ southern hug to Larin Hinson, Betsy Hawkins, and Paula Deen (on the Food Network) for their dialect coaching!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Meet "Owen" from The Foreigner

Grant Stellflug (Owen Musser)
After living and working in different spots throughout the country, Grant is excited to be back in his hometown and acting again. In 1996, Grant was cast in Godspell. Since then he has been fortunate to be part of quite a few wonderful shows, playing roles ranging from the twisted, nitrous huffing dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, to being on trial for murdering a fellow marine in A Few Good Men. We last saw Grant as a Marine Corps Captain looking for bad guys in Imagination Theater’s production of The Amorous Ambassador. When not building a set or memorizing lines, you’ll likely find Grant glued to his Playstation 3 or watching some gruesome B rated horror movie. He has been fortunate during The Foreigner to work with such a great cast and crew and he looks forward to his next opportunity with Imagination Theater!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Meet "Catherine" from The Foreigner Cast

Jessicah Neufeld (Catherine Simms)
Jessica is overjoyed to make The Foreigner her debut performance with Imagination Theater. She was raised in the hills of Somerset, just east of Placerville, but was too intimidated while growing up to audition for any of ITs productions. Currently she is living, working, going to school, and working on stage and film in Sacramento. Her past highlights include Keely and Du (Keely), The Three Musketeers (Constance), and Angel Street (Nancy). She is also delighted to play Lucy Westenra in the IT! and Porter Media Group production of Dracula this October. Next spring, she is moving to San Francisco to pursue a BFA in Theatre. She thanks Lanny for embracing her in the IT! family, her pragmatically supportive parents, Glenn and Joyce, and her everyday cheerleader, David. She couldn't do it without them!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meet "Ellard" from The Foreigner Cast

Jouni Kirjola (Ellard Simms)
Jouni has been performing for local audiences for the past 15 years. He serves as Drama & Creative Arts Director for Green Valley Community Church and was most recently seen as Mr. Flintwell in GVCC’s original production The Christmas Special. Jouni has written, directed, and acted in all of the Green Valley musicals since 1994. Although he has mostly performed in original productions, he has also been seen locally in productions of Charlie’s Aunt, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Besides stepping into the part of Ellard, Jouni is also currently preparing for a 2nd year overseeing GVCC’s successful dinner theater, which opens in May. Regarding The Foreigner, Jouni thanks Lanny for his stellar leadership and guidance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet "Rev. David" of The Foreigner

Ben Miller (Reverend David Marshall Lee)
Ben is happy to be making his return to this theater after nine years. During this time, he performed with a comedy troupe called I Can’t Believe Its Not Comedy which performed in Sacramento and several other cities including Los Angeles and Phoenix. Ben’s most recent performance was in Main Street Theater Works’ Three Musketeers. He would like to dedicate his performance to his Grandpa.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meet "Charlie" from The Foreigner Cast

Michael Bishop (Charlie Baker) – Born and bred in England and now a resident of Northern California, Michael has enjoyed dressing up and performing since the age of three. He was last seen on stage acting out the part(s) of the frazzled stage manager and understudy, Tim Allgood, in Chautauqua Playhouse’s energetic 2008 comedy production of Noises Off! Outside the Sacramento area, Michael has performed a number of Shakespeare character roles including the Duke in As You Like It, Horatio in Hamlet, the Fool in an audio recording of King Lear, and a personal favorite, Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Working with a small ensemble led by his friend, New York-based actor and director Andre Bolouri, Michael has performed in modern stage adaptations of classic tales ranging from a rapid-fire, five person rework of Shakespeare’s Tempest to the lead role in Quetzlcoatl, the Legend of the Feathered Serpent. His most dramatic memory is playing the part of Socrates in a vivid presentation of the Trial of Socrates publicly re-enacted at the ancient Theatre of Dionysus beneath the Acropolis in Athens.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grease is the Word! Audition Information

Sunday, March 21st-7:00-9:00PM (New Date)
Anyone who is interested is invited to come sing the songs from Grease at the first rehearsal of the "Fuzzy Dice." This is the band that will be playing the rehearsals and performances of the show. This sing-a-long is just an opportunity to sing the songs, get in the rock-and-roll mood, and have fun with the music. Anyone, regardless of age, or whether they are actually going to audition for the show is encouraged to participate. No preparation is necessary... this is not an audition. Lyrics sheets will be provided.

