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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Community Players"

Pompeii: the Musical 


ENT-Play-Pompeii-image

The Cedar Springs Community Players will present Pompeii: the Musical, by Scott Phillips, this weekend and next weekend at the Kent Theatre.

A few years ago, a local theater group decided to perform Titanic: the Musical, a Broadway play. To local playwright, Scott Phillips, it seemed rather bizarre someone would take this horrific event and add a lot of song and dance. In keeping with Scott’s tradition of irony and sarcasm, he decided to write Pompeii: the Musical.

The play is set in ancient Rome and tells the story of two young lovers whose romance is in jeopardy. To the rescue comes the dysfunctional family and friends, along with a prominent Roman oracle. Adding to the mayhem is the increasing rumblings of the volcano, Vesuvius. Obviously, things don’t go so well. History tells us how Pompeii ends, but theater can always twist things a bit.

Pompeii is Scott’s 10th play and 5th musical.  Scott’s sister, Jill Detroit, and his nephew, Sean Anthony, wrote the music.  The cast includes:  Sammi Kunz, Scott Herdegen, Steve Hutchins, David Schmuker, Madison Ruth, Rob Kellner, Debbie Irwin, Cathy Anderson, Doug Christensen, Jessica Talsma, Russ Cole, Annie Bagin, Savana Williams, Jack Bagin and Kirstin Bagin.

Performances are at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, Cedar Springs, on

Friday, May 19 @ 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 20 @ 8:00 PM

Sunday, May 21 @ 5:00 PM

Friday, May 26 @ 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 27 @ 7:30 PM

Adult tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; tickets for those under 18 years of age are only $6.  Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Cedar Springs Public Library, or reserved by emailing Scott at phillips4ba@yahoo.com.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


CS Renaissance Faire

May 20-21: 2017 Cedar Springs Renaissance Faire “Fellowship of the Springs” hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be held in Morley Park, Cedar Springs, on Saturday, May 20th from 12-8 pm, with a royal dinner and entertainment from 6-8 pm; and Sunday, May 21st from 12-6 pm. Vendors and live entertainment all afternoon both days (music, dancers, performers, and cosplay cast). #19,20b

Sing to the Lord

May 21: 2nd Chance will be having a gospel hymn sing on Sunday, May 21st at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). Music will be provided by Deb and Larry Eadie and the message shared by Ron Parson. Invite your family and friends. The Sing to the Lord hymn sings will be every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. It will also introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #20b

Spruce up Salisbury Park

May 21: The newly formed Community Engagement Committee is having their first event on Sunday, May 21st at 1 pm. The whole community is invited to Salisbury Park in Sand Lake to help clean out the horseshoe pits, power-wash the playground equipment, repair the gazebo, etc. Lemonade and cookies will be served. For more information you can contact Dave or Jan Dewey at 616-636-5982. #20

UMC Guitar Boot Camp 

May 22: Basic training for guitar will be taught at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church. Registration will be held Monday, May 22nd  at 7:00 PM. Students must be registered on this date.  To register enter at the South door Located on Church Street; class size is limited to 12 students. Registration fee is $60. A parent or guardian is required to sign. Guitar and all supplies are furnished these may be kept at the completion of the class. Classes will be Monday evenings for 12 weeks starting June 2nd. #19,20b

Auditions Canceled

May 22: The Cedar Springs Community Players regret to announce auditions for their next production, the classic tale of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” has been canceled. Production will be delayed until 2018. Any questions? Please use the following link  http://bit.ly/2ms32gX and leave your comment or question. #20

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

May 23: Flag: 4-7years olds / Rocket: 3rd-6th grades / Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 5/23, 6/10, 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Shaner Ball Field: 5/18, 6/06, 6/14 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Honeybees: Pollinators, Stinging Insects and Honey Makers

May 25: Come learn about honeybees and their amazing abilities with Donald Rewa, seasoned beekeeper of 20 years. Followed by a Q&A. Thursday, May 25th at 6:30 pm, Spencer Township’s KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #20

