Our Friday night performance was canceled. Please retain your ticket stub and join us for our performances on Sunday or Monday evening.
Additional tickets for Monday Night’s performance are available ONLINE HERE.
Dates: July 21, 22 & 23, 2017
Location: Perry Farm Park, Bourbonnais, Il 60914
Showtime: 8:00 PM
Rain Dates: July 24 (now added) & 25 (will only be added in the event of a second rain cancelation)
Pre-show Enchanted French Market: 5:30 – 7:30
Tickets: $18 ($25 at the gate) available at Perry Farm House, King Music, Joy’s Hallmark and ONLINE HERE (service charge applies).
Gates open at 5:15 Bring a lawn chair!
Well it’s tech week and all of our hard work is starting to pay off. We will have a coming together of all of the parts this week and boy is it exciting. Saturday night was the Sitzprobe, a seated rehearsal where the actors first sing with the orchestra, and really just WOW! Our light and sound technicians are “in the house” ready to make their magic. Finally most of the set and stage are finished, with a few touch ups here and there happening this week. Costumes are rented, sewn and constructed and gathered in the Perry Farm House. Beautiful props a plenty are assembled with set pieces in pods behind the stage. Our make up and hair teams have been assembled. And oh yeah, puppets and puppet stage are ready to go!!
We decided to open our show in a less conventional manner, the Prologue will begin with a puppet show. We are very excited about this innovative twist. The Prince, Beggar Woman and Enchantress are created and standing by to start our show!
They, along with the rest of the cast and crew look forward to seeing you this weekend at Perry Farm Park!
Tickets are $18 and are available at Joy’s Hallmark and King Music Inc and the Perry Farm House (cash or check) or online HERE!
My first experience with Acting Out and outdoor theatre has been a challenging one. From receiving a role I did not expect, to the many nights of long rehearsals and rainstorms. I say challenging, not in a negative way, but in the most positive way possible.
I have been stretched and have grown as an actor, have met many new friends, and have learned to go with the flow and be flexible (especially when unexpected storms blow through!). But all of the stress, fatigue, and worry will pale in comparison to the end result. The payoff.
The moment the orchestra plays the overture, all of the stress of the past few months melts away with the music, and the cast comes out and puts on the best show they can. And the second the audience applauds for the first time, we all remember why we do what we do. Why we put ourselves through these trying experiences and rough moments that come with putting on a show.
It’s worth it.
As actors, it is worth it to lose sleep and be worn out from long, hot nights of rehearsal, only to do it again the next night. When we see how the show we’ve worked so hard on come to life and wow you, the audience, we would do it all again in a heartbeat. Without an audience, what we do is meaningless. So thank you to all who support the arts and give meaning to what we as actors do, and for making our challenges worth it.
By Kirsten Bishir
It’s July and final preparations are in full swing to create our magical escape to the French Countryside. This year we are inviting you to Be Our Guest as we transform an area of Perry Farm into an enchanted French Market. The scene is already idyllic with open grassy fields, and shaded glens, and denser forests.
Along the edge of this we will place our French Market. Vendors selling amazing food, fruit, flowers and more.
Some of our favorite Vendors will return this year. The Bennett Curtis House will be there serving Cornish Hens and Smoked Turkey Legs for the Gaston in all of us. Sweet Street will again be serving snow cones, and popcorn and other treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Nuns of St. Roger Abbey will be back taking all of us to France with their Organic French Pastries, Tarts, and Macarons. Oberweis Dairy will be there to cool us off with their ice cream and sundaes, always popular with our patrons. Panozzo’s Fruit Stand will be offering fresh fruits, and flowers for your special someone or your favorite cast member. Add in Crème of the Crop and Bulls BBQ and there is something for everyone! We have other special activities and photo opportunities being planned and the park offers its own opportunities for fun.
We are working hard to prepare for you, our guests, so arrive early, gates open at 5:30 pm, place your chairs, and Be Our Guests.
