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2015 – 2016 Studio Theatre Announcement!

As promised, in our Main Stage announcement we are back today at high noon to announce what’s coming up in our Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre for the exciting 2015 – 2016 Season!

  • Evil Dead, The Musical
  • Sordid Lives
  • Hapgood
  • Fiction

We will be sharing more information about these shows on the blog beginning Monday! We are SO excited!

Tickets for our season members and subscribers go on sale March 1, 2015! You haven’t been a member or subscriber before? That’s okay! Check out the link above for more information about the great perks and nice savings on tickets as well.

Don’t wait until next year to come see us – we still have some great shows coming up for the current 2014-2015 Season!

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“Scrooge’s Six Days of ‘A Christmas Carol – The Musical”: Day 6

SPECIALANNOUNCEMENT

And now…! Without further ado! “Scrooge’s Six Days of ‘A Christmas Carol'” comes to an end with this SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

During his curtain speech, Keith Dixon, Artistic Director of Spokane Civic Theatre announced our 2015-2016 Main Stage Season line-up!

2015 – 2016 Main Stage Line-up

We are so excited to bring you the following shows on our Main Stage beginning September 2015!:

  •  Catch Me If You Can, The Musical
  • White Christmas
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons)
  • Little Women, The Musical
  • The Fox on the Fairway
  • Ghost, The Musical

Tickets for all shows go on sale for season subscribers March 1, 2015. If you haven’t been a member or subscriber before, this would be a fabulous season to consider as your first!

Keep an eye on our social media channels tomorrow at noon for our 2015-2016 Studio Season announcement, and Monday here on the blog for more detailed information on each show!

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SCROOGE’S SIX DAYS OF ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL': DAY 5 – FOOD DRIVE

Winter Food Drive for 2nd Harvest!

Winter can be a really tough time for our neighbors in need.

Dropping temperatures mean higher heat bills and that leaves less money for food and other basic needs.

Since 2011, Spokane Civic Theatre has worked in partnership with 2nd Harvest to provide food for these local families, especially at the holidays.

We offered $11 tickets with a non-perishable food donation for the November 28 and 29 showings of A Christmas Carol –  The Musical – both of which are all but completely sold out (as of this post, we only have ONE seat left for November 29)!

Help is Still Needed

Even though our incentive program has been fully utilized, we are still accepting donations of non-perishable food items in our Main Stage Lobby until November 30!

Here is the list provided by 2nd Harvest for the most needed food items. Each category is listed in order of need:

PROTEIN:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned meat, ham, chicken, tuna
  • Hearty soups, chili, stews
  • Macaroni and cheese, boxed dinners
  • Beans (kidney, pinto, navy, black, refried, etc.)

FRUITS & VEGETABLES:

  • Canned fruits/vegetables
  • Canned or boxed juices
  • Boxed mashed potatoes
  • Dried fruit

GRAINS:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Healthy cereals (low sugar & fat)
  • Flour, baking mixes
  • Stuffing mixes
  • Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat

It took Scrooge being visited by the three ghosts for his perspective on giving of himself and his resources to change drastically. Don’t wait until they visit you!

Thank you for helping us feed families in our area this holiday season!

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SCROOGE’S SIX DAYS OF ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL': DAY 3

Scrooge is Back!

It looks like Spokane Civic Theatre‘s ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ (Thomas Heppler) is back with another set of Money Saving Tips to get you through the holidays!

Be sure to enter your own video highlighting a ridiculous money-saving idea to win a set of tickets to ‘A Christmas Carol – The Musical’ at Spokane Civic Theatre:

  • Post it on your YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ pageTag Spokane Civic Theatre
  • use the hashtag: #CivicScroogeTips
  • Enter by November 30!

Winners will be announced at noon Monday, December 1!

We can’t wait to see what you have to show us!

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Scrooge’s Six Days of ‘A Christmas Carol': DAY 2 – A History!

A Christmas Carol - The Musical at Spokane Civic Theatre

A Closer Look at A Christmas Carol – The Musical!

Every story we tell on the stage gets its start somewhere!

