"Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays," and that is true of one of Indiana's best community theaters.
That last statement may be a little prejudiced, but it would be a challenge to find another community theater with food or entertainment as good as our local Community Theatre of Clay County at the Lark on National Ave.
The Community Theatre of Clay County is one of Clay County's jewels.
Each year, the best local talent works hard to entertain and to inspire, a goal not found in much entertainment today, what with the politically correct "Happy Holidays" taking the place of "Merry Christmas" in so many greetings.
The Lark Theatre players go out of their way to remind us how special the meaning of this Christmas holiday really is.
The 2005 edition of the theatre group's Christmas show this past weekend was a wonderful variety of music and comedy. The comedy provided by "Good King Wenceslas" as he never was ... but might have been was told in "Good King Wenceslas Looked -- Where?"
Weceslas thinks he is the one who gives all good gifts to his loyal subjects and hates the name Kris Kringle until one night his wife catches thieves red-handed and is gagged for her trouble.
It is a quiet old man who sits daily in the good king's court, wearing a brown garment with hood, listening to the carol "Good King Wenceslas" sung every hour on the hour, who comes to the rescue! He wears a red "K" on his shirt and changes into ... Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Claus.
By the gift of candy to the king and a gift of another sort to the queen, Kris Kringle teaches Wenceslas sometimes it is truly better to receive than to give.
Part II of the show was a wonderful variety of Christmas music punctuated by the story of Christmas told by the Rev. Edward Randall, titled, "Castles and Candles of Christmas."
The program was produced with the talents of Susan Sneddon (compiler and director), Lee Reberger (assistant director and choreographer), Matthew Huber, (Brazil Brass Ensemble Director), CTCC Singers: Carl McKinney, David Maurey, Kevin and Michelle McCrea, Julie and Elizabeth Maurey, Vince Braun, T.J. Sneddon, Harold Burton, Keri Fagg, Sandy Gibbens, Dorothy Harris, Nancy Kulow, Bob Lambrecht, Kendra McCrea, Ashley McDonald, Julie Maurey, Rebecca Maurey, Bill Morthland, Amber Payne, Andrea Rode and Chris Swearingen, CT Children's Choir: Rebecca Beyers, Kyle Chaney, Kelsey Chaney, Erika Disney, Elizabeth Emmert, Bonnie Hutchens, Allie Haddon, Luann Lawson, Kaelene Jones, Trey Reberger, Ashton Swearingen, David Swearingen, Kelsie Wallace and The Brazil Brass: Andy Whittington, Ersel "Buz" Burgess, Steve Garlits, Allen Basore, Betty Neiswonger-Green and Jeff Shively; and pianist Rita Rothrock.
Two more productions are scheduled this season: "Guys & Dolls" (March 3-5) and "CTCC Then & Now" (May 4-6).
Production dedicated to Roberta Morthland
Her friends in Community Theatre of Clay County sorely miss Roberta Morthland. Bert, a she was known, generously gave of her time and talents to the cause of live theater in Brazil.
The Rev. Edward Randall remembers she often prepared cookies for the cast parties and would sometimes surprise the cast and crew with cookies during rehearsals. She also performed with her husband, Bill, in a number of the shows. Mrs. Morthland died in a car crash in November.
The CTCC program carries this dedication:
"This year's "Christmas at the Lark" show is dedicated to the memory of a wonderful theatre member, singer, actress, and most of all, a cherished friend. Bert was taken from us suddenly, but she will always be here with us.
"Even in the face of her own physical adversity, Bert gave totally of herself to all of us; baking us cookies, encouraging us to do our best, always doing her own very best for 'the show', and sharing her generosity and ever-present smile with all she met. Bert has been in Community Theatre of Clay County for over 15 years, and has participated onstage in almost all those shows. We have wonderful memories of her rich, strong alto voice, and her beautiful face onstage as she sang.
Bert started rehearsals for this Christmas show with us, and she is with us now tonight. We love you, Bert."
"Susan and CTCC"