By Helen Berdebes
The theatre is a place where I have always found refuge. There is something incredible about showing up somewhere and being able to shed the day’s troubles, becoming a completely new person. I have been in many shows throughout high school and college, but this is my very first community theatre production. With all of my previous production experiences the refuge was found in a traditional theatre building. While I have an extreme love for indoor theatre, nothing could prepare me for the beauty of an outdoor community theatre experience.
A few days ago we had our first of many full cast outdoor rehearsals at the stage. I showed up prepared with my bug spray and chair, unsure of how I felt, trading the safety of the indoor theatre for the outside. I quickly realized that I had nothing to fear, the precious indoor theatres will always be there, but this was a special treat. There is a freeing feeling about spending evenings creating art outdoors. It almost seems as though we are transcending time back to a simpler place where you would stay out with friends after dark playing make believe with the fireflies.
It is a treasure to find this mindset of joy and peace that can often seem to vanish from adult life. As if being outdoors is an old friend and you can’t help but to smile, embrace them, and pick up where you left off. The magic of the outdoor theatre truly creates an atmosphere of nostalgia and summer at its finest.
There is no age limit to this freedom. The oldest members of the cast strike up conversations with the youngest and people from different walks of life share their stories and bring their various experiences to the table. All walls are broken down when we hit Perry Farm. The comfort and freedom of the outdoors makes it feel less intimidating to ask questions of those more experienced. The knowledge and talent is free flowing in all directions and fosters a great environment for performers to grow and flourish.
This bonding allows something truly magical to come to life. When the cast comes together and feels this fleeting lift, it is sure to permeate through to the audience as well. I am thankful to have a place to create this sort of magic and comfort for others fueling catharsis through the overwhelming joy of outdoor theatre. Come see Acting Out Theatre Company’s Beauty and the Beast at Perry Farm and enjoy a truly enchanted evening under the stars with us.
For the past several years, I had the honor of playing my violin in the orchestra for Acting Out Theater Company. I planned on continuing to play for this year’s production, until it was announced that this year’s production would be Beauty and the Beast. My heart skipped a few beats, and I immediately decided I would not be playing my violin in the orchestra for the 2017 summer production. I decided that I would be auditioning for the Acting Out Theater Company’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
I anxiously waited several months for the audition form to be posted on the AOTC website, and the minute the form was posted, I prayed while I provided each line of vital information. After selecting the perfect headshot, I submitted my completed audition form, and began to prepare for what was to be the most incredible audition of my life. I have never auditioned for Acting Out before, and did not know what to expect come audition day. If you have ever dreamed of performing with Acting Out, I strongly encourage you to audition for next year’s production. I can honestly say the audition process with Acting Out Theater Company will most likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
A few months passed since I submitted my audition form, and audition day had finally arrived. I entered the audition space, and received a paper number, along with a shiny new safety pin. The audition process began shortly after I arrived, and the directors arranged us on deck in ascending order. As I entered the dance space, my nerves seemed to dissipate as my excitement began to grow. I was placed in a group of four, and danced once in the front row, and once in the back row. I felt a moment of surrealism, for I could not believe that I finally made it to auditions.
Once everyone had danced their best, the directors led us to our vocal audition space. My nerves overcame me once again as we created a line in the hall in ascending order. Trembling, I proceeded into the vocal audition room, stated my name, and asked to have two bars before my starting point. The accompanist laughed, and said I owed him two dollars, one for each bar. It was such a great relief to laugh and leave my nerves behind me as I began to sing my audition piece.
After singing my audition piece, I was informed the callback list would be posted later that night. I knew that I would not be sleeping that night, and kept refreshing the AOTC website in anticipation. Once callbacks were posted, I took a deep breath in as I began to scroll through the numbers that were listed. At first glance, I forgot what number I was, because my nerves had overcome me. Once it registered with me, I yelled, “Oh My Gosh!” There it was, my number was on the callback list!