As Day 2 of our Scrooge’s Six Days of A Christmas Carol – The Musical here at Spokane Civic Theatre, we think Scrooge would prefer that we provide a little educational element to the mix! Here is a brief history from where the original story began to being on our very stage.

DISTANT PAST: A Man named Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was published on December 17, 1843. By Christmas that year, it had sold 6,000 copies. It’s popularity continued into the following year.

According to a History.com article, Dickens lived in Portsmouth, England where his father, a clerk in the navy pay office. He was thrown into debtors’ prison in 1824, and 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a factory. This experience in his life very obviously influenced several of his works, including A Christmas Carol.

RECENT HISTORY: Making a Musical

The version of A Christmas Carol – The Musical you will see this holiday Season at Spokane Civic Theatre was create in 1994 by Alan Menken (music), Lynn Ahrens (lyrics and book), and Mike Ockrent (book).

The Music Theatre International website gives a little insight into this collaboration:

The creators were drawn together by the desire to make a show that could appeal to children who had never or rarely experienced live theatre. Ockrent in particular was inspired by the “Pantomimes” he would attend as a young child every holiday season in north London. As Ockrent says in his original director’s note, “I hope that kids and families will experience the same thrill I had all those years ago of enjoying the show and the wonderful reminder that nothing need remain the same, that within us all we have the capacity to share, communicate and love each other.

This rendition of A Christmas Carol – The Musical was first performed on the Paramount Theatre stage at Madison Square Garden. It came to be the longest running “major show” presented only as holiday engagement. The show was performed every December from 1994-2003 and was adapted for the screen in 2004 and shown on NBC (it starred Kelsey Grammar as “Ebenezer Scrooge” that time).

PRESENT DAY: On Civic’s Main Stage

Thomas Heppler reprises his role as “Ebenezer Scrooge” in this musical tale, with our new Artistic Director, Keith Dixon, making his Civic directoral debut. Heppler is joined by 47 other fantasic area volunteer actors, which makes this one of our largest-ever casts. This nearly village-sized group is joined by a top-notch team of numerous crew, show staff, and orchestra members that helped bring the details of this story to life.

We are so pleased to present this timeless narrative, from November 21 to December 20, 2014. Be sure to check our website for show dates and details. We encourage patrons to consider purchasing their tickets early this year, as some dates are already very close to selling out

Thank you again for your continued support – we wish you the very best for the upcoming holiday season!

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Scrooge’s Six Days of ‘A Christmas Carol': Day 1

 Welcome to Scrooge’s Six Days of Christmas!

Why only six days, you ask? Well, Ebenezer Scrooge surely would not pay for 12 full days of Christmas…. he would pay for six! So all this week we have a fun set of posts planned to help get you into the A Christmas Carol: The Musical spirit!

A Word from Scrooge

For our first day of fun, we have a great video for you with a few money-saving tips from Scrooge himself:

A Christmas Carol: The Musical opens this Friday, November 21, and is sure to be great fun for the whole family!
As a bonus, the opening night showing is going to have catering generously donated by our 2014-15 Season Sponsor, Porsche of Spokane.

Keep your eyes posted every day this week for upcoming goodies from Scrooge and Spokane Civic Theatre!

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SPECIAL EVENT: Civic and Clarion Brass do Christmas at the Bing!

Christmas at Bing Art Pack FINAL-03

FRIENDS OF THE BING & SPOKANE CIVIC THEATRE PRESENT: CHRISTMAS AT THE BING

A FESTIVE FUNDRAISER TO SUPPORT LOCAL THEATERS

Friends Of the Bing with the Bing Crosby Theater and Spokane Civic Theatre are teaming up for a night of Christmas cheer and generous giving, in an effort to fundraise and increase programming at both theater venues. “Christmas at the Bing” on Sunday, December 21st at 7:30 P.M. at the Bing, will feature a variety of talented musicians, vocalists, and other performers sponsored in part by Washington Trust Bank and The Fletcher Agency.

Entertainment Spokane’s Ed Clark will host and emcee the event.

