Footlight players

MICHIGAN CITY — The Footlight Players of Michigan City are busy with theatrical works. The first three weekends of May they produced the comedy "Musical of Musicals, the Musical" directed by Joe Blanchard who, along with AD Candace Archer, Music Director Lee Meyer, Choreographer Emmie Reigel and Producer Bobbi Lauritsen. The four leads Amy Crane, Grant Fitch, Hillary Havlin and John Hutchinson with a chorus of Kristin Allison, Andy & Wil Crane, Alayna Lauritsen, Kenzie Losinski, Kathy Lute, Courtney Mason and Amanda Sixbury all did an outstanding job. They raffled off a handmade afghan by Debbie Bartholomew.

On June 2, they held their annual picnic at the Creek Ridge Park in the Lion’s shelter. Although the weather was a bit chilly at the start of the event it was well attended and as always, there was plenty of good food and friendship to go around.

June 1 and 2 Lee & Laura Meyer compiled and directed the musical revue, "A Grand Night for Singing," which brought back to life songs from musicals that Footlight has done in the past 70 years, Laura & Bobby Komendera served as emcees to the cast including Candace Archer, Debbie Bartholomew, Alexander Bonner, Howard Brenneman, Frankie Casorio, Kathy Chase, Alayna Lauritsen, Tom LeDonne Kelley Losinski, Kathy Lute, Marsha Markle, Thom Nelson and Emmie Reigel. The show ran for two nights only at 7:30 p.m.

June 10 began Footlight's two week-long summer youth camp with a workshop offered to 30 youngsters from ages 6-17 at absolutely no cost to them or their families. This is the second year they have taken on this endeavor and it would not have been possible without the grant provided by The Michigan City Community Enrichment Corporation. We have 27 participants that will put on the full fledged musical farce, "The Wizard of Odds." They learn all the lines, songs and dances in eight rehearsals Monday through Thursday from 1-4 p.m. On the weekend of June 22 and 23 they will put on a full blown performance to a sellout crowds both nights. If you want a reservation, better act fast.

June 28 will be the date of Footlight's monthly "Friday Night at Footlight" open-mic night. This evening they have the Crane Family Singers as their featured performers. Andy and Amy along with their son Wil and daughter Ella will start the evening out. This event is free to the public. There are refreshments available and a raffle that takes place for two dinner theater packages. If you’d like to join in the festivities on stage, it will cost you a whopping $2 charge for a 15 minute spot. You can sing, dance, stand-up comedy, play an instrument, just about anything as long as it is family friendly. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7. No reservations needed.

The nominations for this year’s Footlight Players Awards have been tallied and announced. On Saturday, July 20, the evening will start at 5 p.m. at the Moose Family Lodge with a cocktail hour, dinner at 6 p.m. and the presentation of the awards will take place at 7. Throughout the evening a silent auction will go on with many items and gift certificates from the community’s businesses and friends. Marsha Markle will be inducted into the Footlight Hall of Fame and awards for best lead actress, lead actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, newcomer, lighting, sound, costumes, musical/vocal director, choreographer, hair/make-up, scenic artist, set dresser, five hidden talent awards and the prestigious president’s award along with the Critic’s Choice award for best production of the year will be given. Tickets are $15 if purchased by July 1 and $20 after that or at the door.

Footlight is now into their patron drive for their 70th season and would love for you to help keep their theater alive and to keep live theater part of the community. There are eight ways to become a patron. Donate $40, $55, $75, $100, $150. And you will receive five complimentary passes for any or all our seasonal productions. If you want to donate $250, $500 or $1,000 you will receive 10 passes. If you are bargain shoppers, the $40 or $55 pledge is right up your alley because you’ll receive $75 of ticket value! Contact the theater if you are interested or the president, Robert W. Komendera at 219-879-5840.

Elections were held at their monthly meeting on June 12 with the following results, President Robert W. Komendera, Vice President Laura Meyer, Secretary Denise Barkow, Treasurer William Wild and the three General Board Members are Thom Nelson, Jan Rice and Chris West.

Footlight Theatre is located at 1705 Franklin Street in Michigan City. You can’t miss them with the big yellow awning on the front. Footlight Players is a not-for-profit organization and are always on the look-out for members, patrons and volunteers. Go to their website for more info on their open-mic night, youth workshop, to become a patron, or make reservations or anything else I might have forgotten, at www.footlightplayers.org or call the theater at 219-874-4035 for any information. They will welcome all dedicated individuals with open-arms. You can also check them out at one of their meetings, held the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the theater.

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