Announcing G.B. Community Theatre 2021-22

Announcing our 2021-22 season of G.B. Community Theatre! Tickets and season subscriptions will go on sale soon.

The Smell of the Kill
September 17-19 & 24-26
by Michele Lowe
Directed by Bob Kilpatrick
Produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois
Take three delicious, malicious wives, add three miserable, unloving husbands—and chill. Nicky, Debra and Molly have tolerated one another for years, but when their no-good spouses accidentally lock themselves in a basement meat locker, the women are faced with a life-or-death decision: should they leave them permanently on ice, or let them thaw?

Peter Pan the Musical
October 8-10, 15-17, 22-24
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Music by Morris “Moose” Charlap
Additional Lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Additionaly Music by Jule Styne
Based on the Play by Sir J.M. Barrie
Directed by Christy Seymour
Music Directed by Chris Bott
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Peter and his mischievous fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell, visit the nursery of the Darling children late one night and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, begin a magical journey across the stars that none of them will ever forget. In the adventure of a lifetime, the travelers come face to face with a ravenous crocodile, a proud tribe of islanders, a band of bungling pirates, and, of course, the villainous Captain Hook.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical (Auditions Saturday, October 16, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. & Sunday, October 17, 5-7 p.m. Details to come.)
January 14-16, 21-23, 28-30
Book by Dennis Kelly
Music & Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Directed by Kimberly Godfrey Warren
Music Directed by Debra Fleming
Presented through special arrangement with Musical Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Revel in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Little Matilda Wormwood is an amazing girl with wit, intelligence, and incredible powers. Unloved by her cruel parents, Matilda’s life begins to change when she meets kind schoolteacher Miss Honey, as well as child-hating headmistress Miss Trunchbull. It will take all Matilda’s wit and courage to be the heroine her classmates need.

The Secret Garden
February 11-13, 18-20, 25-27
Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals
Directed by Stephen Rhodes
Music Directed by Chris Bott
Orphaned in India, young Mary Lennox travels to Yorkshire, England to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald Craven and his invalid son Colin. The Craven estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers,” spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life in this tale of forgiveness and renewal.

Puffs (or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic)
April 1-3 & 8-10
by Matt Cox
Presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals
Directed by Ave Warren
For seven years, a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs…who just happened to be there, too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world.

Auditions for G.B. Community Theatre

The Smell of the Kill
Wednesday & Thursday, July 28-29
7 p.m.
3 adult female roles
Auditioners should arrive at the Arts Center at 7 p.m. Please come prepared to read from the script, and bring a list of calendar conflicts. PLEASE NOTE: This show requires actresses to appear on stage in undergarments for a portion of the performance.

Directed by Bob Kilpatrick
Written by Michele Lowe
Licensed through Dramatic Publishing
Performance dates: September 17-19 & 24-26
Take three delicious, malicious wives, add three miserable, unloving husbands—and chill. That’s the recipe of Michele Lowe’s tantalizing comedy The Smell of the Kill. The show revolves around Nicky, Debra, and Molly who have tolerated one another during once-a-month dinners for years. While their unseen spouses play golf in the dining room, the women exchange confidences for the first time revealing that all three marriages are on the brink of disaster and all three women are facing the challenges of their lives. Nicky’s husband has been indicted for embezzlement, Molly’s husband is stalking her and Debra’s husband is leaving her for another woman. When the men mistakenly lock themselves in a basement meat locker the women are faced with a life-or-death decision—should they leave the men out in the cold—permanently—or let them thaw? One by one the women make their choices with more than a little help from one another.
Peter Pan the Musical (1954 Broadway version) 
Monday & Tuesday , August 2 & 3
6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Roles for ages 7-adult, flexible casting, large ensemble
Directed by Christy Seymour
Music directed by Chris Bott
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Music by Morris “Moose” Charlap
Based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI).
Performance Dates: October 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
All genders are encouraged to audition. Any unvaccinated performers who are cast will be supplied with masks that match their costumes for performances, and will be required to rehearse and perform masked. We strongly recommend that anyone auditioning for a show be fully vaccinated when possible for their age group.

KeyBank virtual learning scholarships available

We are very excited about this news! Thanks to a $5000 sponsorship from KeyBank Ashtabula supporting virtual learning, we are now able to offer scholarships for our virtual classes. This includes our current virtual offerings, and those that will be coming in our fall schedule (and possibly beyond). This sponsorship allows us to help those in our community who want to take part in virtual arts learning, but have faced financial difficulty during the COVID pandemic.

Aanyone registering for virtual classes can take advantage of this scholarship program. When you visit our website to sign up for a virtual class, you’ll see two options at checkout: “Tuition Cost” and “KeyBank Sponsored Scholarship.” If you are able to support us by paying the regular tuition cost, we’re very appreciative. If the scholarship option will help your family out, just select it at checkout, and the cost of the class or workshop will be covered. That’s all there is to it — no application, no process to qualify. If you need it, use it. We’ll make this option available for virtual classes as long as there are scholarship funds remaining. You can find our virtual classes here. This list will be expanded when our fall schedule of classes is set; those classes will be posted online in early August.

Many thanks to KeyBank for this sponsorship!

