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  • I am probably the greatest detective in the world

    #jcoperahouse #jclittletheater #agathachristie #murderontheorientexpress #jclt #clhooveroperahouse #august #livetheater #theater This month Junction City Little Theater opens its season with Agatha Christie’s “The Murder on the Orient Express”. The main character being one of Christie’s most famous creations: Detective Hercule Poirot. Christie wrote him for the first time in 1920 in her novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles and then he appeared in 33 original novels and over 50 short stories. There have been various interpretations of Poirot on stage and screen, most recently by Kenneth Branagh, but Christie describes him as "...hardly more than five feet four inches but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side…The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound." Poirot is also known for his idiosyncrasies. He is unhappy with any disorder and is known to refuse to eat an irregularly shaped loaf of bread. He takes great pride in his appearance from his immaculately groomed moustache to his patent leather shoes. He is very picky about what he drinks. He will drink hot chocolate and herbal tea, and once called decaffeinated coffee an ‘abomination’. As a detective, Poirot is described as extraordinary. While some detectives scrabble around searching for clues, Poirot uses psychology and his extensive knowledge of human nature to weed out criminals. Poirot’s cases are invariably finished with a typical, dramatic denouement, confirming to all that he is truly "the greatest mind in Europe." The first portrayal of Poirot was by Charles Laughton in a 1928 stage production of Alibi; an adaptation of Christie’s well-known novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. JCLT actor Andrew Liebau, known for roles such as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, and Director for Clue: On Stage will be taking on the role of Poirot. I was able to ask a quick question to Andrew in between rehearsals, his full-time job, being a father of 4, and living out in Wakefield, KS. Q: What has been the most challenging part of playing Poirot? All the lines? I would say that the lines aren't difficult. There's just a lot. The hardest thing is digging into the mind of the world's greatest detective. Like what does he know? When would he know it? How? Can Andrew pull off playing the famous Poirot? My money is on, YES! Get to the Opera House August 17-19 and 25-27 to see who gets murdered and if Poirot can figure out who did it! FUN FACT In a rare filmed interview, Agatha Christie was asked which was the best Poirot novel. After some hesitation ("Oh dear that’s a tall order!") she declared that it was probably Murder on the Orient Express. Sources:

  • Junction City has a Community Band?!

    #jcoperahouse #junctioncityks #supportthearts Happy June, everyone! The month of Summer, Weddings, Pride and FREE Junction City Community Band Concerts! Who doesn't love free things? My family sure does. That's why my family has been going to these free band concerts since they started in the 90s. Every Sunday in June, I remember packing the lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks and driving to Heritage Park to listen to the band. There we heard music performed by local musicians while watching the lighting bugs fly and eating our watermelon. It was one of the highlights of my childhood summers. Now, I get to share these concerts with my children, but things are a little different. In 2010, the band concerts were moved to the C.L. Hoover Opera House to provide a home with much-needed air conditioning and more seating. They have stayed free, with the option of purchasing concessions to help with the cost of music and scholarships. With the absence of a university, college, or community college music department in Junction City, the Community Band relies heavily on the local school employees for directors and the school students for players. Students and adults from as far as Abilene and Lawrence come together to make up the band. Local vocal performers get the chance to perform with the band as well. I was honored when I was asked to sing with the band since I have such wonderful memories of band concerts. This free event is family-friendly and even does a Children’s March at every concert. My children (8 yrs. 6 yrs. and 2 yrs.) love going to the band concerts to see real instruments and see people playing them 'in real life'. I loved that my children have been exposed to live music and gain an appreciation for a different music than what is played on the radio. Make the Junction City Community Band a family tradition for your children to remember forever! All Concerts start at 7 PM June 4th, June 11th, June 18th, June 25th

  • Go, Go, Joe!