Memorial Cemetery Walk

May 28: The Cedar Springs Historical Society is holding its 17th annual Memorial Cemetery walk on Sunday, May 28th at 2 pm to honor veterans of all wars. This years’ veterans will be Samuel Andrus, Civil War; Burton Smith, Spanish/American War; Leon Marsh, World War I; Neal Mackey, World War II; James Remington, Korean War; John Gardell, Vietnam War. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist at the presentation. We will leave from the museum in Morley Park at 1:30 pm and return there for refreshments. In case of severe weather warnings we will cancel the event. In case of rain we will do the presentation in the museum. #20,21b

CS Varsity Wrestling Fundraiser

May 31: The Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestling Team is striving to be their BEST this year! Support the team and purchase a tube of WHITENING Toothpaste by May 31st!The team would like to attend The University of Iowa Competition Camp this summer, June 26-30th. This program will help increase their skills, performance and make way for a successful upcoming season! Visit the fundraiser Facebook event “Cedar Springs Varsity Wrestling Whitening Paste Fundraiser” and share on your social media platforms. COST: $20 per tube, plus shipping. 100% of all proceeds will be donated to the wrestling team. Visit www.havewhiteteeth.com to order some today or email fundraising host Kim Shuck, at kimberlyshuck@hotmail.com with any questions. #20,21p

Red Flannel Queen Pageant Time

June 3: Attention all young ladies living in or attending school in the Cedar Springs School Public School District who will be in the 11th grade in the 2017-2018 school year (including homeschooled, or private school attendees that live within the Cedar Springs Public School District boundaries): There will be a mandatory meeting for any young lady who would like to participate in the 2017 Red Flannel Pageant and her parent (at least one). The meeting will be Saturday, June 3rd at 10 am at the Springs Church (135 N. Grant St, Cedar Springs, Michigan). There will be a makeup meeting for anyone not able to attend the first meeting on Sunday, June 4th at 2 pm at the Springs Church. Informational packets can be picked up before the meetings in the main offices at Cedar Springs High School and Creative Technologies Academy starting Tuesday May 16th. For more information, contact pageant director Kaleigh Goehler at redflannelpageant@gmail.com. #20-22b

Irish Bowling Fun Day

June 3: Join Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16160 Red Pine Rd., Kent City, as we partner with the Sparta Celtic Festival for a day of Road Bowling on our trails. An exciting family fun experience that includes a pig roast, music and beverages! Saturday, June 3rd all day. Register online or call the office, www.HowardChristensen.org, 616-675-3158. The entirety of the HCNC property will be closed on this day to accommodate the event taking place on all the trails. Please plan accordingly, or simply join the Irish fun. #20

Alpha Family Center LifeWalk

June 17: Alpha Family Center will hold its 22nd Annual LifeWalk on Saturday, June 17th at 10 am Morley Park in Cedar Springs. There will also be a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 am and a Kids FunRun at 9:15 am. There is a coloring and short essay contest too. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, June 7th. For a pledge form or entry forms for contests stop by Alpha at 6 N. First St. in Cedar Springs or call 616-696-2616 for more information. You may also visit Alpha’s Facebook page to print off forms. #20,21b

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


 

CS Players perform at the Kent “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!”

Mar. 24-26: The Cedar Springs Community Players will be presenting three Sci-Fi Fantasy comedy one-act plays on March 24, 25, and 26 at the Kent Theatre. “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!” kicks off the 2017 fantasy-themed season. The three short comedies are set in the Old West, modern-day suburbia, and outer space in the future and feature hilarious encounters with an assortment of monsters and aliens. March 24th & 25th at 7:30 p.m. – March 26th at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets $10 at the Cedar Springs Library. At the Kent Theatre – $12 at the door, $8 under 18. #11,12p

Indoor Spring Sale

Mar. 25: St. John Paul II Parish, 2110 – 17 Mile Rd. in Cedar Springs, is hosting an indoor spring sale on Saturday, March 25th from 9 am to 1 pm. Something for everyone! Household items, décor, small appliances, toys, books, etc…. don’t miss out! #12p

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Mar. 26: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, March 26th  at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message and music will be shared by Traditional Country and Gospel Singers. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. Cowboy Church will introduce you to 2nd Chance and its vision. The school is in the building stage, which when completed, will teach troubled teens through God and the horse. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #12

