The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 30, 2013

Showboat to conduct performance

The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre will offer a community production of “A Christmas Carol,” written by Charles Dickens and adapted by former CAST director Jay Berkow.

The tale of Scrooge, whose hard heart is eventually softened by the innocence of Tiny Tim, will be brought to life by local talent from around the community.

Performances will be at Ashford University’s Mullany Theatre on Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 8, 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets are general admission at $15 (age 12 and younger $5) and are available at the door.

Clinton native Kris Doss is directing “A Christmas Carol.” He received his BA in Theatre from the University of Dubuque, has performed in a number of Showboat productions and was last summer’s Box Office Manager for CAST.

“We’re telling the same beloved tale, but setting the show in depression era New York City. The emphasis will be on the actors telling the story,” Doss said.

Brandon Winter, also a graduate of University of Dubuque, will help as Production Stage Manager, assisted by Sydney Cronin. Music direction is provided by Matt Engelson, who is currently student teaching at Northeast Elementary. Engelson will also play several roles in the show, including Ghost 3. Showboat Board member Sue Markel is in charge of costuming.

Ebenezer Scrooge is being brought to life by Peter Sickels, who is a priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Clinton. Although this is his first performance with CAST, he has performed with the Princeton Players.

The role of Bob Cratchit is played by Patrick Query, who works in special education at Clinton High School. Paul Hopkins, a music teacher at Northeast Elementary, shares his talents as a number of characters, including Fezziwig, Topper and Old Joe. The ghost of Jacob Marley is played by local dentist Steve Decker, in his first role with CAST.

Several local women who have been in a number of Showboat productions are playing multiple roles in “A Christmas Carol.” Dorothy Farach is Mrs. Fezziwig. Mary Pirch is the schoolmistress and charwoman. Laurel Decker is Mrs. Cratchit and the laundress.

The cast also includes a number of young people. Tiny Tim is played by Elijah Rodney, who participated in Camp Rock Around the Clock last summer, and is a student at Unity Christian School in Fulton, Ill.

Former Showboat interns joining the cast are: Emma Van Zuiden and Cassie Van Zuiden, both students at Fulton High School, and Erin Hardigan who is home-schooled in Clinton. Students from Clinton High include senior Jeff Rickerl, juniors James Shemwell and Rachel Winter, and sophomores Danica Smith and Nick Wolfe.

Madi Jachino is from Lyons Middle School and Abbigayle Kuster and Liv Clark attend Washington Middle School. Noah Schurbon and Jaxon Gerken are students at Eagle Heights.

There will be Showboat 2014 season passes for sale at the door, as well as two-ticket gift passes. A silent auction fundraiser will also take place during the shows.

The summer season will include: “The Taffetas,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wonderful Town,” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Local auditions for the 2014 Summer Season will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Ashford University’s Mullany Theatre from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are roles available for performers of all ages, including roles for children. Those auditioning can show up anytime between those hours. People interested in auditioning should prepare 32 bars of a song from the musical theater canon. An accompanist will be provided, but auditioners should bring sheet music for their song. Children in seventh grade or below may sing a song from “The Wizard of Oz,” a cappella (without piano accompaniment).

Applicants will not be required to dance, but may be asked to read from a script or learn a short musical selection from one of the shows. Those interested in auditioning for the intern program (teen summer intensive for those currently in eighth through 12th grade) may either sing or present a 30-second monologue. For more information, email