Tales for Two Cities

Tales for Two Cities

A new entertainment project known as Two-Town Theater Co. will begin its mission of “telling tales for two cities” this fall. The two cities are New Castle and Muncie.

The idea for Two-Town originated with Dick Willis who taught and directed plays in New Castle for many years, and who has continued to direct in Muncie, primarily at The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities.

The board of directors of the not-for-profit theater company has selected Madjax in Muncie as its home base. Madjax, at the corner of Madison and Jackson Streets, is a project to reclaim a former commercial laundry building as a place for “makers” to create. The building is home to a bookbinder, a print shop, a robotics lab, a microbrewery and now, a theater group. Artists and craftsmen will also be housed in the 88,000-square-feet building.

Willis is eager to produce plays in New Castle again and is excited about the library auditorium. “It has been challenging to create designs for stage settings that will be portable and that will work in both venues,” he says.

The inaugural season consists of six plays and accomplishes one of the main goals of the group: to produce plays old and new, classic and contemporary.

Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is the first production scheduled. Two-Town will tell the story as Shakespeare wrote it, exploiting the confusion caused by two sets of identical twins, but will set the play in the wild American West.

Auditions are 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10 and 3-5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 at the New Castle-Henry County Public Library. In Muncie, auditions are 2-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 12-13 at Madjax, 515 E. Main St. Parts are available for several actors/actresses in their 20s, some older men and women, three can-can dancers and other roles for various ages.

Two-Town Theater invites actors, dancers, and singers from Muncie and New Castle and the surrounding communities to audition for all the plays. Backstage workers – set builders, costume builders and people with other skills – are encouraged to join in for the new project. Two-Town is a “communities theater.”

The following plays will complete the inaugural season:

• An original musical written by Willis and Sherrie Hancock Burke (in 1960) is an energetic spoof of the college musicals popular in the 1920’s.

• The winter show is “My Three Angels” by Sam and Bella Spewak, set in French Guiana in 1905 at Christmas time. Three convicts from Devil’s Island use several unorthodox methods to help a distressed family have a happy Christmas.

• Tennessee Williams’ classic, “The Glass Menagerie,” will be presented in February. The poetic drama examines the disappointed lives of a faded Southern belle and her two children during the Great Depression.

• Two-Town Theater organizers are excited to produce “Fixing Up,” a lively, hysterical, prize-winning comedy by Muncie playwrights John and Jenni Marsh. The title suggests fixing up an old house as well as fixing up several romances.

• The season concludes with Oscar Wilde’s comedy, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Wilde was at the height of his comic genius when he wrote his most famous work.

For information, send inquiries to: Two-Town Theater Co., PO Box 1944, Muncie, IN 47308, or text or call Dick Willis at 765 465 1244, or email him at rmwillis@bsu.edu, or contact the theater’s email at twotowntheater@gmail.com.

– Information provided by Two-Town Theater Co.