    #jcoperahouse #musicaltheater #junctioncitylittletheater #josephandtheamazingtechicolordreamcoat #takemetotheoh Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens up on the Opera House stage on April 28th, and I got to sit down with Director Brent Sigman and the actor who plays Joseph, Brent Weaver. Before the interview, here is some history of this beloved musical. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (JATD) is about the Biblical story of Joseph (Found in Genesis 37-50) with a fun musical twist for everyone to enjoy. In 1967 Andrew Lloyd Webber (ALW) and Tim Rice were asked to write a 15-minute pop cantata for a school in England. It was first performed at Colet Court School in London on March 1st, 1968. ALW’s Father liked the cantata so much that he arranged a second performance at Westminster Central Hall, which was stretched to 20 minutes long. The third time the cantata was performed (November '68), it was 35 minutes long. Then in 1969, JATD was taken to a recording studio to make an album. Throughout the early ’70s, JATD had many amateur productions in the US and UK; by 1974, JATD was now a full-length musical. The full-length show was first performed at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, UK, and in the US at the Playhouse in the Park in Philadelphia. Later in 1981, JATD received an off-Broadway production with Bill Hutton as Joseph. This production was brought to the now Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in 1982. The show received many Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. The show closed on Broadway in 1983, having done 747 performances. But JATD continues to be a favorite amongst theaters worldwide. Now our local community theater, Junction City Little Theater, is finally bringing JATD to our stage, thanks to Brent Sigman. (Yellow is Director Brent, and purple is Actor Brent) Q: So, Brent, what made you want to direct JATD? So many reasons! One, I was previously in a production of Joseph at another theater and had lots of fun. Plus, Joseph is probably one of the most-known and most-performed shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s fun; it's got catchy music that both actors and audiences love. Not to mention the option of having a children’s choir, which allows folks of all ages to participate; it fits JCLT and the CLOH stage perfectly. Q: It's true. I watched the movie growing up and still remember the songs. I was surprised to see that JCLT has never done Joseph. Other Brent, *laughs* ... What is the most challenging part of playing Joseph? This is my second time performing in Joseph - I played one of the brothers, Levi, in high school, and it was a blast. Something about this music stays with you, probably because it's so catchy. Back then, I learned that entirely sung-through musicals are challenging! Even though our show is only an hour and a half (which is pretty short for a musical), you have to spend all your vocal and physical energy. I’m making sure to drink a lot of water, stay active, and keep my energy up. Another aspect that challenges me is that Joseph is a well-known musical theatre role. While I’m no Donny Osmond, I will put some humor and empathy into Joseph. Hopefully, those in the position before me would be proud! Q: But you sure give Donny Osmond a run for his money! You are fantastic as Joseph. You both have mentioned how catchy the music is. What song gets stuck in your head the most? Both Brents: All of them! The other day, I told one of the actors that this is an earwig show, where all the tunes get stuck in your head, not just one or two. That’s also the brilliance of what Weber has done with this musical. The one I find myself singing almost unintentionally is “Joseph’s Coat,” which is the song where we sing about all the colors. I spent a lot of time learning all 29 colors, and you better believe I know every dang color! I also love “Close Every Door.” It’s Joseph’s emotional power ballad, and many theatre people are obsessed with it. Q: Yes! The color song. I remember watching the movie for the first time and being so impressed with the cast, who knew all those colors in the correct order. I always get Go, Go, Joe stuck in my head. My husband hates it! *laughs* So when you aren't doing theater, what are you doing? We all know that community theater doesn't pay the bills. I work for CivicPlus in Manhattan as an Enterprise Account Manager. That role requires me to work with the company’s top-tier customers in a given territory. I am helping them with their needs and growing their accounts. I work at K-State First, which is K-State’s first-year experience program. We aim to help first-year students make a smooth transition to college-level learning. In my role, I teach courses, coordinate a peer mentorship program, and manage the curriculum for one of our courses. I thrive with this kind of work because it’s a mix of challenging, exciting, and rewarding! Q: Wow, you two are busy! And that's just the two of you; how is it working around a cast of 20+ people's schedules? It's tough and the most challenging part of any community theater production. Juggling all aspects of the show, both behind-the-scenes and onstage. With everyone having such busy lives, balancing their other commitments is always tricky. Q: Some people wouldn't put forth that time and energy. What draws you to the theater? Theatre has been my life since I was 12 years old. So, for almost 30 years (yikes!) I have been doing theatre. As a director, I love collaborating with all the talents and creating a show. Not one show experience is like the others, which makes each show its own rewarding experience. Q: Most people in theater enjoy acting, and that's all they want to do. How did you get into directing? I directed my first one-act play in high school and another when I entered college. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started to get back into it again when I started volunteering at a theater in the area. I started shadowing some of their best directors and finally got the chance to direct my show. Almost 15 years later, I have produced over 20 plays, five musicals, and numerous one-act and readers theatre plays. Q: Dang, that's so much! So, Brent, aka Joseph- There are so many significant roles in theater for young men, Joseph being one of the tops, but what would be your dream role? I don’t have many dream roles, but I’d love to play Adam Maitland from Beetlejuice. He’s nerdy and sweet, and his music is super fun to sing. (If you’re a casting agent for a future production of Beetlejuice, please feel free to hit me up!) I’m also a playwright, so my honest answer to this question is that I’d love to play some of the characters I’ve written. One day! Q: Woah! A playwright, now that's something you don't hear often. Do you have any plans regarding that? In the coming years, I plan to move to New York to pursue playwriting while continuing to work for first-year experience programs. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I will always be excited if I teach and pursue theatre. Q: Well, we wish you all the luck in the world, Brent, and maybe one day, your plays will be on the Opera House stage! Last question, gentlemen, what should the audience know about this show? This is a fun, fast-paced musical meant for all ages to enjoy. And, while it’s biblical, no religious message is trying to be pushed or enforced. It’s a fun musical that will have you dancing in your seats and singing along. For as heavy as the world can sometimes be, having 90 minutes of simple fun, song, and dance is what we all might need right now. I couldn't agree more. Ultimately, it’s a story about resilience and optimism. Joseph deals with many challenging situations but manages to hold on to hope. I think this is an inspiring message, and I think the audience will be moved by his journey and be able to reflect on their challenges with resilience and optimism for the future! Make sure you don't miss this catchy, fun, colorful musical! Not only is there a big cast, but there is also a ten piece orchestra in the pit that plays through the entire show. This show is family-friendly and is only about 90 minutes. Concessions will be served during pre-show and intermission. After the show, there will be an opportunity to take pictures with cast members. Get your tickets today at or call the box office at 785-238-3906. If there are groups larger than 10, please get in touch with the JCLT office for discount tickets at 785-238-3871 or email at


