Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 30, 2013

Elkhart Civic Theatre show headed to national competition

A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS

BRISTOL — The Elkhart Civic Theatre production of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” won six awards at the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT) Region III Festival in Hartford, Wis., April 19 to 21.

Elkhart Civic is one of two community theater groups from the Midwest that will move on to compete at the National AACTFest that will take place in Carmel, Ind., June 18 to 23.

In addition to top honors, ECT’s production garnered awards for:

• Outstanding Ensemble

• Outstanding Performance — Brent Graber and Tony Venable

• Outstanding Lighting Design — Randy Zonker

• Outstanding Costuming — Linda Wiesinger

• Backstage Crew Award — Sandy MacGowan

The cast for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” included Brent Graber, Tony Venable, Kaitrin Higbee, Carl Wiesinger, Missey Domiano, Colin Rusel and Angie Berkshire. The show was directed by Dave Dufour, with assistance from Randy Zonker. Sandy MacGowan was stage manager and the crew included Brian MacGowan, Pati Banik, Linda Wiesinger, Mark Swendsen, Randy Zonker and Garry Cobbum.

John Shoup, artistic director at Elkhart Civic, said the theater group has made it to the regional competition level a number of times, but to the national only once before. That was 10 years ago with ECT’s production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” The national competition was in Connecticut that year.

“We always think that we do really good work,” Shoup said of the Civic Theatre crew. “It’s nice to have that confirmed by folks across the nation.”

He also said the group is excited not just to represent the Civic Theatre, but all of Elkhart County as well.

Shoup said the ECT team is also excited that the national competition is taking place in Indiana. He’s hopeful of local community support.

“We hope to see lots and lots of our friends there,” Shoup said.

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a stage adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella. For AACT competition, the play is presented as a timed, one-hour excerpt, with an additional 10 minutes allowed for both setup and dismantling of the set in front of a live audience.

Also representing AACT’s Region III at the National AACTFest will be Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre’s production of “Cradle and All.” Twelve community theater productions will be competing in Carmel.

A website has been created for anyone interested in making a donation to the Elkhart Civic Theatre to help defray competition expenses. That site is www.elkhartcivictheatre.org/jhd.

Elkhart Civic Theatre productions are staged at the Bristol Opera House. For more information about ECT, visit  the website www.elkhartcivictheatre.org.