Troupe to revisit past to fund the future

Theatre in the Rough to hold benefit on Saturday, April 22; company lost most of its costumes, sets in Holy Trinity Church fire

Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2006

Theatre in the Rough will revisit 21 plays from its 15-year production history during "The Complete Works of Theatre in the Rough, abridged," part of a four-hour fundraiser for the company at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at St. Ann's Parish Hall on Fifth Street downtown.

Founded by Aaron Elmore and Katie Jensen, the company lost most of its costumes, sets, lights, puppets, weapons and props in the fire that consumed McPhetres Hall and Holy Trinity Church on the morning of March 12.

The fundraiser begins at 7 p.m. and must end by 11, in time to set up for Russian Orthodox midnight services. Advance tickets are $10 at Rainy Day Books, Skeins Fine Yarn and Shoefly. The St. Ann's Parish Hall holds 159 people, and tickets are expected to sell quickly.

The Fiery Gypsies will play at the end of a silent auction, and DJ Science will close out the evening.

The auction includes: original artwork by Rick Clair, Asha Falcon and David Woodie; a party sushi platter by Louanne Christian; a five-course Greek lamb dinner for six by Kate Bowns and Mike Peterson; an afternoon of sailing; kayaking in Gustavus; and a role in an upcoming Theatre in the Rough production. The role will be tailored to whomever wins.

"The Complete Works" will be broken down into two half-hour segments, performed with scripts in hand. Ron Clarke will emcee.

The cast includes Jensen, Elmore, Ed Christian, Doniece Gott, Falcon, Guy Warren, Clarke, Ani Torgerson and others. They'll wear some of the Theatre in the Rough wardrobe stock that was in Opera to GO!'s recent performance of "Don Giovanni," and spared from the fire.

"Everyone will see some familiar things," Elmore said. "It should be a gas. I've had a good time putting this together. It might be complete chaos.

"There will be some jeans showing here and there, and some Xtratufs, but we'll try to give a little representation of what we do have left," he said.

Theatre in the Rough has been invited to use St. Ann's as a temporary venue for productions. "The Tempest" is tentatively scheduled to open in January 2007. The company hopes to start rehearsing fight scenes this summer for its spring 2007 presentation of "The Three Musketeers."

benefit

what: fundraiser for theatre in the rough

when: 7 p.m. saturday, april 22

where: st. ann's parish hall, fifth street downtown

the schedule: 7 p.m., doors open, auction preview, ice cream available from tony tengs; 7:30-8, dessert auction; 8-8:30, "complete works of theatre in the rough, abridged," part 1; 8:30-8:45, intermission; 8:45-9:15, part 2; 9:15-9:30, intermission, silent auction closes; 9:30-11:15, dance with fiery gypsies and dj science

the 21 plays featured in saturday evening's performance of "complete works of theatre in the rough, abridged," includes:

1991 - talley's folly;

1992 - peter and the wolf, a midsummer night's dream, the phantom tollbooth; 1993 - henry iv part i, a christmas carol; 1994 - othello, a christmas carol; 1996 - twelfth night, puss in boots; 2000 - much ado about nothing; 2001 - hamlet, the merry wives of windsor; 2002 - trojan women, king lear; 2003 - complete works of william shakespeare abridged, a christmas carol; 2004 - as you like it, the madwoman of chaillot; 2005 - richard iii, the comedy of errors.

Mike Matthews, Phil Schempf and Peter Freer have constructed a stress-skin platform for Saturday's show. The platform is easier to move and can be divided into many smaller pieces. The stage at McPhetres Hall was plywood and in need of repair.

"This platform is a fragment of what we'll need to put on the size of the show we've done in the past," Elmore said. "The idea is it's a fundraiser, and people will come in and hopefully they'll put in for a platform or two or something like that.

"We'll have other items for future dreams - more lights and that sort of thing."

"If we can get enough money together, hopefully we can start to get our stock of weapons back together," he said. "The costumes and the props and the puppets and the hand-made items are not the sort of thing we can go out and buy.

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"They're the sort of thing we're going to have to build as we need them."

Theatre in the Rough's first production was a 1991 version of "Talley's Folly" in the Juneau-Douglas High School dance studio, behind the stage. Elmore and Jensen starred, and Mike Peterson directed.

The next season, they took on "Peter and the Wolf" on the high school's main stage and eventually toured it to Haines. That same year, 1992, was their first play at McPhetres Hall - "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Theatre in the Rough won the Governor's Award in 2002.



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