Magic Circle Players – We Will Return

Masked newsies waiting to sign in. Image, Lisa Rediger.

[Montrose CO | July 2020 | By Lisa Rediger] Just like the rest of the world, Magic Circle Players is trying to navigate our business through a landscape riddled with unknowns. We remain hopeful for a 2020/21 season and are cautiously proceeding with preparations for a fall opening of Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Inspired by a true story, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of “newsies” in turn-of-the-century New York City. When the titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right. With a million voices and a single dream, they change the world!

On May 26 and 27, 64 masked actors, in groups of eight, auditioned for Newsies. Each person had to sing a solo, complete a dance audition, and answer a few questions, including “What has been a good thing to come from COVID?” To listen to the responses was hope-inspiring and, as always, we were thrilled to discover surprising talent in our community! We cast 42 actors ranging in age from 10 to 75 from Ouray, Montrose, Olathe, and Delta. We have been rehearsing in small groups; the stage floor is happily scuffed from tap dancing, our vocalists are being coached to their potential, and sets are being built (Ray Jantzen supervised a crew to construct ours). Magic Circle is thrilled to have Greg Davidson, Allyson Crosby (both music directors), and Amy Nelp (choreographer) bringing this inspirational story to our stage.

Social distancing auditions. Image Lisa Rediger.

We have a wonderful season lined up with hopes for a Christmas show and My Funny Valentine in February 2021. Currently, we are waiting on the response to Montrose County’s variance application before we officially announce our season, but we are delighted to give you a taste of what you can expect when we are able to host an audience.

Newsies will open our season this year, followed by a comedic melodrama, I Only Have Fangs For You, by Craig Sodaro, bringing vampire mishaps and laughs to Halloween weekend. December 2020, we hope to bring the classic tale, It’s a Wonderful Life.

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth will launch 2021, and our COVID-rescheduled Fiddler on the Roof is set to open in March. We will wrap the season with M*A*S*H, a play inspired by the hit movie and television series about the endearing surgeons and nurses who operate a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. Our 2021 summer youth theatre programs will include the delicious adventures of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. and our 20th year of drama camp.

In theatre, we have a tradition: Whenever the house is empty, we leave one light on, typically in the center of the stage. This light is known as the “ghost light.” There are many stories about its origin, but its meaning is unmistakable. It means that although the theatre is empty, WE WILL RETURN. Our ghost light shines in our lobby; it reminds us that although we might be dark now, our passion, our creativity, and our love of theatre are still center stage. We look forward to bringing back the joy of live theatre to our community!