    #junctioncityks #clhooveroperahouse #arcadia #takemetotheoh #junctioncitylittletheater #livetheater #theatre #tomstoppard #communitytheater Junction City Little Theater is the longest-running community theater in Kansas and we are proud to house their office and to have them use our stage five times a year for their productions. The first JCLT show of 2023 is Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. I was excited to talk with Britain Stites, the director of Arcadia, and ask him a few questions. This is a new show for me so I was looking forward to learning more about the show before I see it during its closing weekend. (February 24-26, 2023) Q: This is your second show directing for JCLT. What do you love about theater? I enjoy the unpredictability of live theater. Even if (BIG IF) a show goes off without a hitch it will be different every night. Community theater highlights the community and the family, you create with a bunch of other people from all aspects, walks, and corners of life. Every show brings a new person or more into my life. Q: I completely agree. I love the fact that in community theater you can have a doctor, a stay-at-home mom, and a teacher acting together. What is your day job? By day I am the City Attorney for the City of Junction City. I've been with the City since January 2017. I represent and oversee all legal matters for the City. Q: You must be busy, and adding directing a show on that. It's like having two full-time jobs. This play must have spoken to you somehow. Why did you choose Arcadia? I debated between Arcadia and two others in my proposal to the JCLT Board. It feels cliche but Arcadia clicked and felt right at this time. It's different enough from my last show, A Few Good Men, in tone and themes. I didn't want to get pegged as only doing lawyer plays. Q: I can understand that, so did you see a production of Arcadia before deciding to direct it? No and yes. I perused online versions but I could not watch the whole thing due to my own vision. No local theater put it on too recently. Q: Then how did you get introduced to it? I only ask because before now, I had never heard of it. I went back and reread one of my college textbooks, "Beautiful Equations", a collection of short articles discussing various important mathematical or scientific equations including Chaos Theory. The theoretical ecologist Robert May wrote the article "The Best Possible Time To Be Alive" on Chaos Theory as well as the original scientific article for Arcadia. He cited a number of Valentine Coverly's scene 4 lines. Q: I love how theater shows up everywhere, even in textbooks about math and science! It shows how universal it is. What was the hardest part of directing this show? Casting. That's THE hardest part for me. You need to not only get the right person in the right role but you need to weigh the chemistry within the cast. Then you live and work with casting. I have no regrets and adore the casting in this show. Q: Having a good cast is tough but so important. You said that you "don't want to be pegged as only doing lawyer shows" if you could direct any show what would it be? To Kill A Mockingbird. As an attorney, it's a must-do after A Few Good Men. I just want the rights issue to settle down. Plus, I know I enjoy Aaron Sorkin's pace and dialogue. Q: (laughs) So a lawyer show! What about a Musical? Once. The Hansard & Inglova's music is hauntingly beautiful in that indie genre. I remember a group of friends and I saw the movie at the Liberty Hall theater in Lawrence. Q: I've never seen the movie Once, but I've listened to the Broadway cast recording and I agree, it's beautiful music and such an interesting story. What are your favorites? Play and Musical? RENT has a special place in my heart due to seeing it on Broadway with the original cast. I really like the story of The Crucible and love the resonant story it carries up to this day. Q: So, you like shows that make you think and discuss it afterward. What do you want the audience to take from Arcadia? Oh boy. This is a smart nuanced play. I hope the audience leaves entertained. I hope they leave evaluating the aspects of their lives and seeing the potential for interconnectedness compared to the separate "departments" of life. Q: What do you want the community to know about this play? If you miss this show then you're missing out. The stories it tells are compelling. It's funny and thought-provoking. I was blessed with an amazing cast embodying every character perfectly. The crew makes every technical, prop, audio, costume, and visual aspect come alive and propels the cast into their roles further. Make sure to check out JCLT's production of Arcadia this weekend at the C.L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City, Kansas. Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 PM Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM Sunday, Feb 26 at 2:00 PM


