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Darla, Darling of the Stage

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Darla, darling of stage
by Bob Bridge (Times-Mail, Bedford)
Reprint courtesy and with permission of Bob Bridge and Times-Mail
 
 
Rachel Fishback, director of Little Theatre of Bedford‘s upcoming production of “The Miracle Worker,” is billing one of her cast members as an individual who has “risen from Death Row to center stage.”
Powerful stuff, huh?
When Rachel speaks, I listen. Viewing her as the Wicked Witch of the West in a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” left me both inspired and … embarrassingly intimidated.
 
Rachel is excited about “The Miracle Worker” for a number of reasons. Her daughter, Katie, is portraying Helen Keller while Wendy Miller is playing Annie Sullivan.
But the thespian meriting the most thunderous acclaim thus far is Darla Miller, Wendy’s rescued pit bull. Darla portrays Helen’s dog, Belle.
Rachel seriously contemplated omitting Belle’s brief scene from the production.
“Working with animals can be very difficult and adds an element of stress for this first-time director,” she explained. “But after meeting Darla at Wendy’s home, I decided to cast her as Helen’s dog.”
She was drawn to Darla’s demeanor.
“She was so gentle and calm with a house full of strangers, which included several small children,” Rachel recalled. “Wendy was confident Darla was up for the part and the audience.”
Thus, a star was born.
Wendy rescued Darla in 2013.
“She was discovered tied up behind a house in southern Indiana,” Wendy explained. “Her owners had left, and she had been abandoned.”
The dog was in dire shape. She was missing fur and had developed a skin condition.
Darla was taken to a shelter and was placed on the list of animals to be euthanized.
“She was put on this list not because of anything she did, but because of how she looked,” Wendy explained. “She was a large pit bull with a huge head and a skin condition. She was also dark brown, and dark brown and black dogs are less likely to be adopted. She was not likely to catch the eye of a prospective adopter, and space needed to be made for other dogs.”
However, Davida Miller, a staff member at the shelter and an active participant in a rescue group, took an interest in the pit bull. She fed her high quality chow that effectively cleared her coat. Davida worked tirelessly to make certain Darla would not be destroyed.
 
Wendy and her husband Tim adopted Darla and Wendy now serves as a board member with Fat Heads Rescue. She partners with Davida to save other pit bulls.
Wendy claims Darla is cherishing her moment in the spotlight.
“She loves coming to the theatre, mostly because of all the attention she gets,” Wendy explained. “She’s not nervous at all on stage, and she flawlessly portrays the character of a loving dog. After all, that’s all pit bulls are — dogs.”
To learn more about Fat Heads Rescue, you can visit www.fatheads.org, or check out the organization on Facebook.


“The Miracle Worker” is slated for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. The final show is Oct. 9 with the curtain rising at 2 p.m. You can purchase tickets by calling (812) 279-3009 or via the web at www.ltb.org.
It’s customary to bestow leading ladies with floral bouquets following the final performance. In this particular case, Snausages and Beggin Strips probably will be preferable.
Savor the spotlight, Darla. Fame is fleeting.
Contact Columnist Bob Bridge at (812) 277-7282 or bob@tmnews.com.

Auditions Announced for “The Curious Savage”

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Little Theatre of Bedford is pleased to announce auditions for its production of “The Curious Savage,” the final production of the 2015-16 season.  Auditions will be held at the theatre at 1704 Brian Lane Way on Monday and Tuesday March 7 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. The cast of eleven calls for 6 females and 5 males, aged 16 and older. Most parts are for adults aged 25-50, with a few roles that could be made slightly younger or older.  Those auditioning should need only attend one evening, according to the play’s director Josh Landers.

 

The play, set in the 1950s,  tells the story of the widowed Mrs. Ethel Savage, and her attempt to keep her deceased husband’s money from her greedy children. In doing so, she finds herself placed in a sanatorium where she meets a cast of characters who at first glance might seem crazy, but are eventually revealed to be the fools of good heart.

 

“The Curious Savage” will be presented at Bedford Little Theatre for five performances on May 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 2016.  For more information you can email ltbboxoffice@gmail.com or call the ltb box office at 812-279-3009.

 

Auditions for “Miracle on 34th Street”

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Auditions for the Bedford Little Theatre production of “Miracle on 34th Street-The Play” will be held on Tuesday, October 13 and Thursday, October 15 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the theatre, located at 1704 Brian Lane Way.  The play is based on the popular 20th Century Fox motion picture.

