Posts

Forte Theatre Productions LLC and the Branson Regional Arts Council are collaborating to bring five performances of the theatrical classic, Of Mice and Men to the stage of the Historic Owen Theatre on September 19th, 22nd, and 23rd.

Written by John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men follows the journey of Lennie and George, two migrant field workers as they chase down their dream of a farm of their own. Their relationship is unconventional as Lennie is a child-like man who doesn’t know his own strength, and George, his reluctant caretaker, feels the pressures of society to hide Lennie’s uniqueness.

“Even though the story was written in 1937 during the Great Depression, there are many relatable themes that a modern audience can relate to,” says Producer, Tina Cool-Anderson. “We still struggle with loneliness, financial struggles, class systems, and bigotry today and Steinbeck does a wonderful job of illuminating those issues,” she adds.

“The saying ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick’ applies to every character in Of Mice and Men,” explains Forte Director, Kyle Blanchard. This production features an immersive experience for the audience. The cast will greet guests and sit with the audience during the performance where they will actively be a part of the production. “Forte Theatre Productions’ Of Mice and Men will be a refreshingly energetic and active retelling of the classic American story, “ says Blanchard, adding, “patrons should expect to find more humor throughout the story than is usually displayed.”

The performance location of the Historic Owen Theatre in Downtown Branson is especially fitting for this production. Of Mice and Men was first performed in 1937 and the Owen was built in 1936. “The rustic ambiance of the Owen and classic Steinbeck were meant for each other,” says Cool-Anderson.

The cast Of Mice and Men are: Austin Delp (George), Jesse Brown (Lennie), Connor Sullivan (Slim), Andy Brown (Candy), Caleb Schantz (Curley), Jessica Brown (Curley’s Wife), Traven Harrington (Crooks), Conor Finnerty-Esmonde (Carlson), Nick Haney (Whit), and Mark Peper (The Boss).

The production team includes: Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer), Kyle Blanchard (Director), Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Pamela Meadows (Lighting Director) Connor Sullivan (Fight Choreographer), Nick Haney (Marketing), Mariah Garrett (Stage Manager), and Adrianna Cota (Prop Mistress).

Performances at the Historic Owen Theatre in Branson are September 19 at 7:30pm, and September 22 and 23 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.

A special talk-back performance of the show will be held on Monday, September 23 at 2pm. The actors will hit the stage after the play and answer questions from the audience. This special Monday Matinee event is being offered at a “student price for all” ticket. To select and reserve seats online, visit bransonarts.org/tix or call the Historic Owen Theatre box office at 417-336-4255.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet Will Rock Hollister This Weekend

“To Be Or Not To Be” at Hollister’s Chad A Fuqua Park this weekend.  “That Is The Question!”

Forte Theatre Productions LLC, in cooperation with the Branson Regional Arts Council and the City of Hollister, present, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

This unforgettable Shakespeare in the Park event tells the story of Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, who finds out that is father was secretly murdered and plots to avenge his father’s death.  It is the most quoted piece of Shakespeare’s collection of plays and has impacted popular story lines such as The Lion King.

Under the direction of Justin Ables, Hamlet is set in the 1990s and uses an original rock underscore written by local musician, Chris Skillern.  Skillern also portrays King Claudius in Hamlet where he plays live rock guitar as his character.  Josh Boulden, who plays Hamlet, paints temporary murals in selected scenes to help progress the story line.  “Shakespearean grunge meets visual art destruction” says Skillern, “You have never seen Shakespeare rock like this.”

Along with original music and performance art, Hamlet incorporates dancing in this production. “The choreography is dark, mellow and edgy. Definitely in line with the twisted story,’ says choreographer, Cori Briggs, “I tried to play up the turmoil, anger and confusion in the movement.”

This is the 3rd annual Shakespeare in the Park at Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park located in Hollister Missouri.  As a city park improvement, Hollister has newly installed lighting and audio system in the park’s performance pavilion. Hamlet will be the first to fully utilize the new equipment.

Additional production members include Jonathan Crum (Costume Designer), Ian Lahlum (Set Designer), Brian Huff (Fight Choreographer), and Tina Cool-Anderson (Producer) .

Photo: Matthew Noll Photography – Josh Boulden (Hamlet) and Charis Boulden (Ophelia)

Cast members include: Josh Boulden (Hamlet), Charis Boulden (Ophelia), Chris Skillern (Claudius), Jonna Volz (Gertrude), John Paul-Fox (Horatio), Ian Lahlum (Polonius), Conor Finnerty (Laertes),  Alex Shriver, Ashley Litke, Austin Delp, Brandon Farrar, Lindsey Lee, Lizzy Hinton, Michael Sager, and Bucky Buckner.

Tickets prices are $16.95 (Adults 18+) and $11.45 (under 18).

Advance tickets are highly recommended and available online at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling the Branson Regional Arts Council at 417-336-4255.

CLICK HERE FOR HAMLET TICKETS

Show times are 8pm on  Sunday July 28th and Monday July 29th, and Sunday August 4th and Monday August 5th.  The gate open at 7pm.

This is a “bring your own chair or blanket” event. Seating is not provided. Enjoy an original version of one of the world’s most popular plays, under the stars in beautiful Chad A. Fuqua Memorial Park, 312 Esplanade Dr., Hollister Missouri.  In case of a rainout, the show will move to the Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S Commercial St. in downtown Branson.