"Show" Me the Money Raffle

We are very excited to kick off one of our biggest fundraisers of the year…”Show” me the money cash raffle!  We’ve done raffles for trips and tours or electronics, but the one thing we have discovered that most patrons wanted for a raffle prize is cash.  We heard you and have come up with this year’s cash raffle.  Proceeds will help CST to keep our ticket prices low.

The grand prize is $5,000 cash!  We have several other prizes including cash and items such as a year of dinner & theatre (season subscription for two and dining certificates for each show of the 2014-15 season).  The drawing will be held Saturday, February 22 at our Casino Night. (More information will coming about this event)

Tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50.  Buy your tickets early because we will be having a monthly drawing on the 15th of each month (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb) for $50 cash!  The earlier you buy, the more chances you have of winning cash.  Each month the winner will be picked and re-entered into each month’s drawing including the grand prize.  That’s 6 extra chances to win cash before the grand prize drawing February 22. 

Tickets are for sale before each show and through our board members.  If you are interested in purchasing tickets please call Kelly Hite 464-1636 x2.  

-Kelly Hite, Director of Development


Chicago Street Theatre's new Chairman, Jim Drader, stated at a recent Board meeting that he would like each member to look at their involvement with the organization and where they can "step it up." With an event as big as the current production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, Drader says that it is important that the public see the faces of CST and the type of quality productions we produce and the strength of our volunteers.
"Too often, I think, our members are looking at things from the aspect that someone else will take care of things because we have some paid staff or because they're coming to see a show," said Drader. "The reality of it is too much work is falling on the shoulders of the same people all the time, and for something like Shakespeare in the Park or the new season of shows, that can't be the way we operate." 
The Chairman says that two was that members can become more involved are either financially or by donating time. He understands that while not everyone has the ability to write a check, volunteering time is really the more important of the two. Jim stated, "Most members of our group really love being in shows or partying afterwards. I believe if we have time to do that, we can make time to be part of the group in other ways."
First Vice Chairman, Jonni Pera states, "We need to strengthen our core membership again, especially now with events the size of Shakespeare in the Park. Things are only getting bigger, and if we're to continue growing and moving forward, we need our people to get us there." Pera is also trying to prepare for how busy paid staff like Box Office Manager, Mike Hite will get with the holiday double feature that will be happening and other events that are planned for CST's 59th season. "When we say: All Hands On Deck; we mean it," said Pera.
Kelly Hite still needs help for Shakespeare in the Park and the crew for The Comedy of Errors also needs volunteers to assist with putting up and taking down the set tonight. The set will return to Chicago Street where it will be put up once more for the remaining performances at the theatre. "Come down," says Drader, "We can certainly make use of anyone who's available."


Hats & Shoes Galore

Love hats?  Love shoes? Always wanted to help with costumes?  Here's your chance.  Costumers JoBeth Cruz and Marcia Gienapp will be sorting, purging, and organizing the interesting collection of hats and shoes which the theatre owns.  Depending on how many people show up to help, they may tackle other parts of Chicago Street's costume collection as well. 
What: Sort, purge, and reorganize the hat and shoe collections
Where: Chicago Street Theatre costume room and Wood studio (requires stairs)
When: Thursday, May 30,  5pm - 7:30pm and Friday, May 3, 9am - 2 pm
Who:  YOU!
CST costumers are always generous in helping others with their needs.  Let's all return the favor and lend them a hand.  Hope to see lots of volunteers! Thanks!


Party this Friday!


Chicago Street is very thankful for its members and patrons who generously give time, talent, and funds to support theatre in our community. We can't make great art without you! Now, we need your help to make a great event! 

This Friday, we're asking you to support CST's biggest FUNdraiser of the year--Vegas, Baby!  Your theatre DEPENDS on this event to raise enough money to produce the ART.  Over the years, we've redesigned the event to make it more fun and more affordable. We've made every effort to lower ticket prices so as many people as possible can join us for the biggest party of the year. Tickets are as low as we possibly can make them--$25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Chicago Street can't do this without you! 

Please purchase a ticket, bring friends, give an auction item, and/or volunteer at the event.  Even volunteers at the event are asked to purchase a ticket to cover the cost of the food, venue, and entertainment... and to support Chicago Street.  

We know you already give so much, but we hope you can come party with us on Friday at Strongbows!  We promise a terrific of evening casino games, Martinis & Martin Binder, live entertainment from The DJayma Show, a photo booth, fabulous silent auction, and appetizers. 

You can also support CST by sharing information about Vegas, Baby! with friends via email and social networks, or if you can't make it, consider making an online donation--every little bit helps bring the art to our stage!

Please support CST by attending Vegas, Baby! this Friday!


Affordable Fun for a Good Cause

Posted by Kelly Hite Director of Development.

Did you know that our box office revenue only covers 50% of our expenses?  If we didn’t have fundraisers then we would have to double our prices and theatre would not be affordable for all to see.  We do several fundraisers over the course of the year, but our biggest event is the most fun and exciting.  We started this event 16 years ago and called it Encores.  At that time it was a unique event with a musical revue show, seated meal and silent auction.  Over the years we have tried to change minor things here and there like the ticket price, a full show versus a musical revue but eventually we needed to make the big change.  

Encores: Vegas, Baby! This event has all the fun with little cost.  Where can you go to play casino games, eat fabulous food, enjoy live entertainment, buy a glowing martini, have a blast in our photo booth and browse our silent auction for a cost lower than entrance ticket to most fundraisers?  It’s one of the best deals in town.  I hope you will consider supporting our event by attending or making a donation if you can’t.  Help us to keep theatre accessible to all and our ticket prices low.

Take a look at the photographs here for a sneak peak at our fun and affordable silent auction items!

Acting Opportunity!

A message from Director Bob Cooley:
I'm going to be directing Jeffrey Sanders' "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" this fall for CST. The show calls for 7 actors (5 men, 2 women) to play 24 (ish) different roles. Which means I have to figure out how to assign those roles without conflicts (many appear multiple times with other characters who appear multiple other times) and, hopefully, with a nice spread of work for each performer. A read through would really help me out... anybody interested? Drop me a line on Facebook if you'd like to take part. First come, first served. Thanks!

UPDATE: The women's roles are filled. Still looking for men. Thanks!

The Great Switch!

Amazing!!! Who would believe that on Wednesday night CST would host a costume party for Halloween and our final performance of Dracula, and then turn around strike that set right after the final curtain.  Finally, over this past weekend, members constructed the full set for our upcoming production of  The Sound of Music.  Wow!

There are a lot of people who made this all possible…. the cast and crew of Dracula worked late into the night Wednesday to strike their set. Thank you sooo much for such a great run and for all your extra work!!! We truly appreciate you all.  Kudos to Jobeth (director) for a superb job!!!

And then we moved on this weekend to construct the set for Sound of Music…..a lot of hard work and again we appreciate each of you.  Special shout out to Jim Henry who took the lead carpenter role this weekend… thank God for that because on Saturday the group that gathered lacked skills in that area. Also we need to thank Eric and Traci Brant (as well as little Lauren and Nick). They gave a full weekend of work even as Traci’s Dad was discharged from the hospital after major heart surgery. It took some juggling but you guys made it happen!

The crew was upbeat and I think we had a pretty great time. Thanks to Stan Christianson, Mike Strayer, Karl Berner, Matt Stinnett, Daena Sisk, and Richard Castleton.

I know this fast turn over happens a lot in the theatre world…. we've seen it plenty of times. But when we pull it off and have fun too….That’s something!!! Thanks to all who helped. And if you are wishing you could be a part of the excitement, watch facebook, the blog, or our emails as we get set to paint our fine set. Hope to see you all soon!

 Jonni Pera, Chairman of CST

Don't Panic!

posted by Director Eric Brant

This weekend was used to fine tune some of the scenes with A Midsummer Night's Dream's younger group of fairies and the Rude Mechanicals. Saturday, Mel continued, with the help of Mike Strayer and Jason Kaplan, to push forward in getting the walls of the set up and getting the large gear cut out that will serve as a movable bench in the production. Jonni Pera was on hand painting the gears that will be used throughout our scenic design.The set looks amazing and is ready to start getting decked out. Marcia had her team in working on lights and Paul Braun worked with his crew on getting the speakers at Chicago Street ready for the new sound system that will be used on our indoor performances.