Director Jack May will be casting for three main male and two main female roles, 14 smaller roles for males and females, one young girl, and many roles for children.  No preparation for auditions is needed.

The production will be presented for five performances on December 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19, 2015.  For more information, contact ltbboxoffice@gmail.com or 812-279-3009 or visit the theater’s website at http://www.ltb.org.

“A Murder is Announced” Audition Notice

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Auditions for the first production of the 2015-16 season “A Murder is Announced” will be held at the theater on Thursday, August 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday,  August 15 at 3:30 p.m. -5:00 p.m.    The play is adapted by Leslie Darbon from a story by Agatha Christie.  Performances will be in October

Roles are available for 5 men and 7 women ages 18 and up.  There are no roles for children in this production. The play is under the direction of Joe Voris.  Actors will need to have British accents for the performances.  Those auditioning will only need to attend one of the audition times and there is no preparation needed.

Those interested in auditioning should sign up here.

The theater is located at 1704 Brian Lane Way in Bedford, Indiana.

 

Character Descriptions

Miss Marple: Miss Marple is overly inquisitive, grandmotherly, but shrewd. Amateur detective. (Age: 60–70)

Letitia Blacklock: Owner of Little Paddocks, Letitia is attractive. She has clearly looked after her figure and features. She has taken in Bunny as well as Julia, Patrick and Phillipa. Reserved and opinionated. (Age: 45–50)

Inspector Craddock: Craddock is the local police inspector. He is serious and business oriented. (Age: 50)

Julia Simmons: Julia is staying with her Aunt Lettie. She is studying pharmacy. Beautiful but difficult. (Age: 22-24)

Patrick Simmons: Julia’s brother, Patrick is a very handsome young man. A jokester, fights with Julia. (Age: 25–26)

Dora Bunner: Dora is Lettie’s school chum who has become her companion. Befuddled and laughable. (Age: 45–50)

Mitzi: Lettie’s cook, Mitzi is dark and mid-European or Asian (e.g. Hungarian, Romanian, Yugoslavian, Chinese etc.). She is explosive, if not paranoid but is very funny. (Age: 25–26)

Phillipa Haymes: Tall, rather elegant looking, blonde, and classy, Phillipa is a war widow with a young son. (Age: 26)

Edmund Swettenham: A serious young man with pretensions of being a writer, Edmund is dark and foreign looking, though very British. Embarrassed by his mother. He is interested in Phillipa. (Age: 26–27)

Mrs. Swettenham: Mrs. Swettenham is new to the village, she is very pushy but easily flustered. (Age: 58–60)

Sergeant Mellors: Mellors is Craddock’s assistant. Sometimes not too bright but diligent. (Age: 25–30)

Rudi Scherz: Rudi is a young Swiss national. (Age: 20-21)

 

Don’t Drink the Water Cast List

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“Don’t Drink the Water”
2015 Spring Production for Little Theatre of Bedford

Cast of Characters

Father Drobney ……………………………………….. Skylar Stroud
Ambassador Magee ……………………………………. Ray Robison
Ms. Kilroy …………………………………………………… Amy Voris
Axel Magee ………………………………………………….. Paul Nord
Marion Hollander ……………………………………. Angie Sanders
Walter Hollander …………………………………………. Aden Morris
Susan Hollander ……………………………………….. Ana Rynders
Krojack ………………………………………………….. Ronnie Roach
Burns …………………………………………………….. Steve Booker
Chef ………………………………………………………. Ellen Snyder
Sultan of Bashir …………………………………………. Mike Potter
Sultan’s First Wife ………………………………….. Amanda Roach
Kasnar ………………………………………………… Corey Reynolds
Countess Bordoni …………………………………………… Jill Lane

Party Goers ……….…………………..………………… Josh Landers, Stephanie Lewis, Emily Carroll, Raegan Atchison, Shawna Williams, Daniel Baker

To everyone that tried out–thank you so very much for your time and effort. You all did so well, it was not easy putting this together.

To the cast: our first rehearsal is Monday at 7 pm at the theatre. Everyone be there! Can’t wait!

