“Jack and the Beanstalk” Brings Family Fun to Flint and Genesee County – Free and Open to the Public

Once again Flint’s Kearsley Park Players take their fairy tale theater for children and families to parks and playgrounds across the city and county.

Jack and the Beanstalk is this year’s fairy tale and the large cast features many local performers including Justin Wetenhall as Jack, Amber M. Dillard as Jack’s mother, Victor Galea as the wizard, Jessica Eldridge as the giant’s wife and Matt Szukhent as the giant.  The cast also includes children as young as three.  The 30-minute show is perfect for young children and fun for the whole family.

Jack and the Beanstalk opens at Kearsley Park on Thursday, July 9, at 7 pm.

During the day on Friday, July 10, the company will take the play on the road, performing at a variety of day camps, child care centers and tot-lots around the community. Friday night, Jack and the Beanstalk will come to Linden County Park (at Clover Beach) for a 7 pm performance.

On the early afternoon of Saturday, July 11 Jack and the Beanstalk will be performed at Max Brandon Park on Flint’s north side at 2 pm, then at Mott Park on Flint’s west side at 3 pm.  The evening of Saturday, July 11 Jack and the Beanstalk comes to Flushing County Park with a 7 pm performance.

The show comes to a close on Sunday, July 12 with performances at the McKinley Park (at Thread Lake) on Flint’s south side at 3 pm.

Admission to all performances is free Please bring your own lawn chairs everywhere except Kearsley Park.

This performance is part of “2015 Theatre in OUR Parks”, a collaboration between the City of Flint Parks and Recreation Department and Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission.

Join your friends and neighbors all over Genesee County as we celebrate summer in our parks.

PHOTO CAPTION: (The Giant’s Wife (Jessica Eldredge) helps Jack (Justin Wetenhall) escape the Giant (Matt Szukhent), Photo by Michael Kelly.

PHOTO CAPTION: (The Giant’s Wife (Jessica Eldredge) helps Jack (Justin Wetenhall) escape the Giant (Matt Szukhent), Photo by Michael Kelly.

Kearsley Park Project


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New Local Theatre Company to Present Apocalyptic Comedy in Clio

The OhR’lyeh Theatre Company (pronounced oh-REE-le-ah) is proud to announce its upcoming production of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s apocalyptic comedy entitled boom.

**Produced with special permission by Dramatists Play Service**

Dates: July 23, 24, 25 @7:30pm and July 26 @2:00pm

Tickets: $15.00 each for adults; $12.00 each for students 13 and over.

All performances will be presented at THEATRE 57, 2220 W. Vienna Rd., Clio, MI 48420

Call the box office at 810-687-2588 or go online to http://www.cliocastandcrew.com

Synopsis per Dramatists Play Service:

“Sex to Change the Course of the World” — A grad student’s online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of an evening of “no strings attached” sex. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Will they survive? What about the fish in the tank? And who is that woman pulling levers and playing the timpani? An epic and intimate comedy that spans over billions of years, boom explores the influences of fate versus randomness in the course of one’s life, and life as we know it on the planet

Some other tidbits to consider:

boom was the most-produced play of the 2009-2010 season.

-Our production is the first production of boom in Genesee County (the nearest production we could find records of was East Lansing).

The OhR’lyeh Theatre Company:  Katie Mizell – Artistic Director/Resident Artist; Carl Mizell – Director/Resident Artist; Jessica Smith – Resident Artist



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Flint Youth Theatre Creating Original Production; Community Invited to Participate

Flint Youth Theatre will hold a story circle on Saturday, June 27 from 10am-12pm, at For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the creation process for an original play, “The Most (Blank) City in America,” that will be the capstone of FYT’s 2015-16 MainStage season.

A story circle is a facilitated conversation where a specific question or prompt is shared and participants are encouraged to respond. The questions and prompts for the story circles related to “The Most (Blank) City in America” will focus on thoughts and feelings about Flint, both positive and negative. Through the play, Flint Youth Theatre is seeking to explore internal and external perspectives of the city in order to showcase a more complete narrative than what has been portrayed in regional and national media.
“Participating in a story circle is perhaps the easiest way to engage in the process, and we hope to create future opportunities for community members to participate in both the creation of the play and the performances,” stated Andrew Morton, FYT artist in residence.

The play is the culmination of a multi-year collaboration with several community partners and local residents. Written by Morton, the piece explores what it means to call Flint “home,” and asks thought-provoking questions about the words we hear, use and would like to see used to describe the city. The final production is slated to include a range of art forms, including drama, spoken word, dance and music and will provide opportunities for local young people to work alongside professional artists.
For more information about the story circle, please call Flint Youth Theatre at 810-237-1530.


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Reviewed by Joseph Michael Mishler

Fenton Village Players’ Second Season is proving to be quite successful. For just one weekend audiences were treated to an excellent performance of Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry.