    #JCOPERAHOUSE #JUNCTIONCITYKS #WICHITAWARDANCER We, as Kansans, have a long history with American Indians. Kansas, meaning “people of the south wind” from a Sioux word, was the original home to several tribes such as the Arapaho, Comanche, Kanza, Kiowa, Osage, Pawnee, and Wichita. Historically, the American Indians were treated horribly, and there is nothing we can do to fix that, but we can empower them and make them feel more seen and accepted today. (3) In an article written by Christina Haswood, she tells us how we can achieve this. “First, it’s important to know the past and honor the sacrifices made for us Native peoples to be here today.” (4) Here is a SUPER brief history of our Native Friends: As early as 1803, President Thomas Jefferson proposed a plan that offered eastern tribes land west of the Mississippi River. This offer was extended to volunteers but proved unsuccessful. (1) In the 1820s, Kansas was permanently set aside as an Indian Territory by the US government and was closed to settlements by whites. Resettlement began to make room for eastern tribes to relocate to Kansas. The Kanza Nation ceded 20 million acres of their territory and was limited to a northeast Kansas reservation, and the Osage Nation was limited to a reservation in southeast Kansas. Although the federal government assured tribes that they would not be moved again, Kansas Territory opened for settlement in 1854 and forced the removal of native peoples. Both Kansas and Nebraska were re-designated as territories and opened to white settlement. Many settlers moved into Kansas Territory after the Civil War, accelerating the movement of Indians off the land. Some eastern and Midwestern tribes signed treaties agreeing to move onto reservations in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas in exchange for undisputed ownership of the new lands. However, other tribes refused or resisted and were forcibly moved and killed by the U.S. Army. At that point, the vast majority of Kansas Indians, including many of the tribes originally native to the area, were forced to go through a second removal to Oklahoma in the late 19th century, where many still live today. However, four tribes are left in Kansas The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas in Horton, Kansas Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska in White Cloud, Kansas Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas Sac and Fox Nation in Brown County, Kansas (2) The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was passed by Congress but left up to the states for enforcement until 1957. Many states prevented Natives from voting. It has been fewer than 100 years since Natives were granted citizenship and became able to exercise their voting rights. Yet, like many other marginalized groups, they are still fighting voter suppression across the U.S. (4) Patty Ferguson-Bohnee tells this story about how hard it was for her grandmother to be able to vote. “I will never forget the Navajo grandmother who spoke only Navajo and could not vote after Arizona passed its voter ID law in 2004. She tried several times to obtain an Arizona ID on her own but was denied because she was born at home in a hogan, and the boarding schools changed her Navajo name to English. She lived in a modest home on the Navajo Reservation without electricity, running water, and a traditional lifestyle taking care of her sheep. She was embarrassed and devastated when she turned away from the polls for not having an ID. Working with her, a team from the Indian Legal Clinic traveled five hours to meet her at multiple agency offices to obtain her delayed birth certificate; we then went to two separate Motor Vehicle Division Offices. The first one did not issue same-day photo IDs, and the other initially denied her request. The office rejected her delayed Navajo birth certificate until I could intervene and demonstrate to them that it was an acceptable document. The system failed to consider her reality as a Navajo woman and failed to value her as a voter. Fortunately, she was persistent in exercising her right to vote, but not all voters are, nor should they have to be.” (5) Things are looking up. On November 24, 2020, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Proclaimed November as National American Indian Heritage Month. “This type of recognition from our leaders makes us feel seen and accepted but shows a lot more work needs to be done.” -Christina Haswood “The efforts of Native American representation and inclusion have improved since I was in the K-12 public school. The future holds more work, but it is bright for Native folks. We are too often forgotten in the data and decision-making tables. A wave of momentum is changing that as more Natives file for office, the youth mobilize their voices for change, and communities celebrate their diversity. Native Americans in Kansas will continue to be resilient and honor the sacrifices of our ancestors.” (4) How can we learn about the past other than by looking things up on Google? Well, this Friday, November 4th, Wichita War Dancer will be in the Opera House at 6 pm. Wichita War Dancer is a Professional Native American performer specializing in education and the preservation of cultural dance. This will be a perfect place and opportunity to learn more about our Native Friends. This is a FREE event thanks to a grant from Humanities Kansas. Come out and celebrate and learn OUR history. Sources:


    #jcoperahouse #hauntedtheaters #Halloween #junctioncityks If you are a theater person or know theater people, you know that they are a superstitious lot. Such as saying "Break a Leg" instead of "Good Luck" (they believe it's bad luck), don't whistle backstage (it used to confuse the stagehands), and NEVER say The Scottish Play. If you need to learn about the Scottish play, you can check out the blog from last week. But there is one superstition that has proven helpful for modern theater. The Ghostlight is a single bulb left on whenever the theater is dark. It's believed that the ghost light is left on in case the resident ghost wants to use the stage. Some say it's to chase away the spirits from the stage. In reality, it's there, so no one takes a tumble off the stage. The theater is pitch black when everything is turned off, and the edge of the stage can go right into the orchestra pit so that it could be perilous. But let's be honest, theater folks would still use the ghost light even if it didn't have a modern explanation. Another superstition is that every theater has a ghost. We attend the theater for all kinds of thrills - suspense, romance, and unexpected plot twists. But theaters themselves, with their long histories of players, staff, and patrons coming and going, are the stuff of legend. It could be because the buildings tend to be old and creaky. Either way, here are some haunted theaters around the world... New York City The Belasco Theatre in New York City is haunted by the one-time owner, David Belasco. Belasco loved theater so much that he spent nearly every waking hour at the theatre, writing, managing, or directing his plays. His apartment was even above the theater! Shortly after he died in 1913, he began to show up around the theater. He is said to be one of the most alive-looking theater ghosts. Actors stepped out on stage and noticed a lone, dark figure sitting on the balcony, watching. The ghost has a voice, too. He has been known to walk right up to actors, shake their hands and tell them they did a fine job at a performance. Veteran actors look forward to seeing Belasco; seeing him is a good omen. If you're interested in The Belasco Theater, check out this 7-minute video. Los Angeles California The Warner (Pacific) Theater is in Los Angeles and is allegedly haunted by Sam Warner of Warner Bros Pictures. Warner died of pneumonia a day before the film he had been working on - the "Jazz Singer" premiered. Warner is said to use the elevator until it stopped working in 1994. He has also been blamed for things going missing, only turning up in different locations hours or days later. Lincoln, Illinois The Lincoln Theater in Illinois has had stories about hauntings since the 1930s. The most famous ghost is named "Red." During the vaudeville days of the theater, Red was a stagehand and was devoted entirely to the theater. So devoted that he never left the theater. He sat down after lunch to nap and never woke up. Over the years, dozens of witnesses have reported strange sounds and footsteps in the otherwise empty theater, and these are sounds that cannot be explained away as simply the theater's acoustics. Paris, France The Paris Opera in France found a mysterious apartment and a male corpse were found. Yep, The Phantom of the Opera is rooted in legend! However, there haven't been any Phantom sightings. Instead, the theater's resident ghost is a woman that committed suicide in the 19th century and is said to roam the streets outside the Opera House in search of the man who jilted her. London, England The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is the most famous haunted theater. The "man in gray" is reported wearing riding boots, a powdered wig, and a tricorn hat. The story goes that the apparition is the spirit whose skeletal remains were found in a walled-up passageway in the late 19th century. If you want to know more about Drury Lane, watch this video... Junction City, Kansas The C.L. Hoover Opera House in Junction City, Kansas, has a resident ghost that lives in the bell tower. The staff calls her "Isabella." When Junction City Little Theater was housed in the building on 18th street, there was a rumor that Bettina Coover (one of the founders) haunted the building. When JCLT moved to the Opera House, Bettina followed. Whether that be true or not, strange things happened, such as money being taken and then found days later in the same place it was left. People have reported feeling the temperature drastically drop when they go down in the basement and have felt the presence of a spirit. It has been said that you can see spirits in the rehearsal hall windows toward the last few days in October. Sources:


    #jcoperahouse #junctioncityks #thescottishplay #thecursedplay #macbeth #Shakespeare Did you know that there is a play that is considered cursed? Ever heard of the Scottish play or The Bard’s Play? That’s right, I’m talking about William Shakespeare’s MACBETH. If you have spent any time around the theater or theater people, they won’t utter the word, especially near a theater. Most actors won’t say the name at any point. Like in Harry Potter…He who must not be named. But why? What makes MACBETH cursed? Well, I’ve done all the research, so you don’t have to! During the Sixteenth Century, Scotland was notorious for witch-hunts due to King James VI of Scotland’s obsession with witches and witchcraft due to the violent death of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots. James even wrote a treatise called Daemonologie. James states that the try aim of witches far and wide is to overthrow the king of the realm. When James became King James I of England, his new English subjects wanted to appease him and his views on the demonic. This was when we got Christopher Marlowe’s famous play Doctor Faustus and Shakespeare’s MACBETH. If you don’t know anything about MACBETH, watch this hilarious video. It’s said that Shakespeare researched witches in-depth and even stole actual spells and incantations from a coven of witches and used them in the play. Such as the most famous witch line Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches' mummy, maw and gulf Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark, Liver of blaspheming Jew, Gall of goat, and slips of yew Silver'd in the moon's eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-deliver'd by a drab, Make the gruel thick and slab: Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, For the ingredients of our cauldron. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good. The witch coven objected to Shakespeare's use of the spells and ended up cursing the play, and the curse continues to plague theaters today. Here are some examples of how the curse has been invoked: During the first performance (around 1606), the actor playing Lady Macbeth died suddenly, so Shakespeare had to perform it himself. In this same production, a real knife was used instead of a fake one, resulting in the death of the actor who played King Duncan. Shakespeare intended to flatter King James I with his portrayal of him in the play. However, James, I was not too fond of the play at all; he ordered the play be banned. The play was rewritten in a less violent tone and performed in 1703, but the worst storm in English history broke out during the run of the play. Several towns and cities were destroyed, and a half thousand sailors were killed. The original text of the play was restored before the play was performed again. Abraham Lincoln read passages regarding Duncan's assassination to his friends a week before he was assassinated. In 1882, one of the actors accidentally stabbed another actor in the chest on the closing night of a production. The actor did not die, but he was significantly injured. In 1928, a set fell on the actors at the Royal Court Theater during a rehearsal, seriously injuring some of the cast. A fire broke out in the dressing room the weekend before opening day. In 1937, a disastrous situation overcame the cast preparing for the play at the Old Vic. The director and one of the actors were in a car accident on the way to the theater. Laurence Olivier, the actor cast to play Macbeth, lost his voice due to a cold just before opening night, resulting in the play being postponed. A 25-pound stage weight fell and narrowly missed Olivier, and Lilian Baylis, the founder of the Old Vic, died of a heart attack right before the final rehearsal for the show. In 1947, an actor was stabbed in the final sword fight of the play and died from the resulting wounds. In 1970, the actor playing Macbeth died from heart failure during Act II of the play. Most recently, in 1998, Alec Baldwin sliced open the hand of another actor during production. Maybe this play shouldn’t be done…just out of caution. And that’s why theater people won’t even say the name. They refer to it as the Scottish Play, Big Mac, Bard’s play, or McB. However, there is a way to counteract the curse if you accidentally say MACBETH for some reason. 1.) Exit the theater. 2.) Spin around three times 3.) Spit over your left shoulder 4.) Curse 5.) Knock on the theater door to be allowed back in Do you have personal examples? Or do you think it’s all a bunch of Hocus Pocus? Sources:,1606)%20was%20riddled%20with%20disaster.