Sunday's work crew was Co-director Steve Holm, Katie Yagelski and myself working for about six hours creating the moveable tree units and starting the construction of the gear bench. We were able to move forward on those projects, but because of our meager turnout, there is still so much left to do to have the set ready in just eleven short days. JoBeth, Piper, Jesse and Scott were busy too, with their small crew assembling costume pieces for our large cast. I'm trying to exercise Zacek's first rule of theatre which is "Don't Panic" but it's getting a little overwhelming.

I took vacation time this week to try to get ahead with the production before we go into Tech Week on the 9th. If ANYONE is available this week in the mornings or afternoons before rehearsal we would greatly appreciate any help our cast or other members of Chicago Street could provide. Believe me, if you show up, we'll find something for you to do! We have tons of little projects that will suit whatever your skill level happens to be! "Don't Panic", it's only the biggest project of the year!

The Dream Gets Funny

Well another week of rehearsals has gone by and it seems like the cast has gotten used to the idea that we might not have everyone who's actually in the show until we perform it on the 13th of July. It has been outstanding how our actors have jumped in playing the parts of missing actors or playing off an imaginary cast member whose lines are being read from the house. For the first batch of rehearsals off script the actors did an amazing job with what could have been a week of disasters.

This doesn't by any means indicate that the week was not without an ample share of mishaps and challenges like costumers throwing out their backs or cast members getting stranded in New York. We got through a really tough week with a lot to show for the production. Mel made huge strides on the construction of the set often working by himslef. Our lighting designer Marcia Burbage, also got quite a bit done for the lighting that will be used at Chicago Street and the lighting she is creating for the park. We're still pretty much "ALL HANDS ON DECK" for all of the production aspects of the show if anyone can help.

Daena Sisk as Titania, Aram Arden as Oberon, and Jason Kaplan as Puck.One aspect of the show that I have to admit I was stressed out about was our Thursday night photo shoot scheduled at Central Park Plaza while a Air Force Band concert was being held. The TIMES wanted picture of actors in costumes rehearsing on the stage at the park. This was a little tricky because JoBeth had messed her back up that day and we were missing some of the actors who we thought would represent the show. Fortunately the weather intervened and cleared out the park. We shot the photos in the rain as the Air Force band was packing up their gear with Kelsey Dougherty who plays Helena and Charlie Scanlon who plays Demetrius; two of our pairs of lovers in the show. We grabbed these two troopers in part because their costumes were some of the ones that were mostly finished at the theatre. The saving grace for the photo shoot was that as John Luke from The TIMES was taking their pictures there was all sorts of laughter emerging from the photographer and the remaining band members as Kelsey and Charlie ran their scene. For me it really emphasized how funny, enjoyable and accessible we've made the production. I think it's going to be something that everyone associated it will be very proud of.

There's still so much to get done in this next two weeks, so come on down. We'd love to have you be a part of this dream!

Building Steam toward Midsummer

Bicycle wheel rims donated by Buck's waiting in the shop to be added to the Midsummer Steampunk-style set.Things are moving along on the big event - Shakespeare in the Park. Sunday several of our cast members were present to help with the detail work needed for our Steampunk version of A Midsummer Night's Dream premiering in just seventeen days at Valparaiso's Central Park Plaza's Porter Health Amphitheatre. There is so much left to do that we're welcoming any help we can get with everything from building of the sets walls, to cutting out gears that will represent trees and forest structures, assembling costumes to bringing in old clock faces and mechanical parts... The list goes on. Our lead set builder can also use help during days at Chicago Street if anyone has mornings free or a community service log they need filled out. Mel's been working over time to bring the set design to life. 

Despite missing some cast members, our rehearsals are going wonderfully. There is some awesome comedy work being done by our cast as we begin developing and sequencing the scenes for the show. Although we are still slightly behind on our set needs, the players have definately stepped up their game this week to deliver what I believe will be an extremely funny show. 

If you've got time or junk you think we might be able to use for the production feel free to stop on by the theatre. Our big build days are Sunday after 1PM and Mel is usually around mornings after ten. Any help or time you can spare is always appreciated.