After a sleepless night that was full of excitement and emotion, I prepared for my callback. My entire nervous system was in shock, and I could not wait to enter the audition space once again. Upon arrival, I was informed of the order in which I would be singing and reading lines. I was still in disbelief, that I not only got a callback, but I was acting alongside people I previously saw perform in unforgettable productions.
Shortly after callbacks had come to an end, the cast list was posted. I took a deep breath in, and scrolled through the names that were listed next to each character. I exhaled as I read my name next to ensemble/townsperson/enchanted object. I could not have been more excited knowing I was joining the Acting Out Theater Company cast for Beauty and the Beast!
I encourage you to use your musical strengths, and audition for an Acting Out Theater Company production. It is such an incredible opportunity that allows you to showcase your dancing skills, vocal range, and acting abilities. Through Acting Out, I have found another place of home, and so much love through the many friendships I have formed.
Last week, I took a trip to Ohio to visit my parents. It’s always nice to go home; a place of nostalgia, memories, and reminders of the stories I love. We got out the old home videos and took a trip back in time to when I was just a little girl.
And there I was: dreaming, dancing, and wanting to be a part of a beautiful story.
I was reminded that as a child, I knew no boundaries, I loved hearing fairy tales, and I loved picturing myself as that princess or as the hero of a dangerous adventure. I look at my life now and realize that many of those stories and dreams are still with me. The ability to dream as a child is extremely important. I believe experiencing stories is imperative.
In an article from Harvard Business Review, the authors discuss a business concept called “the experience economy.” If we look at the world through the lens of a businessperson or an economist, we see that throughout history businesses have gone from being producers of goods and services to producers of experiences. You can read the article to get a deeper understanding, but here’s a quick example they offer:
You could bake a cake for a birthday using a recipe and gather all of the ingredients then bake the cake, or you could “outsource” the entire birthday party and have someone else provide the decorations, the cake, games…an experience. The article continues to describe a market for experiences. “Today the concept of selling experience is spreading beyond theaters and theme parks.” As humans, we have the innate desire to live in community, to experience, to be a part of the story.
We are in a time where even businesses are recognizing the importance of experiences.
This summer, as Acting Out is preparing for another beautiful show, I’ve had the privilege to help plan and prepare for Belle’s Enchanted Tea Party. It’s going to be a magical day for both boys and girls as they play games, have snacks, and interact with some of the characters from this beloved story. It’s an experience they won’t forget.
Not only can your kids attend the tea party, but they also have a chance to be “The Prince or Princess for the Day.” There will be a raffle at the party for one child to get this title for one of the productions of Beauty and the Beast. They will get pampered, escorted to their reserved seats at the show by their very own Lady-in-Waiting (which is me, and I’m beyond excited!), and get announced as the Prince or Princess of the day at the show! Who wouldn’t want to be royalty for a day?
I believe in the power of story and I believe in the necessity of experiencing these stories, especially as children. These events will stay with them for a long time. And isn’t it wonderful to see a young mind at work, dreaming, smiling, joyous and excited for the potential in their future?
I hope you to see you at the Enchanted Tea Party. And I hope it will be an experience you will never forget.
AE Sarver is the Graduate Assistant for the Theatre Department at Olivet Nazarene University. Though she is not in the cast of Beauty and the Beast, she will be the Lady-in-Waiting for the Prince or Princess of the day each night. She’s had the privilege to be in Acting Out’s productions of Sweeney Todd as the Beggar Woman and It’s a Wonderful Life as Rose Bailey. She directed Olivet’s Spring Musical Guys & Dolls and will be directing their fall play Our Town.
By Julie Gindy
Memorial day weekend…remembering our fallen soldiers, picnics, graduation parties and stage building! Each year for the last 7, Acting Out Theatre Co. sets up shop in a new location to create a space for our upcoming show on summer’s 1st official weekend. This year was no different as we set out to Perry Farm Park on the edge of the forest with our 16 ft trusses in “hand”.
