Quincy Community Theatre is celebrating its 75th anniversary…again.
“The theatre was actually founded in 1928, 83 years ago, but they took several years off from producing plays because of World War II. Next year is our 75th season of shows, and that is worth celebrating,” says Managing Artistic Director Lenny Bart, a classically trained actor from New Jersey who took over the helm of QCT last spring.
Some of the productions may sound familiar to long-time theatre patrons.
Next year’s first show, “The Boy Friend,” was QCT’s first musical, produced in 1969. Set in the 1920s, the story is about Polly, a millionaire's daughter, who feels left out because she is the only one of her group who does not have a boyfriend and she needs a partner for the ball, so she makes up a pretend boyfriend (March 8-18).
Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Oklahoma,” has entertained QCT audiences several times over the years and will again in the summer of 2012. In this show, Laurie, an Oklahoma farm girl, is courted by boisterous cowboy Curley and by menacing, obsessive farm hand Jud, and she must choose who will take her to a social (July 19-29).
“Inspecting Carol,” a comedy first produced in Quincy in 1997, will be next year’s holiday show. The plot involves a struggling Midwestern theatre company that is mounting its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” when they learn their financial future is on the line. They mistake an aspiring actor/accountant for an inspector and let him take over the show (Nov. 29-Dec. 9).
“Enchanted April,” a play about four women who go on a holiday to a secluded coastal castle in Italy and “Cactus Flower,” a comedy that was loosely the basis for this summer’s Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston movie “Just Go With It,”, round out the year (April 26-May 6 & Sept. 13-23 respectively).
“Our committee has selected some wonderful shows for our 75th anniversary, and the community will just love them,” says Bart, noting that 2012 season tickets officially go on sale Oct. 3 but patrons who buy prior to that date will enjoy Early Bird savings.
The QCT offers two types of season tickets and multiple price points. The Fixed Plan offers the largest discount for patrons and guarantees them the same seat on the same night for each performance. The Flex Plan is for patrons who wish to choose the show that best fits into their schedule. Bart says that season ticket holders save 30-40 percent off the price they would pay if they came to every show and purchased individual tickets at the Box Office. More information about season tickets is available at www.1qct.org or by calling 222-3209.
In New Jersey, Bart was the artistic director for two small professional companies. He has performed in Europe twice, toured 43 states and has acted and directed shows in New York.
“The incredible facility we have here was the first thing that impressed me about QCT,” says Bart. “It rivals theatres in Chicago, St. Louis and even some in New York. Then, of course, I was impressed by the talented and competent staff and the very high caliber volunteer actors. Outside of acting and directing, I’m also a teacher and now I get to do the two things I love most: teach and direct.”
Bart was also impressed with the community.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of arts organizations in a community this size,” he says, “and then I fell in love with the vibrant architecture in the historic districts. This is a beautiful, wonderful community and I’m ready to engage it to become a larger part of the Quincy Community Theater.”
Bart surmises that the community was very involved at QCT 16 years ago, when the organization raised more than $1 million to secure its home at the Oakley Lindsay Center.
“But then, we moved into our new theatre, added professional staff and lost volunteers,” he says. “I want more community members to audition for shows, volunteer to be ushers, work in our office or on the stage crew, help sew costumes or build sets …really become part of our fun and creative family. Whether you have a BFA in acting or only had a small part in your third grade play, there’s a way for you to contribute here.”
And Bart intends to give back to the community, too, by continuing to produce high quality entertainment that patrons have grown to expect from QCT.
“The Fantasticks,” the longest-running production of any kind in the world, opens this Friday, Sept. 23. The story concerns two neighboring fathers who trick their children into falling in love. After the children discover the deception, they reject the arranged love match but eventually find their way back into each other’s arms.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online (www.1qct.org) or at the Box Office in the lobby of the Oakley Lindsay Center between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, call (217) 222-3209.