What perfect, happy storm! Everything is coming together so beautifully for a wonderful production of MOMologues opening this Friday at the theatre. This production is a benefit for LAMB Arts LTD to assist in all the programming that goes on at LAMB Arts Regional Theatre….and there is a lot going on over here! (But more on that later…I want to talk about this show and this cast) We were so delighted that Siouxland Women’s Health Care Center became the exclusive sponsor of this benefit. It is a perfect tie in. Their slogan is “For every stage of a woman’s life” . Well, ON the LAMB stage, the stages of early motherhood will be played out with humor and poignancy. THANK YOU Siouxland Women’s Health Center! You have been a great friend to LAMB Arts Regional Theatre. Last season, SWHC donated the comfortable chairs that MOMologues audiences will be enjoying ! (THE MOMologues is performed in THE BOX Theatre at LAMB. This very intimate theatre seats 50)
As director for this production, I am thrilled to be working with four extremely talented and dedicated ladies. Three are able to rely on their personal experiences with motherhood, while poor little Geana is playing catch up (quite admirably, I might add) in the experience category. This show has opened up a plethora of birthing/mothering stories and discussions; something that I am sure is going to happen after our audiences leave the theatre. It has been so great for all of us to realize that what we thought were unique feelings are really quite universal among mothers…..of all ages.
How surreal it is for me to once again direct Lacey Friis. WAY back when she was “Lacey Graves”, I had the privilege of directing and acting with this talented young lady in many, many LAMB children’s shows and LAMB Mainstage shows. What an honor to see young Mary Lennox from The SECRET GARDEN as a young mother –and still possessing that natural acting charisma we all loved. Combined with her real life experiences with her own three young children, Lacey is absolutely charming to watch during rehearsals and our audiences will adore her.
Angela Iversen has also been a long time friend. I have known Angela since her days at Briar Cliff. She later became the children’s choral director at Augustana Luttheran Church where I am the choral director. Her marriage to the wonderful Pete Iversen and their subsequent sweetheart, Eliana, have been so much fun to observe. Angela has been involved in LAMB productions for several years and she has always been delightful to see onstage (Remember her in URINETOWN?…so funny!) and she is an absolute dream to work with. Her quick and quirky wit is beautifully utilized in MOMologues.-another actress the audiences will love.
Geana Schneider is our non-mom. I don’t THINK we have scared her away from motherhood. Geana is like a sponge and has absorbed the stories and quips from her fellow mother-actors and has created a very convincing mom persona. When we were rehearsing yesterday I was thinking how lucky her children are going to be---also, I was wondering HOW she gets her face to be so wonderfully expressive. Her face has its own spectacular dialogue! Geana has been seen in many recent shows at LAMB including YANKEE TAVERN and 39 STEPS. You will LOVE her in The MOMologues.
Trudy Rants is going to be new to our LAMB audiences…as an actress. Trudy has been a long time season member, LAMB School parent and a former LAMB Arts board member. What most people don’t know is that Trudy was a theatre major at Morningside College a “couple of years back”. How exciting for me that Trudy agreed to dust off her acting skills for this show. Trudy is perfect as the ‘older mom’ and has surprised me with her fierceness toward her character. She is going to be so much fun for our audiences. I am hoping that as much as we hope we haven’t scared Geana from motherhood, that we haven’t scared Trudy from future acting. She is a real charmer.
What is so great is that there are four very different actresses, voices and energies onstage. I am very proud of what these ladies have accomplished in a very short time and deeply appreciate their efforts toward creating an outstanding production. We hope to see some fun loving crowds at the theatre for this LAMB Arts LTD benefit. As we have noted everywhere, this is a perfect ladies night out feature attraction! However, men who have known mothers of any kind....and I think that speaks to all men....should have a very entertaining time her as well. (Please note that there is some “language” in this show. Not excessive… but this is a disclaimer in case this would be a concern for you. Also…this material is probably not appropriate for all audiences. I would suggest late high school through adult---we are talking about birthin' babies here....)
