Curtain rises on Chappell Players’ fall shows

The St. John’s Chappell Players Theatre Group is getting ready for another season of theater production.

The first production to hit the stage this year will be Urinetown, a comedic play that pokes fun at modern bureaucracy and small town politics while addressing serious environmental issues.
Opening night for the play is October 10 at 8 p.m. in the Little Theater and the play will run for three weeks until October 25.

After Urinetown, The Chappell Players will be putting on their 10th Annual Cabaret for Charity to benefit the University’s “Bread and Life Program.” The cabaret will be performed three times from November 20-22. Auditions will be held October 14 and 15 for anyone who may be interested in taking part.

The group is also putting on a children’s musical based on the Brothers Grimm. This student written musical will open in February but auditions are being held in October 20-22.

The play takes place in a small town facing a water shortage due to a 20-year drought. To conserve water, all members of the town are forced to pay a fee in order to use public restrooms controlled by a corporation. The play is centered around protagonist “Bobby Strong” played by senior Tim Young and his love interest “Hope Cladwell” played by sophomore Laura Ross.

Keith Plokhoy, a sophomore at St. John’s who plays “Billy Boy Bill”, said that although the demands of putting a play together can be strenuous, but said the big payoff is “when the whole thing comes together and the show is a success.”

Plokhoy has been involved in the program since his freshmen year at St. John’s and says it’s been a lot of fun so far.

“I got involved because I did drama in High School and I love learning about how theater production works,” said Plokhoy. “Also, as a freshman it was a great way to meet new people and make friends fast.”

Plokhoy also said that the auditions process is completely student run and is a lot of fun to partake in. He encourages freshmen to get involved in the theater program in their first year.

Vikki De Meo, president of the Chappell Players Theatre Group said aspiring actors are not the only ones who can join the student theatre group.

“There’s lots of stuff to do in a production from sound design, to lights, to costumes, to tech crew,” she said.

De Meo said that for major productions such as Urinetown, professionals are hired to direct and guide the actors. However, for major productions, like Urinetown, more help is needed.

“We hire professional directors and past St. John’s graduates to help out with our musicals” said De Meo. “We usually get assistants from the student body too.”