JCCT’s 50th season opens Sept. 13


The Tribune Staff Reports

Fans of Steve Martin will be happy to know that the first main stage show of the Jackson County Community Theatre’s new season, which opens Sept. 13, is from the pen of that master comedian.

The creative and slightly historical play places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café, the Lapin Agile (French for nimble rabbit), in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism.

In his first stage comedy, Martin plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects and other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness.

Bystanders, including Picasso’s agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher and a delusional inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile is a charismatic dark-haired, hip-swiveling singer time-warped from the future.

Paul Keller is director, Megan Keller is artistic director and Matt Nieman is production assistant. Cast members are Richie Stephan as Freddy, the bar’s owner and bartender; Landon Whitson as Gaston, an elderly man who spends a lot of time going to and from the restroom; Elyse McGill as Germaine, Freddy’s girlfriend and the bar’s waitress; Jordan McKinley as Einstein; and Jeremy Hendrix as Picasso.

Other visitors to the Lapin Agile are Karen Haas as Suzanne, John Conner Ortman as Sagot, Morgan Henry as Schmendimen, Stephanie Strothmann as The Countess, Brinna Sharp as a female admirer and Duane Barnard as the visitor from the future.

Other crew members are Erin Nelson, stage manager, and Kyle Kieser, sound and projection. Joel McGill, Joe Bradley and Joe Reynolds are constructing the set.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 14, 20 and 21. Tickets are available for purchase at Family Drug in Brownstown and Artistic Impressions in Seymour and online through jcct.org.

Shows to follow in the 50th season are “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (Dec. 6, 7, 8, 13 and 14); “Godspell” (dinner theater at The Pines Evergreen Room, Feb. 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22); and “Ordinary People” (April 24 and 25 and May 1 and 2).

JCCT’s young thespians, Jackson County Young Artists’ Theatre, will present their next show, “15 Reasons Not to Be in a Play” January 24, 25 and 26.

All shows except the dinner theater are at Royal Off-the-Square Theatre in Brownstown.

Season tickets may still be purchased until the opening of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” Information can be found online at jcct.org.

In celebration of the 50th season, JCCT has conducted a fund drive in order to make some improvements to the historic building. New seats were installed in February, and most of them were sponsored by patrons who have an engraved plaque on a seatback. Only 15 seats remain open for sponsorships.

Information on seat sponsorships and other donations to the 50th capital improvements fund can be found on the website, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 812-358-5228.

The JCCT season is supported by a grant from the arts partnership of Columbus Area Arts Council, the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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