Uhry is one of the few writers, playwrights, and screenwriters to be awarded an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. He works out of Atlanta and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Driving Miss Daisy details the relationship of Daisy Werthan and Hoke Coleburn over a period of 25 years starting in 1948. Daisy’s son decides to hire her a driver after she totals her car, the garage, and an adjoining shed. She doesn’t want a driver and cites many reasons. In the end, the son prevails.

The Saturday night performance that we attended was dedicated to the victims of the church massacre in Atlanta. The play deals with numerous sensitive issues revolving around race. The time frame takes us through these tumultuous and dangerous times, but the play is also about how people relate to each other and how they teach each other.

Mary Powers played Daisy Werthan and Dennis Sykes played Hoke Coleburn. They have performed this show before for Buckham Alley Theatre and others. They are a wonderful team and put on a clinic for theatre goers. Both have been involved in various theatres for some time.

A word about the set before I comment further. The play was performed in the lobby/meeting room of the Fenton Village Players. The production team created three different performance platforms which fit into one side of the room. They used screens to help with entrances. A very tight space to be sure, but the actors used the set perfectly and made the space seem much bigger. Shades of the old Buckham Alley Theatre, and a testament to the fact that theatre can be done anywhere.

Powers gave a strong performance as Daisy. She handled the changing time smoothly and with good use of costumes. Her portrayal of Daisy as she got older was right on the mark. She also handled the two men well, making all of us believe she was in charge.

There were no awkward moments between Powers and Sykes. As Hoke, Sykes played his character perfectly portraying Hoke as a whole lot smarter than he let on and seeming to know how to gain the trust of others easily. He also handled the march of time nicely. There were numerous emotional scenes in the play. Daisy’s struggle to hang on to her freedom and Hoke’s battle to maintain his job and earn his keep was a classic struggle, but it was one which both characters won.

The driving scenes were especially well played. It’s amazing what can be done with just a few acting blocks.

Matthew Semrau played Boolie Werthan, Daisy’s son. He was well-meaning, but he is caught in the racism of the South and finds change difficult. Semrau did a good job of portraying this character. Boolie did his mother one great favor by hiring Hoke, however it isn’t clear in the play if she appreciated his efforts. Semrau also did a good job of navigating between the comedic and the serious.

The ending was precious. Hoke and Boolie visited Daisy in the rest home. After she sent Boolie out, the play ended with a wonderful expression of friendship and love between the older couple.

I gave this show five stars. They received a well-deserved standing ovation. A little glow tape on some of the steps would have made the entrances and exits somewhat easier. The lighting cues were right on the mark, and the music was well adapted to the play. The tech crew did a good job Driving Miss Daisy.

Unfortunately, Driving Miss Daisy was only performed over one weekend and was sold out. They could have easily done two weeks. I recommend that you check out the Fenton Village Players for upcoming productions both on the main stage and their Second Season.

Fenton Village Players is located at 14197 Torrey Road., Fenton, MI 48430. For tickets or more information call 810-750-7700 or email office@fentonvillageplayers.org. Their website is www.fentonvillageplayers.wordpress.com

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“Twelfth Night” Opens Kearsley Park Players’ Thirteenth Season in Style

Reviewed by Kathleen Kirby

It was a chilly, overcast evening Friday (not unlike typical English weather), but the pavilion was shining brightly as the Kearsley Park Players hosted a terrific opening production of William Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, Twelfth Night. This story of mix-ups, misadventures, and minor mayhem entertained the large audience who, for the most part, came prepared with lap blankets and warm sweaters.

A number of outstanding performances buoyed this production beginning with Ella J. Thorp’s rendition of Viola/Cesario, a shipwrecked twin cast adrift on a foreign shore. In order to survive and find employment in this strange land, she masquerades as a man to secure a position in the court of Duke Orsino (Jason Garza).

Immediately, even though she herself is drawn to the Duke, she is sent to the garden of the grief-stricken Countess Olivia (Mary Paige Rieffel) to profess Orsino’s love for her. Instead, assuming Viola to be a young man, Olivia falls blindly in love with this messenger. Rieffel brings precision and sincerity to this role. Whether she is angry, surprised, amused, or aghast, it all plays out perfectly on her face and in her voice.

It seems the much sought-after Olivia has yet another fellow cooling his heels in the wings. Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Justin Wetenhall) also has his eye on the Countess and her considerable wealth. Not inherently brave, (actually hysterically cowardly) what little courage he has is bolstered by Olivia’s wine-soaked uncle, Sir Toby Belch (Michael Kelly), who encourages a union between his niece and Sir Andrew so to provide Toby with a well-heeled drinking buddy. Kelly and Wetenhall, joined by Chad William Baker as Fabian, provided much of the hilarity Friday. But, not all of it.

