The general ethos of the Village Theatre Guild lives up to the quaint, fuzzy sense of community pride that anything "village" evokes. The troupe prides itself on attracting local volunteers and “neighbors from all walks of life, who enjoy stepping out of their everyday worlds into an ever-changing fantasy of drama.” It’s amazing what a wig, a costume and a few-bars-long solo will do to your local grocer, doctor or dog-walker.
Folks who are interested in exposing their dramatic flair are more than welcome to join, and being cast in a Village Theatre Guild production means an automatic waiver of the quaint $25 per year membership fee. Not sure you're ready to fork over fee? Members and prospective members may attend the Guild's meetings on the third Monday of every month. True to form, these get-togethers aren't your typical humdrum business gatherings. Instead, it's an opportunity for prospective members to see your playmates in action, as members throw together one-act plays or scenes to entertain their compadres.
Members also have the opportunity to explore any flight of fancy in the realm of theater, from lighting to PR, and the five-year-old Visiting Artists Program introduces members to Chicago-based professionals whose work covers the gamut of theater-related careers. Classes are free for members and open to the public for a small fee, as long as space allows.
Other than the "members (or almost members) only," one-offs staged at the meetings, you're looking at four major shows a year and the occasional “studio” show in the summer. Shows have included dramatic gems like "Dinner with Friends," "Do Not Go Gentle," and "Art." Productions take place in a converted one-room schoolhouse that dates back to 1917, with seating accommodating up to 60 for an intimate show-going experience. You could even say it's a family affair.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg