Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Don't Change the Station! Opens January 10

Iowa City - CET (Combined Efforts Theatre)'s production of Don't Change the Station!, written by Janet Schlapkohl and directed by Osean Perez, runs for two nights only, January 10th and 11th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Iowa City Community Theatre’s home at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, a new venue for the company. CET rehearses at Uptown Bill’s and Hillel house, in Iowa City. “Hillel house is accessible and accommodating, director Jerry Sorokin is delightful and Uptown Bill’s is marvelous, Tom Gilsenen couldn’t be more welcoming.” Says Janet Schlapkohl, company founder.

Several new actors will be making their CET debuts in this performance. Terry Cunningham plays Judge Greyson, an aging soap opera star. Terry holds an MS degree and works at the University of Iowa’s Center for Excellence on Disabilities. “Terry’s comedic timing is brilliant.” says director Osean Perez. Terry uses a wheelchair for mobility, which the Johnson County space accommodates well.

Mark Nidey, a local actor who has performed with Dreamwell Company, and Sue Melleker play Network executives, in charge of a reality T.V. show, The End of an Era, although their characters have forgotten what it means to experience a real moment. “They make a wonderful emotional arc in the performance. They’re fun to watch.” says CET board president Mary Vasey.

Jerry Sorokin, Director of Hillel house in Iowa City, is also in the show. He plays the television station’s cameraman.

An entire family is bringing their talents to the production, Jane Bradbury, Ken Gayley, and their children, Anna and Peter are characters of a Medical Science show.

CET is an award winning company, Iowa’s only theatre company purposefully inclusive of performers with disabilities.

CET was selected by the Kennedy Center to implement the Young Playwright Discovery Program for students ages 10 to 22. The program is free to participants. CET hired several local theatre professionals as teachers. There are current openings at various sites and times.

“The program is open to students with and without disabilities. There are play-making classes for non-writers as well.” Says Janet Schlapkohl, the program director.

CET is a nonprofit organization that also includes a Dance Company and Men’s Choir Company. Both companies are involved in the current production. CET also has a monthly open mike performance, Slices: Performance and Pie held at Uptown Bill's in Iowa City.

Source: CET press release

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