Saturday, September 27, 2014

Playwrights Anonymous Goes to the Circus

We may not have Playwrights Horizons or the Playwrights Lab here in Bloomington-Normal, but we do have Playwrights Anonymous. This group spun off from the Young at Heartland acting troupe for seniors, originally as a way to generate material for that group, but now giving members of Playwrights Anonymous a broader forum for their work.

Bruce Boeck (at left), founder of Playwrights Anonymous, stands with Herb Eaton of the Herb Eaton Studio & Gallery
Earlier this year, Playwrights Anonymous staged It's All About Me and then Rejects, in which they performed work that had been previously rejected in other venues. Both events pulled in good audiences, which can also be expected of their newest collection of short plays on a circus theme. The official title of their October production is Fear, Folly and Finesse: The Circus Plays, and it's scheduled for two shows, one at 6 pm and one at 8 pm, on Wednesday, October 8 at the Herb Eaton Studio & Gallery in Bloomington.

Eaton's circus-themed artwork will accompany the dramatic pieces in this one-of-a-kind event.

Local playwrights and a local artist finding inspiration in the circus seems like a natural when you consider Bloomington-Normal's storied connections to the big tent. Way back when, area barns served as a popular off-season rehearsal space for aerialists and flying trapeze artists, and Milner Library at ISU has an extensive circus collection to celebrate that. Maureen Brunsdale and Mark Schmitt, both of whom work in special collections at Milner, wrote a book about that very topic. And, of course, the Gamma Phi Circus has been a staple at ISU, aerialists have shown up in the Discovery Walk at Evergreen Cemetery, and the McLean County History Museum has done special exhibits on the subject. 

Members of Playwrights Anonymous
Because earlier Playwrights Anonymous shows ended up Standing Room Only, reservations are well advised. Call 309-828-1575 to make sure you have a spot.

Click here for more information on Playwrights Anonymous in general or here to see The Circus Plays' Facebook event page.

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