Find Your Voice 14th Annual KDL Teen Poetry Contest

April 1-30: Two ways to win! Submit up to two poems during the month of April for a chance at a juried category prize. Stop by a branch for details or visit www.kdl.org/teens. #12

Magna-Tiles Mania

Apr. 1: Drop-in and build. Create cubes, pyramids, or other geometric shapes and patterns from two-dimensional to more complex three-dimensional systems. Discover patterns, symmetry, 3D building skills and magnetic principles. For ages 6 and older. Saturday, April 1 at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. /Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #12

Mixing Magic! A World of Color, Optics and Light

Apr. 4: Explore how we see our world by mixing color and playing with light. Discover magical optical illusions and other natural phenomena such as rainbows! For ages 6 and younger. Tuesday, April 4th at 10:30 am, Nelson Twp. / Sand Lake KDL Branch, 88 Eighth St. #12

Help Promote Literacy

Apr. 4,13,19,24: The need is urgent at this time! The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled  information sessions for prospective volunteer tutors. These sessions last one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Literacy Center and its programs. At the end of the session there will be a chance to sign up for tutor training. Sessions are Tuesday, April 4th at 10 am, Thursday, April 13th at 2 pm, Wednesday, April 19th at 6 pm and Monday, April 24th at 10 am. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW, Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 616-459-5151 (ext. 10) or email us at info@literacycenterwm.org to register. #12

Fish Fry at East Nelson

Apr. 5: East Nelson United Methodist Church’s annual Fish Fry will be held on Wednesday, April 5th from 5 to 7 pm. East Nelson UMC, 9024 – 18 Mile Rd. NE, Cedar Springs. #12

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Fantasy themed fun at the Kent Theatre


Local theater group rehearses latest production which opens at the Kent next Friday night.

Local theater group rehearses latest production which opens at the Kent next Friday night.

by Terri Riggle

Ghouls just want to have fun! Who doesn’t enjoy a few belly laughs now and again, even if you are the living dead? The Cedar Springs Community Players have selected three hilarious fantasy/science fiction/monster one acts for your entertainment!

The Players are just itching to perform their next project—the third annual Springtime One Acts at the Kent. This year it’s a trio of one-act plays featuring fiendish monsters and bone-chilling characters who will be performing on the Kent Theatre stage March 24-26.

The Rot features the perils of living in the suburbs and attempting to have a nice dinner with your future in-laws and a pesky zombie who won’t leave the yard!

Then it’s action in the old West as Zombie Gunslingers head into town to stir up trouble at the local saloon! There are no customers at the Wet Yer Whistle Saloon because the Temperance Ladies done smashed all the bottles of Red Eye whiskey, confiscated all the bullets and burned up all the Poker cards. While waiting for the next stage coach to arrive, the saloon girls hear of zombie gunslingers heading their way. Quick thinking and fast action have the girls concocting their own brew of Red Eye to keep the zombies satisfied.

Set in the future, Country Folk, Lycanthropes and Extraterrestrial Entities features alien visitors to our Moon’s dark side are prepared to take a pack of werewolves off to their planet, but, alas! The ship crash lands in the southeastern US and the locals are ready to do some shootin’ to rid the countryside of the Tourist Dogs in Clothes!

Showtimes are March 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and March 26 at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets $10 at the Cedar Springs Library. Tickets at the Kent Theatre are $12 at the door, $8 under 18.

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Explore MCC’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails

Montcalm Community College’s Kenneth J. Lehman Nature Trails are open to the public from dawn until dusk, 365 days a year. There is no charge to visit these beautiful trails winding through forests, grasslands and wetlands. More than four miles of trails are marked with numbered trail posts and maps are available at most major trail heads. For more information, please email naturetrails@montcalm.edu or call MCC Biology Instructor Heather Wesp (989) 328-1270. #11

Rockford Reformed Church Garage Sale

Mar. 18: The annual Church Garage Sale will be held on Saturday, March 18th from 9 am to 3 pm at Rockford Reformed Church located at 4890 – 11 Mile Rd., Rockford. Proceeds will go towards the youth ministries summer trips. For more information, call Deb Coon 616-866-4829. #11p

