OPENING NIGHT IS THURSDAY, JUNE 4!! GET TICKETS BY CLICKING HERE OR CALLING 618-625-5322.
SESSER – With little options for acting in the area, Rend Lake College students have found an oasis at the renovated Historic Sesser Opera House. More and more talent from RLC are taking what they learned in college and applying it on stage with The Opera House Company. The cast list for its upcoming production of "HMS Pinafore" is evidence of that.
Five students, two alumni, a future student and their instructor will appear in the production, which opens this Thursday and runs June 4-6 at 7 p.m. , each night with a final matinee performance at 2 p.m. June 7. Tickets are available by calling 618-625-5322 or by going online to www.brownpapertickets.com and typing in “Sesser” in the search box.
RLC Music Director Sara Alstat is once again taking her talents to the Sesser Opera House. She will be playing Josephine, the semi-betrothed captain’s daughter.
“This operetta, like all of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas, has a huge twist at the end,” she said. “The lyrics are very witty and the music is absolutely gorgeous.”
The Vergennes native has appeared in numerous productions in venues such as Timbers Dinner Theatre in Pennsylvania, McLeod Summer Playhouse and Sesser Opera House, and is a talented vocalist and musician. In addition to directing music for all RLC stage productions, Alstat teaches private voice as well as several music courses at RLC. She is in the process of introducing new curriculum to the college that allows students to complete an associate degree in fine arts.
Joining her on stage are Cory Garmane of Valier playing Ralph, Levi Overturf of Mt. Vernon playing Boatswain, Kathy Krutsinger of Bluford, Emily Dixon of Pinckneyville, Audrey Blake of Benton, Brooke Erwin of Benton, Brittanie Graham of Woodlawn and Quinton Sledge of Mt. Vernon as Sir Joseph.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for RLC students,” Alstat explained. “Operetta is something that we usually don’t teach at RLC. They are getting the opportunity to sing music by one of the best operetta teams in music history, Gilbert and Sullivan.”
"HMS Pinafore" – one of the most popular Gilbert and Sullivan collaborations – has a simple message: Love can conquer socioeconomic boundaries. And, in this case, it can do so with comedy and silliness to spare!
“I really enjoy performing at the Sesser Opera House,” Alstat said. “The city of Sesser really supports this endeavor. I have made many new friends working there, in particular Aisha [Mitchell] and [Sesser Mayor] Ned Mitchell. Aisha is a wonderful director. She works night and day to produce the best performance possible while still making rehearsals enjoyable for the actors and musicians.”
Mitchell participated in Alstat’s 2008 RLC Madrigal Dinner Theatre and looks forward to participating in the 2009 version, Alstat said. In turn, Alstat said that she herself may be directing a musical in the future at the Sesser Opera House.
The Opera House Company’s production of "HMS Pinafore" at The Historic Sesser Opera House is sponsored entirely by Peoples National Bank and directed by Mitchell with vocal director Alstat and conductor Laurie Lewis.