Straw Hat 2020 productions cancelled due to gathering restrictions

In a decision we know is going to be as disappointing to our supporters as it was for us, the Ashtabula Arts Center is officially cancelling our scheduled Straw Hat Theatre 2020 productions: Tuck Everlasting, Matilda, and The Secret Garden. Restrictions on gatherings necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have made holding auditions and rehearsing shows impossible for the time being, and it’s still uncertain when it will be safe for theaters to reopen to audiences.

However, while producing and staging our usual theater shows may not be possible right now, we are looking into alternative programming for this summer. We’ll be posting updates on what will be happening here at the AAC this summer as that programming develops. In the meantime, we hope you’ll check out our schedule of remote classes and consider registering for one or two of them (or more, should the creativity bug bite you).

Should the situation change, and the opportunity arise for us to produce any of our summer shows, we will announce it, along with updated information on audition and production dates.
We are eagerly awaiting the day we can have our actors back on stage, our crews bustling in the wings, and our audiences in their seats. Be safe, friends. We miss you.

Theater group takes storytelling into their own hands during COVID shutdown

Looking for a good story? Check out Quarantine Radio 19, created by a crew of actors and production staff (Jordan Malin, Kimberly Weston, Stephanie Figer, Benjamin Gates, Sadie Portman, Anneli Curnock) – most of whom met at the AAC!

Production crew of Radio Quarantine 19

“I had posted on Facebook asking if anyone in senior living facilities, or just those living alone, would want to be entertained,” says Jordan Malin, the group’s organizer. “I honestly had no idea so many of my theater friends — past and present — would want to be involved. Since so many of us involved in the arts are out of work right now, we are also getting an opportunity to create, express. It gives us time to escape for a while, and we hope it does the same for those listening.”

Quarantine Radio 19’s Facebook page can be found here.

A request for our supporters

We have to take a moment to make a request of our AAC supporters, whether you’re audience members, artists, students, or volunteers. With all of our programming shut down, the Arts Center is struggling financially right now.  We know this is a scary time for many people, and we absolutely understand that not all of our supporters are in a financial position to make donations. We are grateful for all the ways you show your love for the arts, and the Arts Center. If, however, you are someone who is able to donate to the Arts Center, at any level, it would be a tremendous help. You can donate online here.

Dinner and a Show tickets available for Mamma Mia! with Rennick Meat Market

We have a delicious extra option for those of you coming to see “Mamma Mia!”: Dinner and a Show with Rennick Meat Market. Dine at Rennick on Bridge Street and see “Mamma Mia!” at the Arts Center. Seating at Rennick is at 5 p.m. before evening performances on Friday & Saturday, and after matinees on Sunday.

PLEASE NOTE: the only date Dinner and a Show is not available is Saturday, October 12, as Rennick is booked for a special event that evening.

Call the Arts Center at (440) 964-3396 to make both your theater and dinner reservations. The menu includes a choice of appetizer, choice of entree, and dessert:
APPETIZER (choose 1): 3 SPREADS: tzatziki – cucumber yoghurt, Melitzanosalata – roasted eggplant, & Taramasalata – cod roe; SPANAKOPITA: leek, feta dill; HORIATKI — Classic Greek salad with feta and oregano; or AEGEAN SEAFOOD SALAD — Mussels, shrimp, crab, scallops, greek olives, lemon vinaigrette

ENTREE (choose 1):HERB ROASTED CHICKEN with Orzo risotto; BRAISED LAMB with Lemon garlic potatoes; or BRANZINO — Whole roasted sea bass, spinach and feta


Tickets: Adult $60; Senior/Student/Military $58; Child 2-12 $56. Make reservations by 4 p.m. Thursday prior to weekend of attendance. (440) 964-3396. “Mamma Mia!” runs October 11-13, 18-20, & 25-27

Scene Study class added to theater schedule

We have an addition to our summer theater class schedule:

Scene Study
for grade 9 – adult
with Emily Baker
Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
beginning June 27 (no class on July 4)
$80 (or $72 for members)
Emily Baker will lead students in this class focusing on contemporary plays to improve skills in acting, character development, and audition prep, encouraging independent interpretation of the material. Outside preparation is expected; class time will be devoted to rehearsals and mini-performances.

Call (440) 964-3396 to register. Financial aid is available.

Emily Baker is a well-known face to the Ashtabula Arts Center, working both on stage and behind the table for almost 10 years. Emily is currently a candidate for a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Music Theater with a Directing Emphasis at The Boston Conservatory. Recent work at the AAC includes West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this summer.  Emily uses this experience on stage and behind the table to her advantage when working with kids, teens, and adults alike. Emily specializes in audition prep, scene study, and monologue coaching, using variations of Meisner, Viewpoints, and Linklater acting methods to help students connect with their work and create a cathartic and honest experience for both the actor and the audience.

Seeking volunteers to help with our summer arts camps

We are looking for volunteers to assist with our summer arts camps! We have multiple camps scheduled this summer; please let our front desk know which ones you’re interested in helping with when you call. This is a great opportunity for responsible younger volunteers who are interested in working with kids and learning more about what goes on behind the scenes at the Arts Center!

Multi-Arts Camp: Monday-Friday, June 18-July 6 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (No camp on July 4)
Fairy Tale Preschool Camp: Monday-Friday, June 11-15 from 10 a.m.-noon
Fairy Fun Camp: Monday-Friday, July 23-27 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Harry Potter Camp: Monday-Friday, July 30-Aug 3 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Under the Sea Preschool Camp: Monday-Friday, July 30- Aug 3, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

To volunteer, call (440) 964-3396 or stop in at the front desk.