Dinner at the Legion

Mar. 20: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Roast Beef and Onions dinner on Monday, March 20th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #11

Blood Drive

Mar. 21:This has been a busy week to remember to do certain things: turn our clocks back and wear green Friday. But next week your top priority is to remember to donate blood. The need is great; the cost is free; time commitment is less than an hour and the reward is gratifying. Michigan Blood Drive is on March 21st. at the Cedar Springs Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7:00 pm. Help to save lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that attempt to donate. #11

Anatomy – The Human Body at KDL

Mar. 23: Learn how the human body works through STEAM based activities. Create models to learn how your circulatory system, skeleton and lungs function. Discover what the inside of your body looks like using a human torso model and make your own brain hat to take home. For ages 6 and older. Thursday, March 23rd at 6:30 pm, Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave. Gowen.

Players perform at the Kent “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!”

Mar. 24-26: The Cedar Springs Community Players will be presenting three Sci-Fi Fantasy comedy one-act plays on March 24, 25, and 26 at the Kent Theatre. “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!” kicks off the 2017 fantasy-themed season. The three short comedies are set in the Old West, modern-day suburbia, and outer space in the future and feature hilarious encounters with an assortment of monsters and aliens. March 24th & 25th at 7:30 p.m. – March 26th at 2:00 p.m. Advance tickets $10 at the Cedar Springs Library. At the Kent Theatre – $12 at the door, $8 under 18. #11,12p

Courtland Fire Department Pancake Breakfast

Mar. 25: Courtland Fire Department’s Annual Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 25th from 8 to 11 am at 7480 – 14 Mile Rd., Rockford. All you can eat pancakes, eggs, sausage and hash browns. Coffee, juice and milk. Adults – $7, kids ages 4-12 – $4, ages 3 and under free. #11

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Hometown Happenings


Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.


Spaghetti Dinner Benefit

Mar. 4: A Spaghetti Dinner Benefit for the Hammer family will be held on Saturday, March 4th at the Cedar Springs American Legion, 91 First St., Cedar Springs from 4 to 8 pm. Adults $7, Kids $5, 4 and under $2. The Hammer family lost their home and possessions to fire. Dinner includes Spaghetti, bread stick, salad & dessert. 50/30/20 raffle, gift card box, and live auction at 7 pm. Please come out and help support this family. Everyone is welcome!. #9p

Dinner at the Legion

Mar. 6: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Baked Chicken dinner on Monday, March 6th , from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggies, salad, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #9p

God’s Kitchen in Cedar Springs

Mar. 7,14,21,28: Join us for dinner every Tuesday. God’s Kitchen – Cedar Springs welcomes families from Northern Kent County and the surrounding area to a Tuesday Evening Meal. No charge – no registration required!  Served from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 – 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs. For more information, call the Church office at 616-696-3904. #9

Mixing Magic at KDL

Mar. 8,9: Mixing Magic! A World of Color, Optics and Light. Explore how we see our world by mixing color and playing with light. Discover magical illusions and other natural phenomena such as rainbows! For ages 6 and younger. Wednesday, March 8th at 10 am and Thursday, March 9th at 6:30 pm at the Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #9

Let’s Get Growing at HCNC

Mar. 10: Let’s Get Growing – indoor seed starting will be held at Howard Christensen Nature Center on Friday, March 10th from 6 to 7:30 pm. A donation of $8 per person (members $4) includes pots, soil and seeds! Join seasoned gardeners in learning how to begin your garden early indoors. A great way to save money by avoiding costly plants at the nursery each spring, and a wonderful way to dictate an earlier harvest. Make your garden the envy of the neighborhood while feeding your family. Beans, peppers, tomatoes, pickles, squash and more. HCNC is located at 16160 Red Pine Drive., Kent City. Sign up online at www.HowardChristensen.org today! #9