Months before, the stage considerations began with breaking down the story into actual places that need to be represented on the stage. Our unique outdoor situation allows us to create a stage specific for each show but perhaps the most difficult challenge is that you cannot take things away. So the total look of the stage is out there all the time for the whole story. Beauty & the Beast takes place in a French provincial village, an enchanted castle, a forest and the inside of a tavern. (Forest…CHECK…thanks mother nature!)
Moving on there are some detail needs like the Beast’s west wing, a fire place, jail and Belle’s cottage to accommodate. Next step, make stage drawing then consult with builder and draftsman to create the actual plan.
Some cast members stopped by to take a look!!
Much more to be done but what a magical place to spend a summer!
See you in July…tickets now on sale!
Gaston: a pompous and dim-witted “ladies man”
Gaston is quite arguably one of the most iconic villains in disney history. His pompous demeanor and arrogant personality sets him apart as the guy everyone loves to hate. Like most disney musicals and movies, much of the audience knows the character’s ins and outs. They know their workings and even know what makes them tick. Gaston is no different.
Back in March when I gratefully and nervously accepted the role to play Gaston, I immediately began thinking, “How am I going to make such an iconic character memorable?” It boiled down to the idea of how can I as a person relate to Gaston? Fortunately, I try avoiding the actual persona of Gaston in my everyday life but I believe some of us may possess a few of his ideological tendencies deep down inside. Now I’m not talking about his idiocracy towards rejections and passion to kill his competition but rather the idea to fight for want he wants as well as enjoying the attention of his peers from time to time. So the questions might come up. Is Gaston really that bad? Could he actually be the good guy?
Now I was getting somewhere when it came to developing Gaston’s character. But, I have an issue. At first, instead of being excited and telling friends and family about my exciting news, I kept quiet and at some points even avoided the topic all together. Very un-Gaston like if you ask me. I actually was even finding myself more conflicted and appalled by his values than wanting to adopt it. Accepting this role now meant I would be stepping out of my comfort zone . . . WAY out of my comfort zone. I’ve been a part of music for awhile but acting and singing alone mildly terrifies me. At this point I am somehow even further away from finding my solace in Gaston.
Rehearsals began and the memorizing commenced but the looming question of how I was going to make this role memorable remained. Music rehearsals took up a good chunk of time in the beginning which meant as we rehearsed the score, it gave me time to be able to play around with his character and develop a loose back story for him. I was able to analyse with how I felt about his pompous and dim-witted ways. I have come to conclusion that Gaston is simply just misunderstood. Now, I’m not saying that this is what makes Gaston the good guy or trying to make you feel bad for him but rather in some way justifying his behavior.
We all have passions and some might be healthier than others (I have a low key passion for really good tasting burgers). However, the true passion that I have is for the sport of track and field and it rivals the related passion of a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. Gaston passion for attention and rather uncomfortable infatuation with Belle is quite honestly no different. The way I give everything I have to the sport I love (I coach track and field and was a former athlete by the way) might, in a weird way, relate to how Gaston swoons over Belle and sometimes even his own reflection.
Pouring everything he has into winning her over. Also, on a much easier connection, we all enjoy attention from our successes and praise for our accomplishment. But from the story we do know, the only true accomplishment Gaston’s has is graduating from eating four dozen to five dozen eggs and now he’s the size of a barge. So I’m starting to see the connection now to Gaston, but I would never have thought I was the bad guy. Maybe I was approaching him all wrong.
Although I don’t normally ingest five dozen eggs every morning, I am starting to get a grip on Gaston’s character. Most of us know the story of Beauty and the Beast (if you don’t, I wont give to away) and we know the dark and almost evil man he turns into. Gaston probably isn’t the good guy but we all have somewhere inside of us that enjoys a good ego rub. I believe that Gaston’s passion for Belle, even though sometimes toeing the line on creeper, relates a lot more to us on the passions that we have then we care to admit.
I’m not yet fully committed to the pompous and dim-witted ladies man that the script describes him as and I don’t see Gaston turning into the good guy any time soon. I am, however, developing a way to relate to his passions and love for attention. I’ll find my sea legs for this character and will definitely be bringing a little of my own je ne sais quoi to this role.