For the first time in a nearly decade, Pittsburg Community Theatre is offering patrons more choices this year with a fourth show added to the season’s lineup.
Not since 2008 has that happened, when PCT produced “Honk,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Love Rides the Rails,” and “Dinner With Friends.”
This year’s season will be equally as diverse: “13,” a musical about teens, by teens, for teens, will be performed March 10-12. A special daytime performance is being offered to area schools on March 9. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) 13 is a musical about fitting in – and standing out. It’s under the direction of Greg Shaw, an award-winning director who has brought to life such crowd-pleasers as “Shrek,” “Seussical,” and “Annie.”
In June, PCT continues its mission of exposing youth in the community to the performing arts with its annual Jr. Starz Children’s Theatre Workshop. But like the show season, this workshop also is being extended: Typically offered from 1 to 5 p.m. for two weeks, culminating in a production for the public, a second session has been added in the morning each day in order to accommodate growing demand. It will be directed by Megan Potter Gabehart, a local music teacher and frequent PCT orchestra director
PCT’s summer musical, slated for July 20-23, is a family-friendly favorite: “Willy Wonka.” The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to the mysterious chocolate factory will light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale under the direction of Jason Huffman, who brought to life such PCT hits as “Wizard of Oz” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder and new songs by Leslie Bricusse (Jekyll & Hyde, Doctor Dolittle) and Anthony Newley, it will delight everyone’s sweet tooth. And, PCT is planning some “sweet” promotions, including hiding golden tickets around Pittsburg for one lucky winner each show to be treated to special treats, a prime seat, and a backstage tour! Auditions are open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. May 22-23 at Memorial Auditorium.
This fall, PCT has planned something unique: “The Last Five Years” will be the first in what the group hopes will be an ongoing “After Dark” series for mature audiences. To be performed Oct. 5-7 an hour later than usual, the modern musical ingeniously chronicles the five-year life of a marriage: Cathy, the woman, tells her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically. The two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.
It’s being directed by MJ Harper, who has provided vocal direction for several recent PCT shows and last summer starred as Mama Rose in “Gypsy.” She is seeking strong actors and vocalists for the two lead roles. Auditions will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 14-15, at Memorial Auditorium.
And lastly, to celebrate the holiday season, PCT will produce an original stage adaptation of Red Skelton’s “Freddie the Freeloader’s Christmas Dinner” Dec. 8-10. Based on a TV special that premiered on HBO in 1981, it will be directed by John Mazurek, who last year brought “The Odd Couple” to life.
In “Christmas Dinner,” Freddie the Freeloader prepares to scrape together money and enjoy a Christmas dinner with his equally poverty-stricken friend, Professor Humperdo, at one of New York’s fancy restaurants. Stopping along the way, he visits a hospital and entertains some children for Christmas. The special includes drama, miming, and music for which Skelton was known.
Auditions, open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 9-10 at Memorial Auditorium.
PCT also has expanded its digital presence with an expanded website at http://www.pctinfo.org, and expanded social media (Facebook/pctinfo, Twitter @PittCommTheatre, Instagram @PittCommTheatre). Whether you prefer to get involved as audience members, cast, backstage crew, or volunteer help, there are plenty of roles to play at PCT. Join us!