Monday, April 5th, 6:30-9:00pm
at Vanessa's Foothill Dance Studio in Shingle Springs. Participation in this audition is required for ALL ROLES in Grease. Please be prompt. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing and jazz or character shoes if you have theme. Auditioners will learn simple combinations and jitterbug steps.

Saturday, April 10th, 9:00am-1:00 pm
This will be the general audition for all roles. (Parking in above lot due to Kids' Expo)
Those interested in being a Doo Wop singer must come to this audition.

Singing Requirements:
All Auditioners will be required to sing a rock-and-roll type song and provide their own karaoke backing CD. An audition accompanist will not be provided. Auditioners being considered for lead roles by the Directors may be asked to also sing a song from the show with the live band that will be provided. Lyrics for the songs from the show will be provided at the audition.

Reading and Improvisation:
Auditioners will be asked to do cold readings from the script and group improvisations.

Partner Dancing:
If time permits, auditioners will participate in jitterbug partner dancing exercises. All auditioners should therefore wear loos-fitting comfortable clothing and suitable dancing shoes... no sandals or bare-feet!

Sunday, April 11th, 6:00-9:00PM.

This will be the CALL-BACK AUDITION for all roles. Due to the anticipated large number of auditioners, this Call-Back Audition is likely to be required for some, and maybe all, of the auditioners--- so all auditioners are asked to remain available.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fabulous 50's Fundraiser Coming This August

Get out your poodle skirts, your bowling shirts, and mark your calendar now for Imagination Theater’s 3rd Annual Silent and Live Auction Fundraiser on Friday, August 20. Don’t miss out on this fun event!

We are looking for volunteers to help before and/or during the event. This includes decorating, putting together gift baskets, sound and lighting, registration and check out etc. If you want to help with this event or have something you wish to donate, please give Lanny a call at 530-642-0404 or 530-903-6361. Keep live theater in our community!

Monday, March 1, 2010

2011 IT! Musical QUILTERS Stitches Past to Present

An old friend is returning to town. The musical Quilters, originally presented in Placerville in 1987, will be back in March, 2011 as a production of Imagination Theater, in conjunction with Ensemble Theatre Company. The director, Chrissie Addison, was in the original cast and can’t wait to share her new vision of this regional theatre favorite. Written by Barbara Damashek and Molly Newman, Quilters is the story of the courageous women who moved west to help settle this country, recording “the pieces of their lives” through the work of their hands. Their quilt blocks are first presented individually to represent episodes in their lives; the blocks eventually form a quilt that combines all of their stories into one.

In the 1987 production, construction of the various quilt blocks was done by local quilters, who donated their time. Chrissie intends to again tap into this rich source of talent for the quilts, but she wants to add another element. Since the finished quilt is called the “legacy” quilt, Chrissie wants it to be made from donated fabric. If someone has a favorite scrap of cotton (or other soft, non-synthetic fabric), that they would be willing to part with, she hopes they will let it be used for the construction of the quilts. Donated materials could be yardage, but it could also be skirts, tablecloths, aprons, or anything that could be cut up and re-used. Just as women of the prairie did, today’s quilters will be stitching together used fabric which is not only “green,” but authentic in living history.

Even though auditions are not until late October, Chrissie and her staff are already hard at work on all that goes into mounting a major musical. They would like to begin collecting fabric on March 15th, so the quilting volunteers have plenty of time for their creations. Collection will continue until there is enough fabric for the quilts needed. Fabric can be dropped off at the Imagination Theater office or at the Mountain Democrat on Main Street in Placerville. What’s more, if there is a story behind the fabric donated, please share that, too, by including a short note. For more information, or if you’d like to volunteer to work on Quilters, email Chrissie Addison at