Clarion Brass Choir

Spokane’s “Clarion” is one of the world’s top brass choirs, and in its two decades it has helped to define what a large brass ensemble should be. Clarion is comprised of twelve brass players and a percussionist who formed to explore the versatility of this instrumental combination by performing everything from serious chamber works to jazz and popular music. Their vision has always been to push the brass choir envelope by trying new things while maintaining the highest possible musical standards.

William Berry, winner of the 2003 Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship for Music, is founder and artistic director of Clarion, which has been performing since 1992. Berry writes and arranges Clarion’s music.In 2000, Clarion recorded “Nutcracker Suite Dreams”, and released a second recording in 2003, “Angels”, an original cantata by William Berry for two choruses, brass, percussion, and organ. Clarion’s 2005 recording, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree”, is a sequel to NSD with more original takes on Holiday music.

“…Virtuosic, musically fascinating and wildly fun.” 
-Ann Le Bar,  Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2000

 Clarion personnel includes: Robert Spittal as Conductor; William Berry, Larry Jess, Eric Moe and Andy Plamondon on Trumpets; Kyle Wilbert, Charles Karschney, Roger Logan, and Kristin Joham on Horns; Holly Amend, Richard Strauch and Bill Foster on Trombones; Leonard Byrne on Tuba; and Paul Raymond on Percussion.

Vocalists

In addition to Clarion’s instrumental numbers, audiences will also enjoy five vocalists who are local favorites, previously seen on Spokane Civic Theatre’s stage: Abbey Crawford, Doug Dawson, Andrea Olsen, Darnelle Preston, and Jim Swoboda.

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FRIENDS OF THE BING & SPOKANE CIVIC THEATRE PRESENT: CHRISTMAS AT THE BING

Sunday, December 21st at 7:00 P.M. at the Bing (901 W Sprague, Spokane).
Doors open at 6:00 P.M.
www.spokanecivictheatre.com/christmas-at-the-bing/

TICKETS:

$20 for adults, $15 for students with ID
Tickets available at TicketsWest
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Going Local: New Food and Beverage Options at Spokane Civic Theatre

mainstage concessions

New lighting at Civic’s Main Stage Concessions!

We’ve been busy!

If you’ve attended a show at Spokane Civic Theatre this season, you’ve most likely noticed we’ve been busy making a variety of changes in our concessions area, from new LED lighting and paint to updated archive photos and seating areas.

What you may not have noticed are the new local food and beverage offerings in our concessions area!

Partnering Local

As a community theatre, we have the great opportunity to partner with and support various local businesses throughout Spokane and surrounding areas. Through these partnerships, we are able to feature incredible local bakeries, wineries, breweries and other food establishments at our productions.

If you haven’t been to our concessions counters lately, here are two new products and local businesses you should come see:

Local Spokane Brewery: No-Li

Photo courtesy of No-Li

The Company: No-Li Brewhouse – Spokane, WA
The Products: “Rise and Grind” coffee ale and “Born and Raised” IPA

No-Li is synonymous with the Spokane area, and bringing on a couple of their beers resulted in one of the most positive vocal responses we’ve had in our concessions area.

No-Li is an internationally award-winning brewery headed by Brewmaster/co-owner Mark Irvin. No-Li prides itself in crafting Spokane-Style innovative beers made in Spokane, by Spokane residents, using ingredients sourced from within 300 miles of Spokane.

Look for more No-Li beers throughout the season!

Local bakery Deer Park Farmers Market!

Photo courtesy Deer Park Farmer’s Market.

The Company: Deer Park Farmers Market and Bakery – Deer Park, WA
The Products: Various baked goods, from huckleberry lemon bars to salted caramel stuffed brownie bites.

Located just north of Spokane, the Deer Park Farmers Market and Bakery truly embraces the spirit of local.

What drew us to the business is their exclusive use of simple, quality local ingredients, with a mission to support the many local farmers and food artisans in this area. We also love them because their products immediately transport you back to grandma’s kitchen.

Just ask our artistic director, Keith Dixon, about their caramel apple cheesecake bars – he ran off with the sample all to himself and refused to share! It was that good!

In addition to these two fantastic local businesses , we plan to feature many more local favorites throughout the rest of the season!

Partner with us!

