Bloomington Civic Theatre’s 2012-2013 Season Features Prominent Women of BCT and Greater-Twin Cities Theater
Bloomington Civic Theatre (BCT) is pleased to announce its 2012-2013 season, featuring 5 musicals and three plays. On the Schneider Theater stage, BCT presents 42nd Street, Sunday In The Park With George, Cabaret and On The Town. In the Black Box Theater, BCT will present A Few Good Men, the contemporary holiday musical Striking 12, Moonlight and Magnolias, and Art. In honor of International Women’s Month this March, BCT is especially proud of the large role that so many talented women of the Twin Cities theater community will be playing in the creation of this exciting season. From Bloomington Civic Theatre veterans like Karen Weber and Bonnie Erickson to icons of Twin Cities theater like Anita Ruth and Wendy Lehr, women will continue to make an indelible impact on BCT now and into the future.
As an actor, Karen Weber has been a favorite of BCT patrons with roles including Lucy Harris (Jekyll and Hyde), Eva Peron (Evita), Irene Molloy (Hello, Dolly!), Beggar Woman (Sweeney Todd), Phyllis Stone (Follies), Desiree Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), Margaret Johnson (The Light in the Piazza), Maria Callas (Master Class), M’Lynn Eatenton (Steel Magnolias), The Witch (Into the Woods), Aunt Eller (Oklahoma!), and most recently as director and lead actress in Inspecting Carol. Karen is returning to her artistic roots as a director again as she takes the helm of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park With George, which runs October 19 through November 17, 2012.
“BCT is where so many young artists come to get their start, get seen, and have a voice,” says Weber. “BCT is also where established artists come to renew and reenergize in their commitment to the work. There are so many obstacles and biases that can work against and frustrate women in their efforts to be seen, much less make a name or a living in the theater. BCT values the talents and contributions that women are so ready to give.“ Karen’s daughter, Christine Weber, is directing BCT’s holiday offering, Striking 12, November 30 through December 16, 2012.
Anita Ruth continues to serve as BCT’s music director and conductor, and has worked on over 150 musicals over the last three decades at BCT. Since the 1960s, she has worked throughout the Twin Cities at such venues as Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre and Theatre Mu, among others. “The theater has always been a place of equality, states Ruth. “Race, religion, gender and sexual orientation are not the basis for judging a person’s ability to rise to the top. At BCT, talent, commitment, hard work and vision are rewarded.”
BCT’s Producer Bonnie Erickson will also make a rare onstage appearance in a leading role in the first musical of the 2012-2013 season, 42nd Street, running August 17 through September 16, 2012. She celebrates 53 years in theater, has performed in 18 BCT shows, and produced over 40 Schneider Theater and Black Box Theater productions, her first being Hello, Dolly! with Sally Struthers in 2003. Bonnie and Anita Ruth collaborated in 2008 and 2009 to create the chillingly effective and successful breast cancer awareness fundraising event, The Breast of Broadway. Erickson’s training includes Yale School of Drama, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Actor’s Studio, as well as a summer youth scholarship to the New York City Ballet. As an active member of the Honors Mentor Connection, Erickson enjoys mentoring honor students in arts administration and production. As performing arts program director her greatest successes have come through long-term strategic planning and budget development.
“Since I arrived at BCT in 1997 it was evident women were underrepresented in production staff positions,” says Erickson. “The 2012-2013 season will see a minimum of 18 highly qualified women join the ranks of the production staff, creating new artistic collaborations that will shape the future of the performing arts program. We recognize and celebrate their vision, intellect, achievement, power and talent.”
Leading the remaining group of talented women who are contributing heavily to the artistry of Bloomington Civic Theatre is Wendy Lehr, director of the final play of BCT’s 2011-2012 season, Crimes Of The Heart, May 18 to June 10, 2012, as well as the final musical of the 2012-2013 season, On The Town, April 26 to May 26, 2013. Ms. Lehr began her theater career in Minnesota in 1962, has performed on every major stage in the Twin Cities over the course of her award-winning career, and has a theater named in her honor in downtown St. Paul. Other notable women of the theater contributing to BCT this season include director Mary Cutler; lighting designers Karin Olson, Kiki Mead, and Jennifer DeGolier; stage managers Jesse Lynn Carlson, Sarah Bauer, Lydia Bolder, Melissa Erickson, Laura Bidgood, and Sarah Perron; assistant choreographer Kristen Iiams; props designer Kris Detailleur; and costume designer Cindy Forsgren.
BCT’s 2012-2013 season ticket renewal campaign will begin online March 30, by phone or in person March 31, and new season ticket subscriptions begin May 1. For more information about Bloomington Civic Theatre’s current or upcoming season, visit www.bloomingtoncivictheatre.org or call 952-563-8575.
BCT is a program of the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center (BTAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2009 from the merger of the Bloomington Civic Theatre and Bloomington Art Center. BTAC offers high quality theater productions, art education for children and adults, and visual arts exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and established artists from Minnesota and surrounding states.