Thursday, April 11, 2013
Stacy and Jason McCargo play Jessie Mae and Ludie Watts in the Theatre of Western Springs' production of "Trip to Bountiful," opening Thursday.
There’s a reason a glance between the husband and wife characters in the Theatre of Western Springs’ new production of Trip to Bountiful, opening Thursday, might look particularly meaningful. The couple on stage is played by real-life husband and wife Stacy and Jason McCargo, of Western Springs. Stacy joined the theater in 2006, and Jason followed the year after. But this is the first time the pair have shared the stage. “It gives us something to do as a couple outside of our crazy, hectic lives,” Stacy said. The play centers on the relationship between the couple and the husband’s aging mother, who decides to return to her hometown of Bountiful, Texas, to recapture some of the pride of her youth. Although the McCargos share the bond of …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The street behind the Theatre of Western Springs has been named for Jane Burns Stacy, a Theatre member since 1944 and an icon in the TWS community.
No longer will the access road running from Hillgrove Avenue to Walker Street (Mary Cattell Drive) west of the Theatre of Western Springs be just “the alley”—it is now Jane Burns Stacy Way, so named by a village resolution to honor the Theatre’s oldest and longest-serving member. Stacy turned 100 on Monday and was recognized at a theater reception over the weekend. Stacy joined the troupe in 1944, when it still performed out of the Village Club. Her name is on the theater’s 1951 incorporation papers. She fondly recalls the “Aid a Spade” campaign that helped to build the current theater building in 1961. “I’ve loved our memories,“ Stacy said. Being in the theater “is my way of growing… I learned so much. The whole family was wonderful.” She…
Thursday, February 7, 2013
A missing $50 bill. A computer that appears to have spontaneously generated a composition of music. What small-time tricks and treachery are afoot?
When truth is indistinguishable from fiction, and money and potential fame get involved, how long does it take for supposed intellectual friendship to collapse into grotesque, absurd, petty rivalry and confrontation? It happens in about three days—say, a couple hours of stage time—in Ghost at the Machine, playing the next two weekends in the Theatre of Western Springs’ Cattell Theatre. In that time, a married couple and their unmarried guests face a pair of mysteries: a missing $50, and a string of familiar music that has been apparently generated at random from a computer program. Has a new artificial intelligence been discovered? Is it some trillion-to-one chance happenstance? Or was it faked—and perhaps by the same person who stole …
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The actress who plays the titular dog in the currently-running play at the Theatre of Western Springs got a major surprise on Thursday after her first performance.
At the conclusion of the opening night of Sylvia at the Theatre of Western Springs, the audience—and the lead actress—got a massive surprise when TWS actor David Rodriguez appeared on stage to propose to Sylvia star Jennifer Torchia, the Suburban Life reports. According to The Doings Oak Brook, Rodriguez was feigning giving a post-performance talk when he dropped to one knee in front of Torchia—who was covered in dirt from the play. He told the paper that their previous collaboration in a performance of Equus seemed inappropriate for a proposal. "We met on stage and I knew I wanted to propose to her on stage,” he told the paper. "It was a perfect moment made even sweeter by being surrounded by you, my (Theater of Western Springs) friends …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
In this quirky slice-of-life comedy, the sweet titular canine—played by a person acting doglike—is at the center of a man’s midlife crisis.
On stage, Jen Torchia is dressed like a human. She walks like a human; talks like a human. But she’s acting like—and playing—a dog. Torchia is the eponymous canine of Sylvia, opening today at the Theatre of Western Springs mainstage, a play with a cast of four that examines the effect of a chance meeting between a middle-aged man and a stray pooch on the fellow’s life and family. The two form an instant bond, with Sylvia providing a charming antidote to the man’s awful work life. “It’s a cool story because everybody in the story is ‘good,’” said Joe Mills of Westchester, who plays the man, Greg. “It’s really got four protagonists, but all who are flawed. But they’re good. It’s a wonderful story… It’s madcap, but it’s also wonderfully …
Friday, December 21, 2012
Sign up for Patch's daily newsletter and be entered into a drawing for a package that includes a $50 gift card to Mécénat Bistro and two free tickets to the Theatre of Western Springs.
With all the frenzy of the holiday season, you know what you need when it's all over? A night out. Patch is here to help. Sign up for our free daily newsletter between now and 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a package that includes a $50 gift card to Mécénat Bistro and two free tickets to the Theatre of Western Springs The winner may choose from any of the following shows: Head over to the Theatre of Western Springs' website to read descriptions of each. We'll pick the winner of the prize package during a random drawing and notify that lucky person by email. OK, now for the rules:
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The Theatre of Western Springs brings those famous French boarding-school girls to life for their holiday musical in a magical “Madeline’s Christmas.”
“In an old theatre in Western Springs that was covered in vines…” … okay, the Theatre of Western Springs isn’t really covered in vines , but it will serve as a famous old house in Paris this December as members of the Theatre and Children’s Theatre team up for Madeline’s Christmas. The play, of course, is an adaptation of one of Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous stories about a French boarding school and its singular redheaded resident. “Everything that we have done is based very heavily on the book,” said director Stephanie Grady, in her first TWS show. “The set is very much like the illustrations… We’ve had a really good time being able to devise a show that has magic, and these French elements of course, and things like that just for the kids…
Friday, November 9, 2012
The Theatre’s fall show features unique challenges with representing some characters of ordinary size, and some about four inches tall.
When presenting The Borrowers, the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs had a tricky problem to overcome right off the bat: they’re a bit short on actors who stand four inches tall. But that’s the size of many of the play’s characters, a family of miniature sprites who live hidden in people’s homes and “borrow” their items to make a life for themselves. Conflict arises when the curious Borrower girl Arietty strikes up a friendship with a human boy, which eventually leads to trouble for her secretive family. “The analogy I [gave] to the kids is that act one is Masterpiece Theatre and act two is The Hunger Games,” said director Tripp Burton. So how to represent these miniature creatures? Preferably in a way in which they can be seen from …
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Theatre of Western Springs opens its Halloween show today—one of the most challenging in recent memory—a take on Stoker's great vampire classic.
“Children of the night—what music they make!” It has taken the Theatre of Western Springs practically unprecedented music—and set-building, and lighting, and special effects, and a whole heap of practice—to bring this year’s Halloween show, Dracula, to fruition. “For a theatre like ours, it really presents a number of technical challenges,” said TWS managing director Bill Hammack. “The show itself is monstrous. It’s been many years since we’ve had this much lumber on our stage.” That lumber stands as, among other things, the ever-famous Gothic Transylvanian castle of Count Dracula, where an unwitting Jonathan Harker uncovers the famous vampire’s plan to terrorize London. Harker and friends battle to piece together Dracula’s mystery before …
Thursday, August 30, 2012
The Theatre of Western Springs will open its 84th season with 'Moonlight and Magnolias,' running Sept. 6-16. The comedy chronicles an intense Hollywood script writing session for 'Gone with the Wind.'
The Theatre of Western Springs (TWS) aims for the funny bone with the first play of their 84th season. "Moonlight and Magnolias," written by Ron Hutchinson and directed by TWS Artistic Director Rick Snyder, tells the story of Hollywood producer David O. Selznick and his seemingly endless script problems with the film, Gone with the Wind. Set in 1939, Selznick is trying to adapt the beloved book, Gone with the Wind into a Hollywood production, but things just aren't going well. He's had to fire the director, and script after script keeps falling flat. On top of that, he's had to suspend production, which means he's losing $50,000 a day in payments to the movie's cast and crew while he figures out what to do. In a desperate effort to nail …