Monday, July 26, 2010

Imagination Theater Presents Third Annual Silent/Live Auction

Imagination Theater will present its third annual silent and live auction, “An Affair to Remember,” on Friday, August 20, 2010 at Imagination Theater and the adjoining Organ Room on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. The fundraising event will begin at 6:00 P.M. Advanced tickets for $20.00 are on sale by phone (530) 642-0404 or online. Tickets will be $25.00 at the door on the night of the event. Proceeds will help fund upcoming productions at Imagination Theater.

This year’s theme for “An Affair to Remember” is rock and roll in the fabulous 1950’s, in honor of IT’s upcoming winter holiday production, Grease. Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to come dressed in 50’s style.

In addition to the silent and live auction and raffle, there will be delicious food provided by Café Sierra and Rescue Catering. The Candy Strike will delight attendees with a chocolate fountain and miniature fudge-filled ice cream cones. Wine from Boeger, Madroña, and Colibri Ridge wineries will be available, along with beer from Placerville Brewing Company, Old Hangtown Beer Works, Jack Russell Brewing Company, and the Wheat Bear Company. Soda, coffee, tea and water will also be provided.

Jeff Lathrop will return as the popular Master of Ceremonies for the live auction. Among the live auction items is a portable beer/party wagon suitable for any occasion, getaway weekends to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, a 3-night stay in Ashland, Oregon (includes dinner, play, and backstage tour), and a five nights stay in an ocean front condo in Cabo San Lucas. There will be many silent auction items also available for bidding from local businesses.

This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy a fun evening out and do some early holiday shopping, while supporting Imagination Theater’s high-quality live productions. Imagination Theater is a 501.3(c) non-profit corporation. For further information and to purchase advance tickets contact the box office at (530) 642-0404.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just a sneak peak of fundraiser items. . .

Hey blog readers,

Here is just a sampling of some of the items for the silent auction portion of our Fabulous 50's FUNdraiser coming up on Friday, August 20 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $20 or at the door for $25. Please come out to support the theater and share a fun evening with friends.

Margarita Basket
Wine Lover's Basket
Grease Basket
Dracula Basket
Charlotte's Web Gift Basket
Family Movie Basket
Chick Flicks Movie Basket
Movie Basket for the Musical Lover
Wine and Chocolate Basket
Hawaiian Basket
Disney Basket
Golf Lover's Basket
Imagination Theater's 2011 Season Tickets for two

Customized Make Over by Cassandra's Esthetics
Inner Rhythms Massage
American River Massage
Massages by Stacey
Time Out Spa
Sundance Spa Package

Back 40 Texas BBQ Gift Certificate
Gift Certificate - Cascada
Gold Vine Grill Gift Certificate
DK Cellars Meritage & $25 Gift Certificate
Gift Basket - Boa Vista Orchards
Lunch for Two Gift Certificate - Powell's Steamer Co.

30 Minute Swim Lesson with Janine Joy of AquaSol Swim Team
2 Half Hour Vocal Training Sessions with Chrissie Addison
Astrology Reading with Jessica Logan

Gift Certificate - Placerville Bike Shop
Gift Certificate - Off Broadway
Gift Certificate - Empress
Gift Certificate - Crystal's
Fly Fishing Kit - Off the Hook
Pandora Bracelet and Charm - Randolph Jewelers
Turquoise & Mother of Pearl Watch - Mike Yurkovic
Hollywood Glamour Bedroom Set - Robinson's Pharmacy
Ceiling fan - Home Depot

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Mr. Kraler

Bob Steele (Mr. Kraler)

Recently retired as a high school teacher, Bob’s favorite subjects were U.S. and World History. This passion for history—especially civil rights, fuels his intense interest in Anne Frank’s narrative. He believes that history is more relevant when shared on a personal level, allowing the audience to empathize with the people and events of the time. This is Bob’s debut with Imagination Theater. When not rehearsing, he volunteers for El Dorado seniors.

Great Seats for Friday's Show, July 23

Come out on Friday night, July 23 to see The Diary of Anne Frank here at Imagination Theater.

There are some great seats waiting just for you. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. The box office and theater open at 6:30 p.m.

Bring a friend, bring a group! Come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Miep

Kristine Miranda (Miep)

Kristi, a junior at El Dorado High School, is honored to play Miep as she admires her willingness to risk her life for others. Kristi’s more recent theatrical experience include the EDHS productions of The Man Who Came to Dinner and Bye Bye Birdie. An IT! veteran, she’s played a Silly Girl in Beauty and the Beast as was recently cast as Frenchy in Grease, coming to IT! this December. She is thankful for her family’s support as she follows her dreams.