Here at Civic, we’re always looking for new ways to add value to the live theatre experience. Do you own a bakery? A brewery? Would you like to partner with us and see your product featured at Spokane Civic Theatre for one or more of our shows? If so, contact Chris Beazer at cbeazer@spokanecivictheatre.com.

Even if your business has nothing to do with food, there are still a lot of ways your company can partner with Spokane Civic Theatre. Contact our Managing Director Marnie Rorholm at mrorholm@spokanecivictheatre.com to see how a partnership with the theatre can benefit your business today!

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Guest Blog: Legally Blonde’s Chris Sherwood

Chris Sherwood, Assistant Music Director of "Legally Blonde".

Chris Sherwood, Assistant Music Director of “Legally Blonde”.

Today’s guest blogger is Chris Sherwood. He came to Spokane Civic Theatre for our run of Legally Blonde, The Musical as the Assistant Music Director.

Chris is an award-winning composer with credits in film and video games, but his true love is musical theatre. Chris has both played keys and music directed shows across the nation, from New York to Washington, but is truly excited to have been part of his first production here at Civic.

The Joys of Working with the Cast of Legally Blonde, The Musical

by Chris Sherwood

If you’ve been anywhere near Spokane Civic Theatre during the past four weeks, then you know the theater has been completely taken over by bubbly, energetic and talented teenagers of all ages and backgrounds.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me introduce you to a side of Civic you may not know much about, our incredible Academy program.

The hardworking, energetic Academy cast of "Legally Blonde, The Musical" at Spokane Civic Theatre

The hardworking, energetic Academy cast of “Legally Blonde, The Musical” at Spokane Civic Theatre.  Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

To some, the prospect of spending eight or more hours a day with these young adults would seem crazy, and there are times throughout the process where I’m sure many of us would agree with you. However, I can honestly say that getting to work with these young actors has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career in music theater.

As Assistant Music Director, I get the unique opportunity to not only work with the actors, but also to watch as they interact with the creative team behind this year’s academy production of Legally Blonde, The Musical. Even before the official first rehearsal, several of the leads from the show gave up their weekend to come in and work with our wonderfully talented Music Director Benjamin Bentler.

Ben came over from Seattle specifically for Legally Blonde, with past music credits at the award-winning Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle and the Marriott Theatre in Chicago. This gives you an idea of the level of quality Spokane Civic Theatre provides students while they take part in the high school Academy program.

Elle makes her decision to go to Harvard. Her Trio counts out the steps: 1, 2, 3!

Elle makes her decision to go to Harvard. Her Trio counts out the steps: 1, 2, 3! Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

As part of an Academy cast, a lot is expected, especially in a show as huge and difficult as LegallyBlonde, The Musical. I can’t put into words the commitment I’ve seen from these kids, whether it’s hearing James Hogstad tirelessly belt out his part from down the hallway, or watching the Delta Nu Trio (Autumn Plucker, Madeleine Rush, Sarah Wier) come rushing full speed out of the theater to excitedly show me how they finally aced their harmonies.

I would be remiss to not also mention the growth of Sierra Perrins (Elle Woods) and Dominick Betts (Emmette Forrest) from two timid individuals in rehearsals to the confident rock stars you now see on the stage. I could write pages about every cast member in this show, and I apologize for not publicly acknowledging each person’s accomplishments, since they all truly deserve it.

As we move into this last weekend of the show I can honestly say that every member of our creative team, from Delvone Bullis (Director) to Hannah Farley (Choreographer), has sore face muscles from smiling so much. We love watching this cast not only connect with the show, but also grow exponentially as performers.

Emmett (Dominick Betts) and Elle (Sierra Perrins) help friend Paulette (Siobhan Flanagan) get her Rufus back!

Emmett (Dominick Betts) and Elle (Sierra Perrins) help friend Paulette (Siobhan Flanagan) get her Rufus back! Photo Credit: Heads & Tails Photo

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals and organizations that have given to our scholarship fund. Many of our cast members would not have been able to be part of this production without your support. If you’d like to be a part of helping a talented young person attend future academy programs here at Civic, download a donation form here.

Don’t miss the final weekend of Legally Blonde running now through August 17th!

