The lights went up on the stage at Cascades Theatrical Company in Bend this weekend, for a little glimpse of what is to come.
The 44th Season ‘Sneak Peak’ performance saw snippets from the eight different shows in the theater company’s upcoming season.
The new season will feature a mix of musicals and plays- ‘The Fantasticks’, ‘You Can’t Take it With You’, ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’, ‘A Gift to Remember’, ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, ‘Murder on the Nile’, ‘Something Rotten’, and ‘Calendar Girls’.
“This season is crazy, there’s lot of shows, and a lot of really good shows,” said Erik McGinnis, the director of the event and many of the scenes presented in the showcase. “The classics thrown in that everyone wants to see, they have a Christmas show, a couple of musicals thrown in here and there, a murder mystery. It’s a very interesting season and I think people are going to be excited to see the versatility, not just in the stories being told but in who is telling them.”
They held the sneak peak show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and despite the heavy rainstorm on Saturday, McGinnis said they had a packed house every time.
Around 30 actors presented the showcase, with youngest actor aged 12, and the oldest in their 70’s.
17-year-old Tia Wisco played multiple roles in various scenes, including Luisa in The Fantasticks and Le Bret in ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’.
“I think that each show in its own way can inspire different people in the audience,” she said. “I think there’s something for everyone in the community in this showcase. I think everybody can find something that they’re interested in and something they want to see.”
She said she enjoyed the playing the interesting nuances of each of her characters.
“I really like with Le Bret, I’m taking the character as a female, because it’s usually presented as a male so I’m kind of changing the whole storyline of the character and making it an empowering female role, because Le Bret is like a military officer and in charge of everything,” she said. “So it’s really cool to take that aspect of it. And then with Luisa, it’s a really fun role and she’s just insane, so it’s fun to play a really crazy role and get to portray that.”
McGinnis hoped the showcase not only made folks want to see the real shows, but potentially audition.
“It’s an important thing for theaters, especially community theaters to do because it brings people together, not only onstage, but to get people excited for this next year,” he said.
Wisco hoped that it would help audience members realize how important the performing arts are in the community.
“Hopefully it will remind people that we’re still here, and that the performing arts brings such a strong culture to the community,” she said. “And just showing that with all the violence and corruption and discrimination that goes on in our world right now, the performing arts are kind of a beacon of hope for the community to keep going.”
For more information about any of the upcoming shows, visit CascadesTheatrical.org.