Next Show Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m.

"Kudos to the cast. It's always amazing to me that people I know (the actors) can make me believe they are someone else (the characters). Well done!"

"I am delighted to see that IT is producing this important play... especially in our current increasingly acrimonious civil climate. I have emailed my friends, encouraging them to attend"

(Sarah Erickson, as Anne, writes in her diary about her life in the attic)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Final Shows - The Diary of Anne Frank

Come join us for the final three shows of The Diary of Anne Frank.
  • Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m.
There are great seats available. All seats are $10. Tickets can be purchased by phone (530-642-0404), online, or at the door.

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Dr. Dussell

Paul Sobelman (Dr. Dussell)

Paul has over 15 years of experience at the theater. Initially working backstage and in the light booth for his son’s shows, he was “bitten by the acting bug” and has performed on stage here in The Music Man, Big River, Lil’ Abner, Godspell, and The Wizard of Oz. As a busy Family Practice doctor, it has been challenging to find the time for acting, but the thrill of performing makes the many hours and hard work worthwhile. He is enjoying the challenge of a more serious character in Anne Frank, and thanks his wife, Stephanie, for her support and encouragement.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Peter Van Daan

Garrett Hernandez (Peter Van Daan)

Garrett has been with IT! since he was nine and has always had a love for the theater. He appreciates showing the dramatic side of his acting skills with his character, Peter. The theater has taught him that you should always go for the goal—and even if you fail, you should always try again. He would like to move to the “big times” and become a “big time” actor,. He realizes it may take a lot of work, but he’s willing to do what it takes. “Hopefully, people won’t only choose me for my dashing good looks!”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Mrs. Van Daan

Kathleen Mini (Mrs. Van Daan)

Most recently, Kathleen was seen in IT’s production of Beauty and the Beast as Babette. In addition, she has appeared as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz and a wife in Lil’ Abner. Kathleen is the busy mother of two children who have also discovered the joy and fun of theater. She and her husband are owners of a personal fitness studio, Mini’s House of Pain. Kathleen also teaches Jazzercize in Shingle Springs. She would like to thank her husband and children for their loving support and give a standing ovation to her theater directors and mentors, Peter, Lanny, Elizabeth and Chrissie.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank - only six more shows!

Don't miss Imagination Theater's summer production, The Diary of Anne Frank, running through Saturday, July 24. Tickets are available online, by phone (530-642-0404), or at the door. Get reaquainted with Anne's story. All tickets are $10.00.

Friday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Located in the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Imagination Theater celebrates its' tenth anniversary bringing quality, live theater to Placerville and El Dorado County.

Meet the Anne Frank Cast - Mr. Van Daan

Joe Grady (Mr. Van Daan)

Prior to landing a role in Charlie’s Aunt in 1994, Joe’s last stage performance was in his school’s St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza in 1949. His excuse for the gap is that he is choosy about his roles! In the last fifteen years he has been in A Christmas Carol, Early One Evening at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, Into the Woods, Oliver, Sylvia, Death of a Salesman, Under the Milkwood, and Breaking Legs. If you look close enough, you may see his winning smile on the Black Oak Casino television commercial. He hopes that the audience comes away from the show with a renewed sense of empathy for all people who suffer and die as a result of intolerance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Anne Frank - Meet the Assistant Director

Elizabeth Zangari (Assistant Director)

Beth has been a part of IT! since 2004, when she appeared in the role of Mrs. Greer, the housekeeper in Annie. She has been involved in many aspects of the theater, from set construction to stage manager , and chorus to supporting roles as long as she can remember, even majoring in the theater arts in her first round of college. Her favorite past experiences include directing The Enchanted Adventures of Hansel and Grethel, playing Ethel Toffelmeyer in The Music Man, and cooking fried eggs and grits for The Foreigner. Beth is grateful to Peter Wolfe and Lanny Langston for taking a chance and giving her the opportunity to direct her own script. She looks forward to working with her husband in the upcoming production of Grease.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Anne Frank Cast - Margot

Angela Verzello (Margot Frank)

Angela has loved to act longer than she can remember. Her parents have told stories of her performances on the coffee table long before she could talk! Later, she began acting in school plays and community theater. She’s loved every minute of it. She has been in Can’t Take It With You, The Crucible, and Cyrano de Begeroc. Also involved at the Olde Coloma Theater, she played Fanny in Professor Phineas Philpott’s Fabulous Formula or A Dose of His Own Medicine and Honest in The Chinese Have a Word For It or As Confucius Say. . . “Fah Out!” This is her first production at IT!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anne Frank Cast - Edith Frank