Guarding Olivia’s garden is the Lady’s steward, the dour-faced Malvolio (George M. Marzonie). Also sweet on his mistress, he soon falls easy prey to a riotous practical joke played on him by Belch, Aguecheek and Olivia’s servant Maria (Shelli McCormick). Marzonie provided more of the hysteria when he appeared dressed, shall we say, down . . . and sporting yellow hose. His posturing and preening as he sought to impress his mistress was a pricelessly comic highlight enhanced by Director Kay Kelly’s costuming which truly set him apart.

In the nick of time, Viola’s brother Sebastian (Shane McNicol) arrives on the scene saved by a pirate sea captain, Antonio (Ian Thomas) who is out of favor at Orsino’s court and must quickly hide. Left on his own, Sebastian finds himself in Olivia’s garden and then, mistaken for his twin, quickly finds himself married to the lady.

With both twins back on dry land, the confusion at last begins to unravel as lovers are paired and general celebration ensues.

However, one character still deserves major recognition – Feste, the jester is incredible as played by Issac Wood. In and out of almost every scene, Wood sings, dances, jokes, quips, jingles (the costume is amazing), poses and begs for coins while offering wisdom at every turn.

Finally, at the end of Friday’s performance, one seasoned audience member was overheard to comment, “They just get better and better!”

Shakespeare in the Park is one of those enduring jewels in Flint’s cultural crown.  May it continue to shine as brightly as it did Friday evening.

Twelfth Night continues, free of charge, in Kearsley Park June 13 at 8 pm and June 14 at 2 pm, June 18 at For-Mar Nature Preserve at 7 pm, June 19 at Linden County Park, Clover Beach at 7 pm, June 20 at Flushing County Park at 7 pm, and June 21 at Max Brandon Park at 3 pm. For more on this summer’s schedule of shows visit online at www.kearsleyparkplayers.com











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Flint Youth Theatre proudly presents an exciting lineup of summer programming, including Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“We’re thrilled to welcome audiences to our SummerStage productions,” stated Jeremy Winchester, Executive Artistic Director. “The Cat in the Hat and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are classics that will appeal to the whole family and are the perfect kick off for the 2015-16 performance season at FYT.”

Flint Youth Theatre will also offer summer theatre camps for students entering grades 1-12. Camps give young actors the opportunity to immerse themselves into all aspects of the theatre. Prior acting experience is not necessary to participate, FYT welcomes all students who have an interest in the stage!

New for 2015, FYT will offer summer musical theatre camps for students entering grades 4-12. These exciting camps will provide instruction in vocal production, choreography and characterization. All camp offerings culminate in a final stage production for family and friends!

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat
August 13-22

Mischief is afoot when a certain Cat drops by for an unannounced visit!

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
August 14-23

This classic comedy shows us that we’re all fools when it comes to love.

For more information about Flint Youth Theatre tickets or camps call 810.237.1530 or visit FlintYouthTheatre.org.

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Flint Community Players Present New Summer Offerings

It is our intention to expand the scope of works performed on our stage, and to broaden our audience and volunteer base. With that in mind we are adding two pieces outside of our regular season.

A Form In Wax

Written by Brittany Reed

Directed by Karla Froehlich

June 7th, 2015 at 6pm

A Form in Wax follows the journey of Alex, a young artist whose life is forever changed when a letter from a stranger arrives. Alex is forced to come to terms with her own ideas of love, family, and what it means to belong.

We will be presenting this script as a staged reading. This new play was written by local playwright, Brittany Reed. Miss Reed is a graduate of U of M – Flint and an instructor at Flint Youth Theatre. A short talk-back with the actors and creative team will occur after the reading.


Intended for adults and teens. Some strong language may not be suitable for young children. Admission is $7.00


DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead

by Bert V. Royal

July 24th & 25th at 7:30pm; July 26th at 2:30pm

Directed by Tomoko Miller

In this dark and lurid comedy a young man and his friends face issues of death, drug use, eating disorders, teen violence, rebellion and sexual identity.

The New York Post calls this subversive Peanuts parody “Inventive and raunchy…hysterically funny.”

Adult themes and coarse language. Not suitable for children. Admission is $10.00

DOG SEES GOD is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

DOG SEES GOD has not been authorized or approved in any manner by the Charles M. Schulz Estate or United Features Syndicate, which have no responsibility for its content.

Tom and Bea Nobles Performance Hall, 2462 S. Ballenger Highway, Flint, MI 48507


For ticket information: 810-441-9302 or www.flintcommunityplayers.com.

Flint Community Players is a non-profit theatrical organization utilizing and educating volunteer performers and production assistants, thereby providing the public a lifelong continuum of performing arts and learning experiences.

Flint Community Players is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides programs and services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex or disability.


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