  • Life Is Better When You're Laughing

    #jeffleeson #standupcomedy #improv #takemetotheOH #jcoperahouse #junctioncityks We all love to laugh. Laughing is healing and can make a person feel instantly better. Something that makes me laugh without fail is Improv. What is improv? There is Short-form and Long-form improv. The definition of short-form improv is theatre, often comedy, in which most or all of what is performed is unplanned or unscripted: created spontaneously by the performers. The most famous improv show is "Whose Line Is It Anyway." Starting in Britain in 1988, the show has moved to the US, moved back to Britain, ended, and revived many times. You can stream all episodes on HBO Max. I love the show and started watching it when I was a young child; when I went away to college, I went to the improv shows every Friday night, but it never compared to "Whose Line," and not just because Wayne Brady wasn't performing. If you haven't seen an episode of "Whose Line Is It Anyway,"Episode check it out... Comedian Jeff Leeson is known for performing long-form improv for his stand-up comedy shows. Long-form improv is a continuously improvised piece inspired by a suggestion at the start (or a couple dotted throughout the work). However, Jeff doesn't take requests, but he does use the audience. He gets the crowd involved to make his shows more personal and different every time. Jeff will perform at the C.L. Hoover Opera House this Saturday (October 15) at 7 pm. This will be a family-friendly show, but we suggest that ages 14 and up would enjoy and get the most out of this show. If short-form improv is something you would rather see, or if you want to see both, we will have a FREE, that's right, FREE lobby improv show! A local group of actors wanted to bring improv to the community, and we jumped at the chance to give them a place to do it. They are going by The Troupe With No Name but are willing to take suggestions from the community after their first show! The Troupe consists of... Andrew Liebau - lives in Wakefield, KS, with his wife Betsy and their four kids. Andrew has done many roles with Junction City Little Theater. He played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher and directed Clue. Tyler Downey- lives in Junction City, KS, but is originally from New York State. The army brought him here along with his wife Brianna, and they have two beautiful daughters. Tyler organized the first JC Film 48 and Take a Walk to Bethlehem. He was last seen as the telephone repair man in Junction City Little Theater's production of Barefoot in the Park. Harrison Lamb- lives in Junction City but is originally from St. George, Utah. He moved to JC in 2013 with his wife and has three children. He teaches Spanish and Theater at Chapman High School. He recently played Iago in Othello at the Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival. He has been in many shows with Junction City Little Theater and is a current board member. Tate Milton- attends college at Kansas State University and lives in Manhattan, KS. He graduated from Chapman High School in 2022. He played many roles in high school and Junction City Little Theater, including Curly in Oklahoma, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher, and Mr. Green in Clue. Renee Toms- lives in Salina, KS, with her husband, Keaten, and her fur babies. She teaches middle school Science and was recently in Kinky Boots at Theatre Salina and worked backstage for The Addams Family. She has also been in Junction City Little Theater productions such as Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, and Oklahoma! And Quincy McKinney as the MC This show will take place Friday, November 11, at 7 PM in the CL Hoover Opera House Lobby. You will want to get there early to ensure you get a seat. It is first come, first serve. Come out and laugh with us! You won't want to miss these laugh-out-loud shows at the Opera House!


    #TAKEMETOTHEOH #junctioncityks #jcoperahouse #littlestachmo #documentary Louis Armstrong is an Icon. He symbolizes musical genius, unparalleled success, and unassailable character. His wholesome, non-threatening image preserved his singular career as a black performer with unfettered access to a white man's world. Yet he had other desires, he had a longing, and in private, he held tightly to the things he loved. Perhaps closest to his heart was his daughter, Sharon, who he hid from the world and secrecy until now. (1) Little Satchmo is directed by John Alexander and produced by JC Guest, who previously filmed in Geary County for their cult thriller feature debut Bender, about the notorious Bloody Bender family; Little Satchmo is based on Preston-Folta’s memoir of the same title, detailing how Sharon, the product of a two-decade love affair between Satchmo and Harlem dancer Lucille ‘Sweets’ Preston, had no option but to the harbor and concealed her identity for decades before making it public. Fifty years after the death of Louis Armstrong, the only child of the American icon, Sharon Preston-Folta, comes forward in an award-winning PBS documentary, Little Satchmo, set to screen at the C.L. Hoover Opera House on October 8th at 7:00 pm, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Director John Alexander met Preston-Folta through his producer, Lea Umberger, who gave him a copy of Preston-Folta’s 2021 memoir, Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of My Father, Louis Daniel Armstrong. Alexander said he read the book in one sitting. Then he connected with Preston-Folta and discussed making a film with her and Umberger. He said soon he felt like he’d known his subject for years. “The heart of this story, for me, is the little girl Sharon was, and this little girl who is still in her who loved her daddy — missed her daddy. And he missed her,” She didn’t know he was a superstar, that he had a wife and a public life." “To tell this story, I was putting myself in that little girl’s shoes, being home alone and waiting for your daddy to see you again, playing with the toys he would bring in a stocking. She would dance and listen to his music. She had his shirt — a Hawaiian shirt. She would sway with it.” The film Little Satchmo chronicles Preston-Folta’s life, running on a sort of parallel track to Armstrong’s. And when he died after a heart attack when Preston-Folta was 16, it had been several years since she’d seen or spoken to him. Little Satchmo is quietly confrontational about its central conflict. Even as adultery is romanticized and forgiven in everything from epic love stories to pop music, so much about infidelity unfolds like abuse: the secrecy, the honeymoon periods of intimacy broken by silence and retreat. And the children born out of double lives — Preston-Folta remembers a childhood marked by longing for her father and hearing her mother cry. They had all the money they needed. But they didn’t have Armstrong all the way. (2) We are excited to have this award-winning film in our Opera House here in Junction City, KS. Tickets are only $8. Purchase your tickets at or call 785-238-3906 Sources: 2. of-Louis-Armstrongs-only-daughter-at-festival/article_232d183f-f5d1-5a43-a113-1b49fc6abf48.html