Lori Whittle (Edith Frank)

Lori is new to the stage even though she grew up watching performances from the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, SF Ballet, and musicals on Broadway. Lori, herself participated in children’s dance recitals and high school and community productions. When she landed a part in IT’s The Wizard of Oz, she had so much fun she returned as stage manager for Beauty and the Beast. Last April, she dabbled in film work as script supervisor for Dracula. Those who know her find it surprising that she is acting in a dramatic production since she is typically the comic relief. She feels indebted to Peter Wolfe and Lanny Langston for letting her participate in many of their projects. She is also thankful for her husband’s patience and children’s support. “As a mother and laid-off teacher, participating in this production is my way of being part of something important.” I hope to honor those who perished in the holocaust by remembering them.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Anne Frank Animation Hopes to Reach New Audience

A graphic novel based on the diaries of Anne Frank was released Friday in the Netherlands. The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam said it is hoping the format will encourage more youngsters to discover Anne Frank's story. An English-language version of the graphic novel will be available in North America in September.

Frank is the young Jewish girl whose family spent two years in hiding in Amsterdam as the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. Just 13 when she and her family began living in a secret annex in a factory building, Anne kept a diary of her experience.

The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam said it hopes the graphic novel format will encourage more youngsters to discover Anne Frank's story. (Evert Elzinga/Associated Press) The family was eventually betrayed and taken by the Nazis. Anne died in a concentration camp, along with her mother and sister. Only her father, Otto, survived the war. He published her diary, which had been preserved by one of the women who helped them while they were in hiding, in 1947.

Spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said the book is the most widely read document to emerge from the Holocaust, and the museum wants to introduce it to teens who might not read the book.

"Not everyone will read the diary," she said. "The one doesn't exclude the other."

The museum approached writer Sid Jacobson and artist Ernie Colon, who previously collaborated on the 9/11 Commission Report and are working on a graphic novel about Che Guevera.

"Jacobson and Colon have shown that they can make complex information accessible with creativity, rich imagery and integrity," the museum said in a statement.

The 160-page graphic novel, developed with oversight by the museum, starts with the Anne's birth in Frankfurt and ends with the return of Otto Frank from a concentration camp.

In the Netherlands, the biography will be distributed to secondary schools with a special teaching package.

Hill & Wang will distribute the graphic novel in the U.S. and Canada and editions in French, German and Spanish have also been lined up.

Click here to see the animation.

Get to Know More About Anne

Discover more of Anne's story at the El Dorado County Library.

Ushers Needed

The theater is still looking for ushers for The Diary of Anne Frank. All those who help receive a complimentary seat for that show. Please pass along the word to those who you know who may be interested. 530-642-0404

Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m. - need 1
Sunday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m. - need 2
Friday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m. - need 1

Anne Frank Cast - Otto Frank

Duane (D.P.) Maracin (Otto Frank)

D.P., as he is known to his friends, was bitten by the acting bug during his high school years in San Diego, with leading roles in George Washington Slept Here and Ladies in Retirement. While he and his late wife, Margo raised their four children, he sang and played guitar at any gig he could get. He later resumed his love of acting and became active in community theater acting in Move Over, Mrs. Markham, The Crucible, Our Town, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Look Homeward Angel, Ah Wilderness, Fool for Love, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This is D.P.’s third appearance at IT! He has previously appeared as Senator Phogbound in Lil’ Abner, and as the barber and prisoner in Man of La Mancha. Planning to retire in the spring of 2011, he looks forward to more acting, writing, trout fishing, cartooning, and maintaining his vintage Porsche.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Introducing the Anne Frank Cast (Anne)

Sarah Erickson (Anne Frank)

Sarah is 15 years old and is a sophomore at El Dorado High School. This is her ninth show at Imagination Theater and she is excited to be playing the role of Anne Frank. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her amazing story with Placerville. She has learned a lot herself. She’d like to thank her parents and director for their support, and the cast for the feeling of true family.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Diary of Anne Frank Opens Tonight, July 9

Please come and see this outstanding play. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the door. All tickets are $10.

Friday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Friday, July 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. (CLOSING SHOW)

The Box Office opens a half an hour in advance of the show. 530-642-0404

Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with Chrissie Addison, Quilters Director

by Karen Harnden

Chrissie Addison is a veteran actor, director, teacher and theatre aficionado who will bring the musical Quilters to Placerville next winter for Imagination Theater. The following interview took place on June 16th over lunch on the shaded porch of Chrissie’s vintage home.

