I am excited about the upcoming 2017-2018 season of shows for Medina County Show Biz Company. While you may see some familiar titles in this season, we are making a slight shift from the normal offerings of Show Biz. We have received many compliments for our stage sets in the past several seasons so it may be odd for us to do an entire season of four shows with little or no sets at all, but that is just what we are doing.
In the script for Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, the first words are “No curtain. No scenery.” In 1937, when this play was written, stage direction like this was unheard of. He was challenging the potential of theater. Wilder wrote about this time in his life when he wrote the introduction to Three Plays(which includes Our Town) in 1957. Discussing his loss of pleasure in theater, he said that he “ceased to believe in the stories [he] saw presented there... The theater was not only inadequate, it was evasive… I found the word for it; it aimed to be soothing. The tragic had no heat; the comic had no bite; the social criticism failed to indict us with responsibility.”
Aristotle’s Hierarchy of elements in the play listed Plot #1, Character #2, Theme #3, Language #4, Rhythm #5, and finally Spectacle #6. In this upcoming season, we take these points to heart and present three plays and one musical with little Spectacle, going back to the higher elements of theater.
Our Town is the first play you will see this Fall (September 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, October 1), where the set consists of a blank stage with two ladders and some furniture and props, but a compelling and meaningful story. This is then followed by Vintage Hitchcock (November 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19), a live radio play. We will watch actors playing out three of Hitchcock’s classics (The Lodger, Sabotage, and 39 Steps) as a radio drama, live on stage. We will see actors playing multiple roles and sounds effects being created right in front of our eyes. It may be lost to radio, but the radio play is alive and well on our stage this Fall. We will resume our season in the New Year, with a night of comedy, playing two one act comedies back to back, The Entire American Revolution (in 40 minutes or less) and The Actor’s Nightmare(January 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28). Our final offering of the season will be the ever popular, Clue The Musical (March 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18), where the audience gets to play along with the show and try to find out who did it and in what room and with which weapon. You won’t want to miss any of the shows this season.
There is talk about adding a Children’s show to the line-up again this next spring as well as something special for the Christmas Holiday season, and of course you won’t want to miss the annual Walk with Spirits of the Pastwhen we team up with the Historical Society and Arts Council to bring you this look into Medina’s rich history. Keep watching for information and details on our website and Facebook page. It is shaping up to be a great season as we celebrate another year of theater in Medina county.