    #jclt #takemetotheoh #jcoperahouse #junctioncityks #musicaltheater #communitytheater Who doesn't love a musical? Or at least who doesn't have an appreciation for the art of musicals? You get to leave your worries at the door and be immersed in a world where people sing and dance their hearts out about anything. I don't know about you, but that sounds awesome. But I don't think many people know what happens behind the scenes of a production unless they have been a part of it. There is a lot of planning, re-planning, building, pulling, creative thinking, and then re-planning again. It's not easy, especially when performing in community theater. For Equity (professional) Actors, directors, stage managers, etc., putting on shows is their job. They get paid to do it. Community theater members don't. They do it because they love theater. They all have real jobs, go to school, stay at home with their kids, and then do shows on top of that. However, the work is the same. It may not be as intense, but the responsibilities boil down t the same. Community theater members essentially take on a second job when they are in a show, depending on the role they have agreed to; it could be for two weeks or even 18 months! All for the love of theater. Let's take a look at some of the responsibilities and jobs that happen before the show even holds auditions, during the show, and who is doing these jobs for Junction City Little Theater's production of Guys and Dolls: Director- The Director has chosen the show. They have figured out how much royalties are (musicals can range from $1,200 and up, depending on the popularity of the show, how many performances, how much you sell tickets for, and how big the venue is), created a production team that will assist in making the show, and have a vision they want to share with the community. They are in charge of bringing the show to life. They will direct the action in the scenes during rehearsal and make adjustments as needed. (Quincy McKinney) Music Director/Orchestra Director- The music director is in charge of all things musical. They find the orchestra members and meet with the director and orchestra for cuts or changes in the music. They are responsible for teaching the actors their singing parts, and they conduct the orchestra during the shows. (Diana June and Ron Atkinson) Choreographer- The Choreographer is responsible for the dancing, organized chaos, and anything else that needs to be 'choreographed.' They need to be flexible with the cast and the musicians because depending on the actors' skill level or the music's tempo, moves could need to change at the drop of a hat. (Patti Norgia) Production Stage Manager- The Stage Manager keeps everyone in check and on schedule. They create the rehearsal schedule and adjust when needed because there can be 10-45 schedules to work around! They are in charge of the show starting tech week. They call sound cues, light cues, call actors to places...anything and everything. They are the grand central station of the show. (Brittany Childs-Lamb) Assistant Stage Manager- This assistant is the SM's, right-hand man. They do everything the stage manager does but during the show run; they are in charge of all things backstage. While the stage manager is calling the show, the assistant is moving out scene pieces, helping with quick costume changes, flying scene pieces in or out, and putting out any fires that happen backstage. (Scarlett Reinecker-Bollig with Rebecca Crossman as Stage Left manager) Stage Crew- This can be from 2-10 people depending on the set. They are responsible for quickly taking scene pieces in and off the stage so the show can continue. Scene changes can be compared to a dance. Everything has a way to go and a path to follow. Set Design- The set designer sits down with the director to sketch how the director wants the set to look for each scene. Then it's up to them to figure out how to make it happen most cost-effectively. (Quincy McKinney) Lighting Design- The lighting designer goes through the script to see what lights will be needed. They then sit with the stage manager and director and set the lighting cues for the production. The lighting designer will also run the light board in community theaters during the shows. (Kaye Fisher) Costume Design- Costume design is precisely what you think; it's all about clothes! They are in charge of making the director's vision shine through the clothes. They need to get measurements for each cast member and then find or make costume pieces for all the characters. They help with quick changes, wash the costumes, and if there is a problem with a costume, they fix it before the next show. (Ellen Westerhaus) Sound Design- Whether the show uses a live orchestra or pre-recorded music will determine how much the sound designer does. If there is a live orchestra, they are in charge of any extra sound cues and the microphones for the actors. If the show uses pre-recorded music, they will have sound cues for each song, and the scene will change the music and the actors' microphones. (McKenna Reinecker-Bollig) Prop Design- Or the Prop Master is responsible for finding and gathering props for the show. Some shows have particular props, and you have to rent them or create them, and there is a very strict rule regarding props..."If it's not your prop, DO NO TOUCH IT!" (Ellen Westerhaus, Cast and the JCLT TATA Ladies) Technical Director- As the name suggests, the technical director makes sure all the lights and sound equipment are working, and if any problem occurs, they are the ones to fix them. This can be an easy or a tough job. (Steve Seitz and Tim Avery with the Opera House) Carpenters/Builders- Builders do precisely that. They are in charge of building the set, ensuring the measurements are correct and everything is in working order. (Quincy McKinney and Cast) Painters- Painters paint the set. They make sure the color is what the director wants, and then they make sure everything is painted and ready by the time it's needed on the stage. (Quincy McKinney and cast) That's a lot of jobs! One would even argue that they work harder than the actors on stage. We, as the audience, never see these people, but we do see their finished product. So during the Curtain call, when the actor's gesture to the sound/lights and backstage area, give them an extra loud applause for the unsung theater heroes!