K: The obvious first question is why Quilters, and why now?
C: First of all, doing Quilters before [in 1987] was a peak experience for me on stage playing the eldest daughter. There’s a heart those true stories pulled from the old diaries that’s very special to people. And . . . I had a very colorful and clear dream that I was directing Quilters.

K: What else about this title and its music hooked you?
C: The life that the settlers had in small towns seems a lot like here. This area is like a vortex of history and creative energy laminated together. I love old stories, and antiques, and old people who tell stories and the whole western way of life. I’m reading now diaries from the women and men who settled the West. And I am a real fan of folk and Celtic music.

K: What challenges do the actresses face telling real stories?
C: They have to take on the mantel . . . they will channel all these other characters and bring them from the page to the stage. Each will make real 10 to 15 different women. They face life in hard times and go through it together.

K: What led you to think of doing the show in the round?
C: I wanted to retread the show, in a new way, to revisit the show. So I wanted to reinvent Quilters in such a way that it would be fresh and current. Having never directed in the round, or seen a show done in this county that way, it just seemed like the right show at the right time. And Peter Wolf [of IT] said, “You want to do it in the round? I’ll show you how.” And I said, “Sold!”

K: It sounds like most of the visual experience will be very different than other productions.
C: I think the big difference is going to be that the cast is going to be very close to the audience, so it’s going to be less of a presentation and more of a group experience. We want the audience to be “inside” of the drama.

K: You’re right. When you’re in the first row or two of an in the round production, and the lights are spilling on you, you can’t help but feel like you’re in it.
C: The actors will be close to the surrounding audience. The exchange of energy will be interesting. In a typical theater building, only one wall is “active.”

K: Tell me about the script.
C: The show features 16 separate vignettes about different women in different situations – some comedic some dramatic. Sarah and her six daughters reappear throughout the story. The score features 16 songs all in the folk flavor. In rehearsal, I’d like the actresses to see the longer original diary entries from which the scenes/monologues were taken. This will deepen their understanding of the text.

K: How has the community responded to this idea?
C: The staff is very strong and pulls from current Imagination Theater regulars along with Theater El Dorado past regulars who thought they retired!! We have received commitments from strong, talented locals who will do everything from assemble the quilts to play the fiddle in the band.

K: Anyone in particular?
C: There are living history people in this area working on this show, like Ron Scofield, the master wagonmaker from Fiddletown, who’s making the wagon. Dr. Audrey Keebler is a docent who’s designing costumes; local quilting guilds are designing 16 quilts for us, and much more.

K: How do you keep track of all of this information? Oh, wait. I’ve seen your notebook.
C: I know. I keep everything. It’s just ridiculous. Look at this [her notebook is overflowing]. Ideas are still coming in weekly to me and I have to scramble to get them all down. It’s a very rich time for ideas.

K: What’s universal in Quilters that you want to be sure comes through in this production? Is there a theme or overall message or driving vision besides just telling this wonderful story?
C: What comes to mind just now is the community. Maybe I’m more aware of that now as a person who’s retired. The sense of community is really strong in this show. The production of this show, as well as the story being presented, and surely working with Imagination Theater is a joyful community experience for me.

K: That’s a lot of who you are, who Chrissie is. You maybe have more than one community, but your life is about the sense of community on a lot of different levels. Is that why you direct?
A: The process of doing a play brings out the “community.” For me, the process of directing is to experience release by being there in the moment. And to share it with willing souls who want to go on that journey together is to share those moments. And one of the strongest communities that I sense is among women, and the quilters are right in there. So it all filters down to a strong web or network of people with a lot of true grit, people who really have that sense of community and survival.

K: The stories really show how that sense of community helped those prairie women survive.
C: Yeah, it’s right in the script: “If I didn’t have the quiltin’ there are times I would have gone crazy.” And there’s the scene when a gal’s husband dies and she’s blind with grief, and her mom puts a piecin’ bag next to her and her hands reach out and start “piecin’ bits of scraps together” and it pulls her out of her depression.

K: And that is not any different today—it’s the same as it was back then. Our “community” surrounds us through the everyday stuff, and helps us get through difficulties.
C: The disease of being too busy surrounds our lives today. Doing a show is a big commitment of time to put on our lives, but I can’t imagine a better way to, once again, realize what is really important to us all – and that’s to connect to others. And that’s about as close to a universal truth as you’re going to find.