Tom Bostic, Director,
Jacob Bostic, Assistant Director

Auditions for “Don’t Drink the Water” March 9 and 10

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Try-outs for “Don’t Drink the Water” are coming up! Monday, March 9th and Tuesday, March 10th, at 7 pm, at the Theatre. There are parts of 4 women and 6 men, and 6 parts that can be men or women. Some of them are younger adults, others are older–we need an old priest, a heavy-set sultan, a classy ambassador, and so on. There will need to be some interesting accents too–New Jersey accents, Russian accents, even Arabian accents. (There are only adult parts, no parts for kids, sorry guys!) What do you need for try-outs, you might ask? Everyone needs to come prepared to tell 3 jokes, one of them needs to be a story. (I want to see how each actor handles comedy and delivery.) We will also do some reading together to match up characters. You will not need to come to both nights, but you are welcome. LTB veterans and new comers–come make this awesome!!!!

“The Sound of Music” Cast

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Thank you to everyone who auditioned for “The Sound of Music.”  We had nearly 100 people audition. This gave us many choices and we truly appreciate everyone who gave their time. I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting the cast list.

Due to the cast size of the show, the majority of people who auditioned were not cast, but we certainly hope they will continue to perform, audition for future shows, and if they are children, participate in our summer drama camp. This was a group of terrifically talented people and our decisions were difficult.  We were especially pleased to see so many new faces and to meet so many nice people.

For those who were cast, we will begin rehearsals the week of January 5.  Please see the rehearsal calendar here.  At your first scheduled rehearsal you can pick up a script and other materials.  If you were cast and unable to accept your part, please contact us at ltbboxoffice@gmail.com as soon as possible.

We look forward to working with all of you during the next two months.

The Sound of Music

Cast List

Maria Rainer……………………………………………………….……………….Amy Voris

The Mother Abbess…………………………………………..………………..Katherine Stroud

Sister Berthe……………………………………………………………………….Tami Ehinger

Sister Margaretta………………………………………………………….….….Jane Turpen

Sister Sophia……………………………………….…………………….…..Stephanie Moore

Captain Georg von Trapp…………………………………..…..………………Tom Bostic

Franz, the Butler…………………………….………………………………….Steve Booker

Frau Schmidt………………………………………………..……………………Angie Timan

Liesl………………………….………………………….…Denae Belcher, Shelby Fletcher

Louisa………………………………………………………..Amelia Unger, Jillian Chaney

Friedrich……………………………………………..…..…..Joshua Mathis, Evan Voris

Kurt…………………………………………………………………….……..…Trey Kimbley Brigitta………………………………….……Katie DeLawter, Brooklyn Thompson

Marta…………………………………….……………….Chloe Mathis, Ashlyn Taylor

Gretl…………………………………..……………….Kylee Atchison, Lindsay Roach

Rolf Gruber…………………………………………..…….Caleb Mathis, Jacob Bostic

Elsa Schraeder…………………………….…………………………………Wendy Miller

Max Detweiler……………………………..………………….……….……Mark Mathis

Ursula, the maid………………………………………………………..Dorothy Timan

Herr Zeller……………………………………………………………….….Ray Robison

New Postulant…………………………………………..…………….….Rachel Mathis

Admiral von Schreiber………………………..…………….……….….Aden Morris

 

Nuns… …………………………………….………..Marianne Cox, Rachel Mathis, Lisa Kirkman, Jennifer Thompson, Olivia Leach, Aubrey Floyd, Donna Landers

 

Neighbors/Nazis/Contestants………………………….……Mike Potter, Daniel Baker, Aaron Baker

Special Awards Given at Annual Studio Meeting

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At the Annual Studio Meeting on June 7, the board of directors bestowed special honors on two individuals.  The board created a Volunteer of the Year award and will feature a plaque which will hang in the lobby.  The first recipient of this award is Reida Cummings, who is the Costume Queen of Bedford Little Theatre.    This past year she supervised the costuming of three musicals and two plays.

Another new award is called The Spotlight Award, and is given to an an individual who stands out as a supporter of Bedford Little Theatre.  This award will also feature a plaque in the lobby.  It is not necessarily an annual award, but given to exceptional people that the board selects.  The first recipient of the award is Anna Mae Hudson, who has been a member of the theatre since its inception in 1960.

We congratulate both our deserving winners!

New Board Members Elected

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Three members will join the LTB Board of Directors in July.  They were elected at the June 7 Annual Studio Meeting.  The new directors are Tom Bostic, Penny May, and Reuben Murr.  Bostic and Murr are first time board members, joining May who has previously served on the board and is a past board president.

Outgoing board members are Cheri Barnes, Laura Henley, and Jack May.