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Guest Blog: Legally Blonde’s Siobhan Flanagan

Siobhan Flanagan, today's guest blogger, and "Legally Blonde"'s "Paulette"

Siobhan Flanagan, today’s guest blogger, and “Legally Blonde”‘s “Paulette”

Our guest blogger today is Siobhan Flanagan! She currently plays “Paulette Bonafonte”, a quirky beautician, in our current Summer Academy production, Legally Blonde, The Musical!

Siobhan is a recent graduate of Lewis & Clark High School, where she was heavily involved in the Tiger Drama department and will be heading to Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA in the Fall.

Siobhan joined a cast of 25 other members, all aged 13-18, to put together this full musical in just 16 rehearsals! She shares with us a bit about the production, the story, and her experience bringing it to life.

Why I Am Excited to be a Part of Legally Blonde, The Musical

by Siobhan Flanagan

Paulette helps counsel Elle while her Greek Chorus looks on.

Flanagan as “Paulette” helps counsel Elle (Sierra Perrins) while her  sorority sisters (Sarah Wier, Autumn Plucker, and Madeleine Rush) look on. Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

Legally Blonde, The Musical is one of my favorite shows and I am proud to be playing Paulette in Spokane Civic Theatre’s Academy production.

The film Legally Blonde came out in 2001, starring Reese Witherspoon as sorority girl, Elle Woods. Elle leaves the comfort of Malibu to follow her ex-boyfriend, Warner, to Harvard. While Legally Blonde is in many ways a typical romantic comedy it is also an important and revolutionary story about being true to oneself, defying stereotypes, and one of the greatest stories of girl power.

I believe the musical takes the story a step further.

Elle and her cohort behind the scenes at the Wyndham trial.

Elle and her cohort at the Wyndham trial. Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo

In the film, Elle Woods faces discrimination at Harvard and she responds by working hard to prove herself. She succeeds and joins the legal team defending Brooke Wyndham, an exercise guru on trial for murder. After Elle makes a discovery that helps turn the trial in favor of Ms. Wyndham she deals with an alarming discovery that her professor never took her seriously. She was there only because she was a young, gorgeous blonde.

The movie is a fantastic story that every young woman should know. The musical is even better. In the musical, Elle only succeeds with the help of Emmett Forrest. He helps her buckle down and commit to learning by sharing his story and reminding her, “with the chance we’ve been given, we’ve got to be driven as hell.” Emmett’s role in the musical is larger then in the film. His character reminds the audience of the incredible influence of friends. Later in the musical it is a fellow student, Vivienne, who disliked Elle Woods from the moment she walked into the room who eventually helps Elle get back on her feet. And finally at the end of the musical it is Elle who makes the move to be with her true love.

Inmates get “Whipped Into Shape” by Brooke Wyndham (Brittany Mendoza-Pena) Photo credit: Heads & Tails Photo.

Legally Blonde, The Musical at Spokane Civic Theatre is an Academy production. The Spokane Civic Theatre Academy offers classes for year-round for people of all ages to learn and grow as performers, artists, and community members. This performance camp for 13-18 year olds is an audition only, three-week intensive with 9am to 5pm rehearsals and two weekends of performances.

There is not a better show for young people to come together to bring to life. Elle’s journey is inspiring and the choices Elle makes and way she chooses to see life is an example to us all and a wonderful thing for young people to be exposed to. Elle is president of her sorority. She is happy and content with her life, but when her boyfriend breaks up with her she decides to go out and fight for him and her own happiness. Despite facing struggles and prejudice from those around her Elle continues to fight and prove her self-worth to everyone.

One of my favorite messages comes at the end of show in a conversation between Elle and, Warner, her ex. Instead of brushing him off or attacking him for the way he treated her, she holds her head high and says thank you. Elle is a character who looks at her past as a learning experience. She sings, “The day you broke my heart, you handed me a chance, to make a brand new start. Even if I crash and burn ten times a day, I think I’m here to stay, I’m gonna find my way.”

You can find your way to Spokane Civic Theatre August 13-16 at 7:30 pm and on August 17 at 2:00 pm to experience this amazing story for yourself.