Springfield Community Theatre plays major role in planning local performing arts opportunities
A recent report provided by a state-level arts council, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, indicated that over 23 million attendees have taken advantage of the arts and culture events annually, and there is growth in attendance in every corner of the state. Springfield Community Theatre is just one of the many organizations in the state whose focus is on connecting arts activities to performers and audience members, and the local group which is almost forty years old is finalizing its plans for the next three events it will sponsor. The annual production by Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, a Riverside Days concert featuring the Southwest Minnesota Men’s Chorus and Gospel Express, and a large-scale musical theatre production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid will round out SCT’s most ambitious season ever. Earlier in the year, the local theatre group hosted St. Peter Chorale and sponsored 7th Avenue Band.
Since 2005, Springfield Community Theatre has funded a production for children lead by young adults who are in residency in the community for a week. Performances typically involve 50 or more local students who practice and perform a musical production which has been rehearsed during the week. Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre is a well-known and reputable theatre company in this region. They are responsible for all aspects of the production including costumes, make-up, music, scenery and props for the culminating performances at the end of the week. This year’s production is “Sleeping Beauty.” PFCT will be auditioning and preparing children (ages 7-17) for the production June 3-8. Performances will be on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 in the Performing Arts Center at Springfield Public School.
Chorus & Gospel Express
A kick-off event for Riverside Days will include a concert at Brown’s Park featuring the Southwest Minnesota Men’s Chorus and local music group Gospel Express. The concert is free of charge, compliments of SCT. The local Lion’s Club will be serving refreshments. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the Springfield Public School auditorium.
The Little Mermaid
Once again, Springfield Community Theatre will work with Springfield Public School’s community education program to produce a large-scale musical theatre performance. Beginning in 2009 with the production of The Music Man, and continuing with Guys & Dolls, Beauty & the Beast, and A Christmas Carol, The Musical, which were all similarly co-produced by the same two groups, thousands of audience members have been treated to large casts of youth, high school students and adults. Cheryl Neidt will again serve as artistic director for the fall production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The large cast will include a need for actors, chorus members and soloists, grades five through adult, from Springfield and surrounding communities. There will also be opportunities to assist with the various backstage and pit orchestra needs that a musical of this scale requires. Auditions are scheduled for the last week in June and performance dates are November 22, 23 and 24.
Friends of the Theatre
Every other year, Springfield Community Theatre holds a funding campaign in order to support the many arts activities it provides to local residents. Donations of any size can be made. Checks can be sent to the following address: Springfield Community Theatre, P.O. Box 61, Springfield, Minnesota 56087. In addition to the generosity of dozens of contributors, the group is especially grateful to Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Pieschel Family Foundation, Springfield Area Foundation and the local American Legion Post 257 for ongoing gifts of support.