02 Nov The Community Players ready to bring An Ideal Husband to life
New Hamburg’s community theatre is a week away from opening night, when the curtain will be raised on an Oscar Wilde classic. The play is based in London, England, in the late 1800s, and An Ideal Husband will run at The Community Players (TCP) of New Hamburg Studio Theatre from November 9 to 18.
Brooke Gamble is the assistant artistic director for the performance and said it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. “An Ideal Husband poses the best of both worlds. It’s both dramatic and comedic. There are times when the audience can sympathize with the characters but also laugh along with them. They are both real and relatable. After a four-year hiatus of not performing in the studio theatre, we feel that this show is entertaining, but also filled with many layers that the audience can dive into.”
The amateur acting company is well-known for its attention to detail in putting on a performance, something Gamble said is no different this time around. “The production value itself is outstanding. All of the costumes are hand-sewn with intricate details, the set designed with 1800s accents, and props specially chosen to reflect the time period. Audiences will be immersed in the Chiltern home from the time they enter the theatre.” She added the performers have worked with acting and dialect coaches to truly embody characters of the High London Society. “It promises to be a memorable, intimate, and immersive experience. It has taken over six months of planning and 200 volunteers to bring this production to the stage.”
This will be the first time in four years The Community Players have performed at the Studio Theatre. “In a time when people are feeling isolated more than ever before, the community of New Hamburg is coming together to entertain and spread happiness through the art of theatre,” added Gamble.
Directed by New Hamburg local, Jaime Vandermolen, the production takes a refreshing approach to a classic Oscar Wilde script. “Our cast has done a beautiful job of diving into their characters, really recognizing their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. Trevor Middleton and Kalene Ticknor-Malton, who play Sir Robert Chiltern and Lady Chiltern, are among the 11 cast members who bring this show to life. Audiences are welcomed into the home of these characters to follow their antics and revelations throughout the production. “It is sure to make you laugh, cry, and hold your loved ones dear,” added Vandermolen.
Although An Ideal Husband is filled with very traditional 1800s dialogue, TCP’s version may surprise you. “You have likely not seen the show performed in this style before,” said Vandermolen. TCP’s production showcases strong female characters who bring a whole new outlook to the storyline. These women recognize that social status is maintained by couples who practice an equal partnership behind closed doors and present a more acceptable ‘accompaniment and obedience’ in society.”
Artistic director Danielle Guistini-Crouse and Gamble have worked with numerous costume designers, painters, set designers, and props enthusiasts, to bring this production to the community. “The set is beautifully designed with decor and period-appropriate accents that will keep you in awe throughout the production. “It is definitely one of the most intricate productions we have put on here at TCP,” says Gamble. All wardrobe pieces have been hand-sewn with intricate details and accessories. Audiences will truly feel they’ve stepped back in time.
For nearly 40 years, TCP said they have pushed the boundaries of what is possible for an entirely volunteer-run organization. “We continue to create community theatre at its very best, with a team of experienced theatre enthusiasts who mentor the next generation of performers, directors, creators, and production members. If you are interested in volunteering with TCP, head to the group’s website. All are welcome,” explained Gamble.
Tickets for An Ideal Husband are on sale now at www.thecommunityplayers.com.