So….what else has been going on at LAMB Theatre? Someone asked me if I had trouble thinking of things to write in this blog and I said, “No. Just the opposite. I have the biggest trouble trying to decide how to CHOOSE what to write about!” (I also wish that someone would pass a bill to change the day from 24 hours to 30 hours…at least!)
The following deserve a blog on their own, but I will list some of the many things going on at LAMB. (Now you will see why we need why benefits such as The MOMologues are so important.)
Last Sunday we closed FLAT STANLEY, the second production in THE Young People’s Theatre at LAMB season. The show did extremely well and was so well received. We had a school performance with 5th graders from Irving Elementary (Thank you, Karen Bourne) and 3rd graders from Clark School (Thank you, Clark PTO) I am always pleased to see the progress and growth of our student-actors, but this show was especially ‘growthful’…(what a word) So many kids really had the opportunity to shine…and we have a lot of dedicated and professional students. What a treat. As a part of a grant, I was able to go to Irving School for some theatre workshops. The students were so receptive and I recognized several from CAMP IMAGINATION, a program that LAMB collaborates with Mary Treglia House in the summers.
Another great aspect of FLAT STANLEY was that we were able to offer ASL signing for the Hearing Impaired during a Saturday matinee of this musical. Thanks to the QUOTA Club of Sioux City, we had two signers who interpreted the musical for a special audience. What a thrill to watch the show signed. How proud I was of the student-actors for their attention to doing their job onstage and not watching the signing. How heartwarming to see the faces of those who were now able to fully experience a stage production. I was excited to discover how LAMB could play an important role in the arts life of a whole different segment of our community. Continuing this type of service has become a new mission for us. Thank you, QUOTA Club for this opportunity…and for opening our eyes to other ways we can serve our community.
Last week I was a guest of the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs in my capacity of Iowa Arts Teaching Artist. It was serendipitous that the Saturday before FLAT STANLEY had been signed and that I had had the opportunity to talk with the QUOTA signers at length. At the School for the Deaf (which, by the way, is an actual University style campus….gorgeous!!) I was asked to present a theatre workshop to juniors and senior drama students at the high school. What fun! Those young people are so very expressive and so open to trying just about anything. While there we discussed other collaborative opportunities between our LAMB students and theirs. It was a great day.
We are continuing our collaboration with Jackson Recovery’s Women’s and Children’s Unit in a Kindermusik program for the moms and their young children. We have been there for fourteen weeks and it has been amazing to see the continuous growth and participation among all the participants. We have gotten so large that we now hold two classes each week to accommodate everyone.
CABARET, the next mainstage production at the Theatre, has been cast and is in the midst of rehearsal. This production opens March 9 and the beautiful sounds and the very active dancing upstairs in the rehearsal room (THE BOX Theatre where MOMologues is rehearsing is below the Rehearsal Room) indicates that this production is going to be energy driven! I can’t wait.
The LAMB School of Theatre and Music is beginning a great second semester with an increase in our enrollment. Russ Wooley’s ATA class (advanced high school acting) is planning a showcase for later this spring that all the students are very excited about. More on that as their plans progress.
West Lake Entertainment from Los Angeles has booked the LAMB Caravan for a four city tour this May. This will be the 5th Caravan Tour for us. We will be performing BLUE HORSES.
Great news on the End of the Year Plea….Our goal of $30,000 was superceded by $136!!! Also, our Younkers Coupon Book campaign(our first year…I had no idea how easy this campaign is…so I made $1000 our goal.) met the goal number set!!!! We are doing so much better financially than a year ago. We will be conducting our annual campaign April 1 – June 30 and if that goes well, we should be on a much stronger, fiscally sound footing. THANK YOU!!!!
We hope to see you this week or next for MOMologues. You will have a ball.
Diana Guhin Wooley
CEO LAMB Arts Ltd
417 Market Street
Sioux City, IA 51103712-293-0930
Keep current with LAMB--:www.lambtheatre.com