Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Cast announced for ‘The Cinnamon Bear’

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Director Ben Dooley has announced the cast of Wheaton Drama’s 2017 holiday show, The Cinnamon Bear.

The whimsical fairy tale, running Dec. 14-17 at Playhouse 111 in downtown Wheaton, is an onstage re-creation of the perennial WGN radio serial, which marks its 80th anniversary this year.

In addition to our usual Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances, a Saturday matinee has been added on Dec. 16 for this family favorite.

Our cast:
Announcer = Patrick Gallagher
Captain Taffy = Rich Bucchi
Crazy Quilt Dragon = Rob Reinalda
Grand Wunkey = Jim Martin
Jimmy = Luke Grout
Judy = Riley Tomes
Mother = Krystyn Wells
Nicky Froodle = Ali Martin
Paddy O’Cinnamon = Ben Dooley
Presto = Craig Gustafson
Professor Whiz/Jack Frost = Dave Amato
Queen Melissa = Leah Rae Witt
Roly Poly Policeman = Tom Ochocinski
Santa Claus = Stan Austin
Snapper Snick = Sean Thomas
Wintergreen Witch = Patti Shore Kaden

‘Sex in the Title’ auditions Nov. 20-21

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Director Jay Fontanetta announces auditions for Wheaton Drama’s production of Sex in the Title, a contemporary farce by local playwright George Zahora.
Auditions will be Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 20 and 21, from 7–10 p.m.
No appointments are necessary. Auditioners must prepare a one-minute contemporary comedic monologue and will perform cold readings from the script.
Callbacks (if necessary) will be Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 7–10 p.m.
Performances run Jan. 19 to Feb. 11, 2018. Rehearsals begin Nov. 26.
All auditions, rehearsals and performances will be held at 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton, IL.
Headshots and résumés are optional. Auditioners must fill out the audition form, Sex in the Title Audition Form_RR. Please direct questions to sxtitle@gmail.com.


STEPHEN RAUGHBAUTHAM (30s): The serious half of a successful comedy writing team.
GEOFFREY MILLHAWKINSBY (30s): The not-so-serious half of the comedy writing team.
ELAINE HANNETT: Their manager, businesslike but not humorless; hints of a boozy past.
JACK MACTANGLEPOON: The addled Scottish caretaker/landlord.
SUSAN OSTRICH (20s/30s): Geoffrey’s fiancée. Tenuous grip on sanity.
CLAIRE KIRKWOOD (30s): Stephen’s ex-wife. Indecisive; Daddy issues. Too clever by half.
DESMOND WAGSTAFFE: A lecherous attorney.
JENSEN: An assassin suffering from scope creep.
*M. BENOIT: The seedy French photographer whose studio is across the hall.
SABINE GRIFFIN (20s): A nude model, mistaken for a maid.
GERALD ASGARD (20s): A maid, of sorts, mistaken for a nude model.
*POLICEMAN: A run-of-the-mill, somewhat dim cop.
*MR. GODDOE: A potential patron with a longstanding gripe with Samuel Beckett.
Note: The roles of Benoit, Goddoe and the Policeman may be played by a single actor.

‘Cinnamon Bear’ auditions slated for Nov. 4-5

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Director Ben Dooley announces auditions for Wheaton Drama’s onstage re-creation of the old-time radio holiday classic The Cinnamon Bear.

Auditions will be Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4–5, from 2–5 p.m. and will consist of cold readings from the script. Callbacks (by invitation) will be Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 7–9 p.m.

For further information, please email wdibear2017@gmail.com.

Performances run Dec. 14–17. Rehearsals will be Dec. 10–13.

All auditions, rehearsals and performances will be held at 111 N. Hale St., Wheaton, IL.

Headshots and resumes are optional.

This production will be performed in the style of old-time radio. Actors will be reading the scripts during the show; all the acting will be done vocally, with clear and distinct characterizations to paint a mental picture for the audience.

Originally aired on the radio in 1937, this endearing adventure follows twins Jimmy and Judy as they travel through Maybeland in search of the missing Silver Star to put atop their Christmas tree. They meet witches, princesses, pirates, dragons, crocodiles and other colorful characters and, finally, Santa Claus himself.


