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ACT prepares for 27th season in Mitchell

The Mitchell Area Community Theatre has announced its schedule of shows for its 27th season in 2019-20.

ACT Board President Gary Thury said the process began in August with a committee of community and board members.

“This committee researches, reads, and reviews any play or musical we feel the community might enjoy,” Thury said. “Next, the committee looks at the technical side of the possible productions. … Once productions have been limited to what our theater can handle, the committee begins to focus on putting together shows that work well together throughout the season. Finally, the committee finishes by putting together some predicted expenses for each show.”

The months’ long process goes before the board of directors to finalize the schedule ahead of a new season.

The 2019-20 campaign begins with the summer musical, “Honk!” The Stiles and Drewe’s musical “Honk!” made its West End debut in 1999. Winner of the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical, this adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fable, “The Ugly Duckling,” with plenty of heart, will captivate audiences with its bouncing score and universal story.

Next is Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.” In 2015, comedic genius Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo) transformed Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic “The Hound of the Baskervilles” into a murderously hilarious adventure. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must brave the moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Watch as the intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as a handful of actors portray more than 40 characters.

The Christmas season performance includes “The Nutcracker,” adapted by June Walker Rogers. You may be familiar with the popular Russian ballet by Tchaikovsky or even the German story of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by E. T .A. Hoffman. At a gala Christmas Eve, Clara's godfather presents her with an amazing Nutcracker in the form of a wooden soldier. Too excited to sleep, she suddenly finds the Nutcracker brought to life. He tells her he is a prince under the wicked enchantment of the Mouse King, and she joins him in a series of adventures in strange lands as he seeks to regain his throne. When she wakes, she finds the Nutcracker gone. Was it a dream or not?

The ACT winter play is “Those Crazy Ladies in the House on the Corner,” by Pat Cook. What do you do when you have three geriatric sisters as patients and all they want to do is sit at home and talk to one another — all at the same time? You move another person in with them. At least, that's what Doc Lomax does when he has a new nurse needing a place to live — a nurse with a secret, that is. This heartwarming piece is loaded with wisecracks and one-liners that keep the laughter flowing.

The season will close with “Annie,” based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical that same year. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City.

Season memberships are available at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts at 700 North Main Street on February 8th.

2019-20 Mitchell ACT schedule

“Honk”: July 26-28 and Aug. 2-4, 2019

“Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Story”: Oct. 4-6 and 11-13, 2019

“The Nutcracker”: Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-8, 2019

“Those Crazy Ladies in the House on the Corner”: Feb. 14-16 and Feb. 21-22, 2020

“Annie”: April 24-26 and May 1-3, 2020

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