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St. Clair Shores

June 10, 2014

Theater group presents ‘The Boardinghouse’

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

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Theater group presents ‘The Boardinghouse’
Valerie Schave, of Clinton Township, and Herb Barents and Stephanie Moore, both of St. Clair Shores, rehearse a scene in “The Boardinghouse” at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church June 4. The production will be shown June 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.

ST. CLAIR SHORES — With a cast of 10 onstage and many more behind the scenes, the St. Clair Shores Players present their latest production, a comedy, this week at a local church.

Director Mario Razo, of Harrison Township, said the St. Clair Shores Players is community theater group open to anyone.

“We’re open to all residents; we support the community of St. Clair Shores,” he said. “We’re looking to get more recognition in the city, basically saying, ‘We’re still here. We’re still doing stuff.’”

The group’s spring production, “The Boardinghouse,” by Vern Harden, is a comedy for all ages and will be showing at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 31601 Harper Ave., at 8 p.m. June 13 and 14. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for children, students with identification and senior citizens.

The group dates back to 1959 and is a nonprofit theater group open to all — members do not need to be residents of St. Clair Shores. The St. Clair Shores Players holds open auditions for all productions and anyone interested in being in a play is always welcome to try out.

The group puts on two productions each year: one in the fall and one in the spring or summer. For the 2014-15 season, the players will be putting on their first musical in 15 years, “Godspell.”

Kim Buffa, of St. Clair Shores, likes to tell the story of how she joined the group “by accident.” She brought her grandson to an audition at his request and, while she was there, “they said, ‘Please read. We need this part filled.’”

“I hadn’t done anything since high school, but I’m hooked again,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but when it hits the stage, it’s a lot of fun.”

The group is always looking for new members, she said, and anyone who tries out and makes the cut is requested to join the group. Membership is $20 per year for one person or $30 per year for a family.

“What’s good about this group is you can get on stage without paying your dues,” and having to work behind the scenes first, said Ted Krolikowski, of Grosse Pointe Woods, who has been a member of the St. Clair Shores Players for 25 years. In that time, he’s been involved in about 20 plays.

“It’s the camaraderie — it’s the variety. You can be on stage, you can help off-stage, you can do a bit of everything.”

The theater group has been working on “The Boardinghouse” for the past two months, meeting three times per week. The comedy centers on some travelers looking for a 100-year-old pirate treasure that is supposedly somewhere in the house and the hilarity that ensues from that search.

“It’s a very good ensemble production,” Razo said. “It shows off the capabilities of the crew.”

Valerie Schave, of Clinton Township, first found the St. Clair Shores Players on Facebook. She had been part of a theater group before, but it had disbanded.

“I said, ‘It’s been a long time; we’ll see if I can still do it,’” she said. “It’s been exactly what I remembered.”

Assistant Director Scott Smith, of St. Clair Shores, said he joined the group a decade ago and liked how much opportunity it afforded.

“You just do the whole thing. We’ll train everybody,” he said. “Everything’s important, even running concessions.”

Smith said the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church has become a great home for the theater group.

“The church has been very generous letting us make this place our home,” he said.

“The Boardinghouse” will be shown June 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 31601 Harper Ave. For more information on the play or the St. Clair Shores Players, visit scsplayers.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.