CSU presents 'Anton in Show Business'

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 20, 2012 

  • Holly: Jordan Demers, 22, a senior theater performance major from Alpharetta, Ga., has been in “A Piece of My Heart,” “Blue’s Clues Live!,” “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” at CSU

    Lisabette: Chelsea Dunham, 20, a junior theater performance major from Smithtown, N.Y., has been in “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” “Three Sisters,” “The Dining Room” at CSU.

    Casey: Joanna Roberts, 22, a senior music and theater education major from Lawrenceville, Ga., has been in “Into the Woods,” “Crazy for You,” “Caroline, Or Change” at CSU.

    Ralph: Rylee Bunton, 19, a sophomore theater performance major from Fayetteville, Ga., has been in “Caroline, or Change,” “Dora the Explorer Live!: Dora’s Pirate Adventure” at CSU. She is also playing the roles of Wikewitch and Joe Bob.

    Joby: Ametia Maxfield, 18, a freshman theater performance major from Leesburg, Ga., is making her CSU debut.

    T-Anne: Angela Marie Rigsby, 19, a junior theater performance major from Stockbridge, Ga., has been in “Eurydice” at CSU. She is also playing the roles of Andy Wheth and Don Blount.

    Kate: Rachel Wolovick, 19, a sophomore theater performance major from Marietta, is making her CSU debut. She is also playing the roles of Ben and Jackey.

    Ensemble: Jenna Luke, 19, a sophomore theater performance major from Leesburg, Ga., has been in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” at CSU.

    Ensemble: Michelle Pokopac, 20, a junior theater performance major from Lawrenceville, Ga., has been in “How I Became a Pirate,” “The Nina Variations,” “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” at CSU.

    Ensemble: Ellie Styron, 19, a sophomore theater performance major from Gainesville, Ga., has been in “Caroline, or Change” at CSU.

    Ensemble: Maddie Tweed, 18, a freshman theater performance major from Brunswick, Ga., is making her CSU debut.

    Ensemble: Saidah Wade, 17, a freshman theater performance major from Atlanta, is making her CSU debut.

    Ensemble: Quanehsa Wilson, 20, a junior theater performance major from Lilburn, Ga., has been in “Compañeras,” “Dora the Explorer Live!: Dora’s Pirate Adventure,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” at CSU.

  • What: “Anton in Show Business,” a comedy about three women cast in Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” in a community theater in San Antonio.

    When: 7:30 p.m. tonight-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday

    Where: CSU Riverside Theater Complex, 6 W. 10th St.

    Tickets: $17; $15 for children 12 and younger, seniors 60 and older and active duty military with valid ID

    Box office: 706-507-8444

Columbus State University's production "Anton in Show Business" focuses on three actresses of wildly varied backgrounds pursuing their dream of performing in a San Antonio, Texas, community production of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters."

Director Anne Thibault said it gives the audience a look at the inner workings of putting on a play. The satirical, backstage comedy also pokes fun at American culture.

Thibault promises the show isn't too "inside baseball," so audience members won't need theater experience to understand the plot.

Parents probably want to leave the kids at home, though. Thibault says this is definitely an R-rated show.

The cast is made up of three women. Jordan Demers plays Holly, a television star who hopes a serious drama will help her be taken more serious; Joanna Roberts plays Casey, a professional actress who has been in more than 200 plays but has never been paid; and Chelsea Dunham plays Lisabette, a third grade teacher.

Dunham was in CSU's production of "Three Sisters," that performed last year.

The characters don't get along very well at the beginning of the play, but by the end of the show, things have changed, Thibault said.

Thibault, originally from Toronto, spent 15 years working as an actor and director in New York City. She moved to Columbus after falling in love with a soldier stationed at Fort Benning.

"I never imagined the riches of arts in Columbus," she said. She is now with Empowered Youth of Columbus, which is part of CSU's Continuing Education Division.

Thibault is excited to present this play and to work with this all-female cast. She would like to see more female playwrights and stronger roles for women.

The playwright of this show, Jane Martin, is shrouded in mystery. She shuns publicity and there are no photos of her or interviews with her. It's speculated that Jon Jory, the retired artistic director of the Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Ky., is Jane Martin, but he has denied it. He has accepted her awards, which include two Best New Play awards from the American Theatre Critics Association. She's also been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Another theory is that a group of people write Martin's plays. She is known to be "America's best known, unknown playwright."

Thibault and the cast hope the audience laughs a lot and enjoys the show.

"You'll feel like you're part of the play," Demers said.

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