Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Memories of the Station Theatre's First 40 Years... In Book Form!

You may've noticed that last season was the 40th anniversary season for Urbana's Station Theatre. They had a nifty graphic for it, reproduced here, and they had various celebrations for their momentous anniversary, including a "Homecoming" performance of "Rent" to which Celebration Company alums were invited, and a picnic at founder and artistic director Rick Orr's home last month.

I interviewed Orr last December, when the season was at its midpoint, and he gave me a lot of good information about how the Station Theatre came to be and where it was headed. That was a quick look at the Station Theatre's history. Very quick.

Mathew Green, currently a member of the Station's board of directors, chose to memorialize the Station's past in a more expansive way. Working with his wife, Lindsay Green, Mathew put together a whole book devoted to pictures, posters and words of wisdom from some of the Celebration Company's major personalities from over the years. Each season is represented, and there are fond remembrances from Rick Orr and Mathew Green, as well as Gary Ambler, Pat Ambler-Perry, Malia Andrus, Katie Baldwin, Mark Brokaw, Eric Burton, Barb Evans, Lindsay Gates-Markel, Joi Hoffsommer, Kay Holley, Eric Jakobsson, Steve Keen, Mikel Matthews, John Morgan, Nick Offerman, Mike Prosise, Debbie Richardson, Janice Rothbaum, Phil Strang, Stephen Tobolowsky, Mike Trippiedi and Rob Zaleski.

 The front cover of the Station Theatre's 40th anniversary coffee table book.
Photo credit for front-cover image: Jesse Folks

In short, this is a wonderful testament to the Station, and a great way to commemorate a theater that has meant a lot to a lot of people. I can guarantee that anybody who has ever been associated with the Station Theatre is going to be incredibly moved just from leafing through the pages of this memory book. I saw so many of those shows. I was involved in a few. I remember those amazing performances and those amazing people. And now I can keep on remembering, with photo evidence!

If you'd like to own a copy of "The Station Theatre: The First 40 Seasons," you can click here to look at a preview and order your own copy.

(And thanks, Mathew and Lindsay Green. Job well done!)

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