Rotary Life Leadership Conference and Scholarships

Mar. 17: The Cedar Springs Rotary Club is now accepting interest forms to attend a leadership conference for high school sophomores and juniors in Tustin, Michigan June 14th thru 17th. The conference fee is covered by the Cedar Springs Rotary Club. Students learn about leadership styles and identify strengths and weaknesses of those styles. Small group discussions include an understanding of various political, cultural, ethnic, gender, and religious groups. Two $1,000 scholarships will then be awarded based on Interviews, Applications, Presentations and Essays submitted by the students chosen for the conference. Interest Forms are available in the Cedar Springs High School Academic office, CTA Counselor’s office, Independent Bank or White Creek Lumber with a response deadline of Friday, March 17th @ 5:00 pm. #9

Register Now For Free Hunter Education

Mar. 21: To register for firearm Hunter Safety Classes  at the Red Flannel Rod & Gun Club, call Jim Pope at 231-834-5545 after 6 pm. Classes at the Club, 7463 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, will be Tuesday, March 21st, from 6-9 pm,  Thursday, March 23rd  from 6-9pm,  Saturday, March 25th, from 8 am-4 pm. Class size limited to 50 students. #9,10p

Youth Theatre Workshop

Mar. 25, Apr. 29: The Cedar Springs Community Players will be putting on two theatre workshops for youth ages 8-18 on March 25th and April 29th. Sign up information and more details on www.cedarspringscommunityplayers.org. #9

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Auditions for sci-fi fantasy one act plays


 

Feb. 13, 14

The Cedar Springs Community Players will be presenting three Sci-Fi Fantasy one act plays on March 24, 25, and 26th at the Kent Theatre. “Zombies, Werewolves and Aliens, oh my!” kicks off the 2017 Fantasy themed season. The three short comedies are set in the old west, modern day suburbia, and outer space in the future and feature hilarious encounters with an assortment of monsters and aliens.

People have always loved stories about monsters. Our literature is full of entities with mysterious origins with great strength or different abilities that we must somehow overcome. Traditionally, this is done with fierce battles and intestinal fortitude on the part of the hero.  And since conflict is a great plot device, these stories about monsters have long been a part of our film and theater history, too. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus” was published in 1818 and she is known to have seen a play based on it in 1823. And this popularity endures; in 2016 there was even a Frankenstein ballet.

And, of course, vampires, zombies, and aliens are everywhere these days, too. Over time, these scary monster stories started to take on a more humorous side. Low movie budgets led to cheesy looking special effects and a proliferation of odd titles like “Bride of the Monster,” “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” and the modern classic “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.”

And you can expect to see a fair amount of cheesiness and comedy on stage in March. We have a lot of roles to fill—both actors and monsters—in these three plays and would love to see you at auditions. And if you enjoy monster makeup, exotic costumes, know how to make a convincing looking ray gun or other things out of tin foil, please let us know! Auditions for the show are on February 13 and 14 between 6:30 and 8:00 at the United Methodist church. If you are interesting in helping out behind the scenes, please feel free to come to the auditions and introduce yourself or send us an email at contact@cedarspringscommunityplayers.org. This is going to be a fun show and we want you to be a part of it!

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Improv comedy performance at the Kent


ENT-Improv-at-the-Kent

By Terri Riggle

The Cedar Springs Community Players is pleased to announce its first annual comedy “Improv Night” debuting at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Doors will open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7 p.m. Local talent will take to the stage to entertain their audience for 90 minutes. Cost is only $5 at the door. It’s not The Second City, but in the same fashion, it should be an evening of grins and giggles as performers quickly create characters and dialog in the spur of a moment!

Improvisational theater (now shortened to just Improv) is a form of live theater in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. The most direct ancestor of modern improv is probably the Commedia Dell’Arte, which was popular throughout Europe starting in the mid-1500. Troupes of performers would travel from village to village, presenting shows in the public squares and on makeshift stages. They would improvise the dialog, within a framework provided by a set called a “scenario.”

During the 1920’s and 30’s, a woman named Viola Spolin developed a new approach to teach acting. It was based on a simple yet powerful idea that children would enjoy learning the craft if it were presented as a series of games.

Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, built on his mother’s work and was one of the driving forces of improvisational theatre centered at the University of Chicago in the mid-1950. Along with people like Del Close and David Shepherd, Sills created an ensemble of actors who developed a kind of modern “Commedia” which would appeal to the average man in the street. The goal was to create theatre that was accessible to everyone.

The group that sprang from the work of Sills, Shepherd and Close, called The Compass, was extremely successful. It brought people to the theatre who, in many cases, had never gone before. Eventually, it led to the development of a company called The Second City in Chicago, which opened its doors in December of 1959 and has since grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theatre, and school of improvisation. The main focus of the theater was to provide a place where scenes and story were created improvisationally, using the same innovative techniques that Viola Spolin had developed and taught.

The Second City has been a launching pad for comedians, actors, directors and others working in show business. Notable alumni include Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, George Wendt and Fred Willard, among many others.

The Players hope to form a permanent Improv troupe which would be able to perform in area locales all throughout the year.  They encourage any persons interested in being a part of the troupe to attend the performance and leave your name at the box office or leave a comment on their website cedarspringscommunityplayers.org.

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It’s A Wonderful Life is an American classic with a fascinating history


 

By Liz Clifford

 

The Cedar Springs Community Players is presenting “It’s A Wonderful Life—A Live Radio Play” on December 8, 9, and 10 at the Kent Theatre. The play is inspired by the 1946 Frank Capra movie. From humble beginnings, this movie has become an enduring American holiday favorite.

But the story actually started out life in 1939 as a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern.  Stern was unable to get the story published and decided to use it as an elaborate Christmas card for his family and friends in 1943. The Christmas story caught the eye of a movie producer who bought the rights in the hopes of making a movie of it with Cary Grant. But the timing and script weren’t right and the rights were resold to Frank Capra’s movie company in 1945.

Capra had a vision for the film and created an enormous set for the town of Bedford Falls. The movie lot was on four acres and had several city blocks with over 75 buildings, a working bank building, and specially planted full size trees to make it look like a real, established small town. Local wild animals were even encouraged to make themselves at home on the set.

Everything in Capra’s movie town had to be perfect, including the snow.  Traditionally, movie snow was made of corn flakes. But Capra didn’t like the crunching noise it made as the actors walked on it. So a special “chemical” snow was created for the film.

But the extensive set, special inventions, and multiple script revisions all cost money and the movie was not a box office success. “It’s A Wonderful Life” won one Academy Award for technical achievement—the very exciting new snow. And, to add insult to injury, the FBI took an interest in the film. In 1947, the FBI stated that the film depicted the banker as the bad guy and showed that people who had money were despicable—a common technique used by Communists. In the anti-communist McCarthy era, this wasn’t the kind of attention you wanted your movie to receive.

So how did this movie become so beloved by Americans? Because of a clerical error over it’s copyright. The copyright problem meant the movie became available to show inexpensively on television and every station across the country showed it multiple times during the holiday season. Over the years, this movie was seen by so many people during the holidays that it became a part of the holiday traditions in millions of homes across America. Which is a pretty amazing turnaround for an unsellable short story that was made into a “pro-Communist” box office failure in 1946!

Come see the show and be part of the story that has been evolving for almost 80 years. “It’s a Wonderful Life—A Live Radio Play” will be at the Kent Theater on December 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 at the Cedar Springs Library or $12 at the door and $8 for kids.

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Comedy to open at the Kent Theatre


Cast names (in photo) are:  seated: RJ Moore, Anna Ambrose, Tom Johnson. Standing l-r: Rod Zamarron, Mark Stoll, Deb Irwin, Doug Christensen, Laura Johnson.

Cast names (in photo) are:  seated: RJ Moore, Anna Ambrose, Tom Johnson. Standing l-r: Rod Zamarron, Mark Stoll, Deb Irwin, Doug Christensen, Laura Johnson.

The comedy “The Foreigner,” by Larry Shue, will be presented by the Cedar Springs Community Players at the Kent Theatre on Oct 13, Oct 14, Oct. 15, 2016.  The show, directed by Sue Harrison, will start at 7:30 p.m. each night. The show was one of Jack Clark’s favorite shows and is being dedicated to him. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Library or from any cast member for $10. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $8 for students under 18.

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