Holiday on Robinhood Lane is a 90-minute, cabaret-style show, featuring a variety of holiday songs.
Harmon Arts Grant from the Town of Normal
First Christian Church
Kara and Kaylees Kloset
The Baby Fold's Festival of Trees
The holiday season is my favorite time of year. It has always held a special place in my heart since I was a child. Memories of being surrounded by family and friends celebrating the season, eating homemade Christmas cookies, and decorating the house with my mom are just a few of the ones I try to keep making throughout my life. One of the most special memories though is when as a child my grandfather would dress up as Santa Claus for all the grandkids and our grandmother would read "The night before Christmas" to all of us. This is the first Christmas where they both are gone, which makes it even more bittersweet that I get this opportunity to bring back such a wonderful holiday tradition to Community Players. I know they both would be in the front row singing and clapping along to the amazing production you are seeing today. I hope this show brings you as much joy as I know it would have brought them. I hope you all honor the holiday memories you have by making new wonderful memories. Thank you for allowing Community Players to be a part of making memories with you this holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Holiday on Robinhood Lane (2022)
A huge thank you to our sponsors!
By Matt Cox
Praised for its comedy and staging, Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic is a hilarious and magical play by New York-based playwright Matt Cox.
For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs...who just happened to be there too. Wayne Hopkins is a regular boy who finds out he’s a wizard and goes to the same certain Wizard School where he makes two best friends and has adventures. This perhaps sounds familiar. But, Wayne is sorted as a Puff, and he and the other Puffs simply want to learn how to be wizards and how to get through seven increasingly dangerous years of school.
The lovable characters in this story are “Funny, intelligent, silly, heartwarming, a little worn and slightly ignored.” Ultimately, Puffs is a tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world. Go Badgers!
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Douglas Carter Beane
The story revolves around a young woman forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother. Ella dreams of a better life; and with the help of her Fairy Godmother, Marie, she is transformed into a strikingly beautiful lady and attends the ball to meet her prince. Not only does she get her happy ending, she also opens the Prince’s eyes to the injustice in the kingdom.
While there have been many mountings of this story both on screen and on stage, the 2013 adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella was the first version with the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score mounted on Broadway. Notable songs include “In My Own Little Corner,” “The Prince is Giving A Ball,” and “Impossible/It’s Possible.” The new book by Douglas Carter Beane introduces several new characters and features several additions from Rodgers & Hammerstein collection.
Jacque & Jim Bethmann
Jason Michael Cook
Kara and Kaylee’s Kloset
Illinois Wesleyan University
Cinderella is a classic fairy tale - there have been hundreds of versions throughout my lifetime and many others before it. It’s easy to dismiss it as “just another princess story.” However, stories like these encourage us to consider our own nature and invite us to consider how we can find new ways to treat others.
When I was a little girl, I devoured the televised version of R&H’s Cinderella starring Brandy and Whitney Houston. I remember sitting in front of the television on my knees in pure anticipation and joy from the first note played. Actually, Cinderella was one of my first introductions to theatre as it was the very first musical I was ever a part of back in 2007! This sparked my love of storytelling on the stage. R&H’s Cinderella holds a special place in my heart since it was the only production my mom got to see me in before her passing.
I hope each person in the audience identifies and sees someone just like them onstage. Every person deserves the opportunity to see themselves as the “prince,” “princess,” or “ruler” in their own story. I hope your inner child is filled with joy hearing the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score once again. Cinderella suggests that the magic we seek in our own lives can be found by treating others with kindness.
It has been absolutely healing working with our talented cast and production team to bring this show to life. I hope you will relax and let the magic wash over you for the next few hours. Thank you for joining us!
— Jessa Hendricker
A huge thank you to our sponsors!
by Lynn Nottage
Taking place at a dive bar in Pennsylvania, Sweat portrays a meeting between a parole officer and two ex-convicts, as well as three women who were childhood friends and now work together in the same factory. Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. The play examines the disintegration of a friendship, after two of the women – one white, one black – apply for the same management job. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
Nellie Stiles, Patti Lollis Geske, Chris Terven, Dan Virtue, Matt Dratt, Rich Plotkin, Scott Myers, ISU Theater Department
What does it mean to be truly “American”? Is it earned, or a birthright? Who deserves the best opportunities as an American? Does it require being born in a certain county or region? Being a certain color? These are questions asked by Lynn Nottage in the 2017 Pulitzer prize winning play “Sweat.”
Set in the backdrop of a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, we watch an industrial workforce clash with underlying racial tensions as the result of corporate greed; the result of the North American Fair Trade Agreement effectively killing unions and sending jobs to a country where “a woman like you will stand for 16 hours and be happy making a fraction of what they’re paying you.” With one violent eruption, we see decades-long friendships fragmented and broken over skin color in the name of livelihood.
I can’t help to be amazed at the foreboding this play gives in 2017 of the racism, violence, and greed that erupted during the summer of 2020; when the terrified uncertainty of COVID clashed with the murder of George Floyd, causing a backdraft of political divide and hatred. The stories I heard of families split, of friendships ended, of pervasive racism and xenophobia, were heartbreaking.
Newscasters would tell us “we’re better than this.” But were we? Are we? Perhaps that’s the most important question of all. I hope “the way it should be” becomes “the way it is” someday soon. This play is a good start.