  • The Perfect Musical Comedy

    #Junctioncitylittletheater #takemetotheoh #junctioncityks #jcoperahouse When you think of the perfect musical comedy, what do you think of? Avenue Q? Spamalot? Or maybe something like The Producers? You would be wrong; according to Musical Theatre International, the perfect musical comedy is the 1950s musical Guys and Dolls. Guys and Dolls is based on Damon Runyon's short stories about characters in the New York underworld in the 1920s and 30s. The main stories are The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown and Blood Pressure. Runyon was known for his unique dialect in his stories, mixing highly formal language and slang. In the late 1940s, Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin hired Frank Loesser as the composer and lyricist for Guys and Dolls. Loesser was known for his work on other movie musicals such as Charley's Aunt and Neptune's Daughter, which featured the Christmas hit "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Abe Burrows wrote the show's book/dialogue after the original script by Jo Swerling was deemed unusable. Guys and Dolls revolves around gambler Nathan Detroit, who tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they've been engaged for fourteen years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson, for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result. Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway on October 14, 1950, starring Robert Alda, Isabel Bigley, Sam Levene, and Vivian Blaine; and ran for 1,200 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Guys and Dolls opened to unanimously positive reviews. Many critics asserted that Guys and Dolls was of great significance to musical theatre. John Chapman, then Chief Theatre Critic of the New York Daily News, stated "Frank Loesser has written a score that will get a big play on the jukeboxes, over the radio, and in restaurants throughout the land. His lyrics are especially notable in that they help Burrows's topical gags to further the plot"... In all departments, Guys and Dolls is a perfect musical comedy. Five years later, a film version of Guys and Dolls was released starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine, reprising her role as Adelaide. There was a lot of drama in the casting of Marlon Brando, mainly by Sinatra. Sinatra felt snubbed because Brando got the role of Sky Masterson, which Sinatra thought he deserved. Soon the cast and crew were divided between "Team Brando" and "Team Sinatra," and eventually, Brando and Sinatra spoke to each other only through intermediaries. Loesser stated that he hated how Sinatra played Nathan Detroit, but he did write a song just for Sinatra in the film version. However, Loesser would die still refusing to see the film adaptation. Loesser wasn't the only one who disliked Sinatra as Detroit. Stephen Sondheim, who wrote film reviews at that time, wrote this about Sinatra's performance: "Sinatra ambles through his role as Nathan Detroit as though he were about to laugh at the jokes in the script. He has none of the sob in the voice, and the incipient ulcer in the stomach, that the part requires and Sam Levene supplied so hilariously on the stage. Sinatra sings on pitch, but colorlessly; Levene sang off pitch but acted while he sang. Sinatra's lackadaisical performance, his careless and left-handed attempt at characterization not only harm the picture immeasurably but indicate an alarming lack of professionality." Despite the issues with the film, it was nominated for four Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and the winner of two Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture for a Comedy or Musical. Since then, Guys and Dolls has been revived several times on Broadway since the original run and is still getting nominated for awards. The most well-known is the 1992 revival that starred Nathan Lane and Nathan Detroit. A London revival is set for February 2023. Our very own Junction City Little Theater will be performing this 'perfect' musical on our stage at the beginning of September. It hasn't had the film's drama, but many would argue that James Casey, who plays Sky Masterson, is a better singer than Brando and that his chemistry with Ashley Casey, who plays Sarah Brown, is palpable. Steve Milton as Nathan Detroit has the perfect swagger to be a real-life gangster, and Abbey Linton as Miss Adelaide shows everyone why she is the star of the Hot Box with her powerful voice. STARRING: James Casey (Sky Masterson) Ashley Casey (Miss Sarah Brown) Steve Milton (Nathan Detroit) Abbey Linton (Miss Adelaide) Tickets are available now at or call 785-238-3906


    #theatereducation #takemetotheOH #junctioncityks #jcoperahouse #OHfineartsacademy We have heard your suggestions and are excited to announce some new and improved changes to our Theater Programs! Take a look... A.I.M. will now include KINDERGARTEN! A.I.M. started in the Fall of 2021 and was a massive success with our pre-k friends. We changed the meeting time so we could include our Kindergarten aged friends. This 12-week program will be held Monday afternoons from 3:45 pm-4:45 pm. Classes are a fun and safe space for young children to learn performance skills (singing, acting, and dancing). For more information and the enrollment form, please CLICK HERE. ACT ONE will now include 3rd grade! This program debuted last semester, and we are excited to grow it more this year. This year ACT ONE will be performing a 60-minute musical in the fall and will have the opportunity to audition for minor roles in ASTRA's Shrek Jr., which performs in the Spring! This program will meet Wednesdays from 3:30 pm- 5:30 pm and is for 3rd-5th graders. For more information about ACT ONE, the enrollment form, AND what musical has been selected this year, CLICK HERE. Workshop days are back at ASTRA! ASTRA has revamped its calendar, and we are beyond excited to see how our students grow and how much bigger and better our show can be! In the Spring ASTRA will be performing SHREK JR. Workshop Days are back this year! One day a week, we will focus on other elements of theater to help our performers grow! ASTRA meets Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays and is for 6th-8th graders 3:15 pm-5:30 pm, and students are bussed from JCMS to the Opera House. For more information on ASTRA and the Enrollment form, CLICK HERE. A BRAND NEW PROGRAM FOR OUR HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH! You have asked...and we heard you! Beginning this Spring, we will offer a very fast and intense program for our High School Youth to put on a full-length musical! Auditions will be in late January or Early February, and we will have roughly 8-10 rehearsals throughout February and March to learn all the blocking, choreography, and music for the show. Then in April, it will be a short and fast two weeks to put the show together with the set, props, lights, mics, costumes, etc. For more information and the Enrollment form, CLICK HERE. A BRAND NEW EDUCATION OUTREACH FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS! We are proud to offer this brand-new FREE opportunity to the Elementary Schools in the community! A Team of two Theatre Instructors will go into the schools and lead fun and informative workshops! These 60-minute workshops will focus on exercises to help your student learn about theatre while they grow and use their creative minds. For more information, CLICK HERE. Take some private lessons! We currently offer Private Vocal, Acting, Dance, and Guitar Lessons at the Opera House through our Academy! Private lessons are 30 minutes, and we have incredible instructors ready to work one-on-one with your child to help them grow to their fullest potential! For more information and the Enrollment Form, CLICK HERE. We are so excited to expand our education program. With the new education building being renovated this winter, we know this is just the beginning! Our community has such talent we are honored to grow and nurture the arts here in Junction City. If you have any questions, please email

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