JUDY (age 10–12): Clever, caring, sweet; worried about her missing Silver Star, but courageous and strong, not weak or helpless.
JIMMY (age 10–12): Smart and a natural leader; cares for his sister and bravely faces challenges.
(NOTE: The two children can be older, but must sound like ages 10-12. Also, because they will be on stage throughout the entire show, they must be able to maintain focus and energy for two hours.)
CINNAMON BEAR: Irish dialect, young and sweet sounding. Higher tenor range. A bit tempermental and no-nonsense attitude, but also warm and endearing.
CRAZY QUILT DRAGON: Pompous, full of himself. Everything is overly dramatic. He is insufferable but has a good heart.
ANNOUNCER: Marvelous storyteller, conveying positive energy and a smile in his voice. Able to engage and invite the listener.
MOTHER: A musicality to her voice. She’s practical and sensible, but also caring and loving, with that 1930s “Mom” presence.
PRESTO THE MAGICIAN: Talks quickly, in run-on sentences. Boastful of his magic prowess.
PENELOPE PENGUIN: Haughty and proper; tremendously offended at the interruption of her flying.
CAPTAIN TAFFY: Gruff, mean sounding. Scary at first, but then friendly and good.
ROLY POLY POLICEMAN: Irish brogue. A typical cop on the beat in the old neighborhood, nice and helpful to the kids.
PROFESSOR WHIZ: Educated and snobby. Particular about language. Upper-class British. (Imagine he’s wearing a monocle.)
WINTERGREEN WITCH: Evil, wicked, mean, bad, nasty—and she probably has only one tooth. She most certainly has a world-class witchy cackle.
GRAND WUNKEY: Formal, speaks rapidly. Type-A personality—all about business and efficiency. Keeps things intricately organized down to the detail.
QUEEN MELISSA: Sweet, fair, wonderful, kind, magical and loved by everyone.
SNAPPER SNICK: Full of himself. A performer always looking for an audience. A grandiloquent way of speaking.
NICKY FROODLE: Santa’s primary elf. Very friendly. (Teen to early 20s.)
SANTA CLAUS: Older. Jolly. Twinkle in the eye, smile in the voice, hearty laugh.
JACK FROST: Mr. Fix-it. Organized, calm, in control.
RABBIT: Wisecracking and sly. Has no problem talking tough with Presto.
HALIBUT: What do you think a halibut would sound like?
PENGUIN: Lateral lisp.
OTHER PIRATES: Stereotypical buccaneers. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggghhhh!

WDI announces ‘Sense & Sensibility’ cast

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

The production team of Production Manager Elyse Willis and Director Randall W. Knott is pleased to announce the cast of “Sense and Sensibility,” opening Nov. 17. We had many, many outstanding candidates audition, making decisions very difficult, and we thank each and every one of you for your time honoring us with your audition.

We further wish to thank “hired readers” Annie Walker-Bright, Ken Kaden, and Rob Reinalda for doing such excellent work with all our candidates. Thanks also to Kate McIlvain, Steve Schroeder, and Mike Boyna for serving as audition hosts in our lobby, and being ambassadors for Wheaton Drama.

Whew. Without further ado, we are pleased to announce the following cast:

Elinor Dashwood = Elizabeth Thompson;
Marianne Dashwood = Mary McCormack;
Mrs. Jennings = Annie Walker-Bright;
Colonel Brandon = Aaron Hoge;
Edward Ferrars = Alex Small;
Mrs. Henry Dashwood = Meg McGarry;
Willoughby = Eric Traphagen;
Lucy Steele = Lynda Wellhausen;
Mr. John Dashwood = Jake Seelye;
Mrs. John (Fanny) Dashwood = Sarah Atkinson;
Sir John Middleton (and others) = Stan Austin;
Lady Middleton (and others) = Jean Austin;
Robert Ferrars (and others) = Jake Murphy;

New dates for late-fall classes for kids

Friday, September 22nd, 2017


Classes for Grades 1-8;

Our late-fall session runs Oct. 24 through Dec 12.

(No classes Oct. 31 and Nov. 21; makeup date, if needed, will be Dec. 19)

NOTE: These dates differ from what appears on our printed brochures.

This six-week workshop is designed to strengthen acting “muscles.” Through acting games and exercises, students will work each week on a different aspect of acting technique including: movement, voice, characterization and pantomime. Teamwork, focus and listening are added benefits that youngsters can derive from this workshop.

To apply the skills they’ve learned, students will also rehearse a short 15-minute skit to be performed at the end of the final class.

New sessions will be posted throughout the year as registration opens (roughly a month before the class starts).

All sessions will be on Tuesday afternoons at these times:

Grades 1–4: 4 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.
Grades 5–8: 5 p.m. to 5:55 p.m.

Tuition: $100 per session per child

Note: Classes are subject to change based on enrollment. Registration for each class will be open one month before the class begins. If there are not enough students enrolled in any given session, the class may be canceled. Notification of a canceled class will be sent out one week prior to the start of class; all money will be refunded.

Staff: Cindy Bolds is excited to join us again this year as our after-school instructor. Cindy is a longtime WDI member who taught most of the after-school classes last year. She is a certified teacher’s aide.

All instructors undergo an extensive background check.

For more information, please contact Elyse Willis at wdieducation@wheatondrama.org, or call 630.260.1820 and leave a message about registration.

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