Tompkins Weekly Staff
ITHACA – Running to Places, Ithaca’s youth community theatre company, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a retrospective season that includes three beloved shows from the R2P repertoire, starting with “Music Man.”
The season will run from January to August in 2017, with auditions for the new season to take place September 23-25. All middle- and high school-aged students are invited to audition.
“This is the 10th anniversary of R2P and we wanted to do something special,” said R2P board President Lilly Westbrook in a prepared statement. “Having Joey (Steinhagen, R2P director) play a different role (other than director) is always exciting for our company members.
“We chose ‘The Music Man’ for the season because it’s such a wonderful musical and having Joey play the role of Harold Hill seemed perfect,” she added. “We are so pleased and excited that we can give our company members the opportunity to work alongside professionals.”
Marian the Librarian will also be played by an adult: Lynn Craver, artistic director of the Opera Ithaca. Tucker Davis, who was on the national tour of the Susan Stroman revival of “Music Man” and has served as choreographer for several R2P shows, will direct.
“I’m nervous and excited for the chance to put my money where my mouth is in terms of all the stuff I preach in rehearsals,” said Steinhagen in a prepared statement. “It’s my hope to practice it well and be a role model for my castmates.”
In February, R2P will do one of its rare non-musical plays, “All in the Timing.” Steinhagen said he’s been eager to do this play for a long time, as “it’s a collection of some of the smartest and outrageously funny one-acts ever.”
The May show will also be an R2P revival of a previous hit, last seen in 2011: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The production will feature the youngest half of the R2P company.
In July, R2P will return to the Kitchen Theatre Company stage for the moving stories and compelling characters of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
The season closes in August with “Footloose,” previously performed in 2009 and a show that long held the record for R2P audience attendance – opening night alone was seen by more than 700 people.
For more information about auditions and the new season, visit runningtoplaces.org.