Archive for December, 2011

Year End Statistics – Plaza Theatre Company

2011 Statistics

It has been a very successful season of shows at Plaza Theatre Company. Tonight, we will complete our 49th production and our 10th production of the 2011 season bringing our 5th season of producing live theatre to a close. It has been a wonderful year of meeting new patrons and performers, presenting enjoyable musicals and comedies, and continuing to grow our theatre here in Cleburne. Here’s a taste of life at PlazaCo in 2011.

Total productions – 10

Total number of performances – 204

Total number of patrons through the door – 27,657

Total number of available seats – 32,232

Percentage of house sold – 85.8%

Total number of sold out performances – 123

Total number of Season Ticket holders for the 2011 season – 976

Percentage of patrons from outside of Johnson County – 46%

Total number of performers – 288

Total number of performers appearing in more than one show during the season – 84

Total number of Column Awards nominations – 41

Total number of Column Awards received – 17

Total number of Board Members – 9

Total number of Plaza Guild Members – 138

Total Box Office and Administrative Staff – 5

Total number of students who took instruction from Plaza Academy – 226

Yes, 2011 has been a banner year at Plaza Theatre Company. And 2012 promises to see even more growth and advancement. Again, we know this success is due to the hard work, the commitment and the support of so many amazing people. To all who have made 2011 such a terrific season at PlazaCo, we send our most sincere thanks – and now on to an amazing 2012!

Best Regards,
JaceSon & Tina Barrus and Aaron and Milette Siler, Plaza Producers

Announcing Auditions for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Plaza Theatre Company

Audition Information for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Plaza Theatre Company

Available first audition dates: January 9th and 10th, 2012

Call backs will be held Saturday January 14th

Auditions held at the Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio at 221 S. Mill St., Cleburne, TX

Directed by Kyle Macy
Music Director: Kristin Spires
Choreographer: Eddie Floresca
Stage Manager: Aaron Dawn Schultz


Click to make an appointment:

Plaza Theatre Company pleased to announce auditions for it’s upcoming production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. The open audition is being held at Plaza Theatre Company to cast the show on January 9th or 10th, 2012 . Auditions are by appointment only. The Producers have pre-cast the role of The Man in the Chair.


This recent Tony Award winner for Best Musical on Broadway revolves around one musical theatre fan’s obsession with a fictional show from the 1920s – ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’. As he listens to the record, the characters come to life in his apartment. This is the story of a Broadway actress, Janet Van De Graaaff, who wants to marry the debonair Robert Martin and give up her stage career. Janet’s producer, Mr. Feldzieg, must stop the wedding because if she quits show business, he’ll lose his job! Further, gangsters threaten Mr. Feldzieg since if Janet quits, they lose their investment. All of this comes to life out of the imagination of ‘The Man in the Chair’ as 1920’s mayhem and mischief ensue. An old-fashioned laugh-a-minute crowd pleaser.

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

This production of Drowsy will be a fresh take on the Best Broadway Show You’ve Never Heard Of.  The Drowsy Chaperone is a multiple Tony Award winning show that demonstrates the best of contemporary musical theater, while poking fun at the musical theatre heritage of our past.  This production will be a fast-paced process with a truly ensemble cast, expanded chorus, with lots of stage time for everyone in featured moments.  Dynamic character performers, not scared to move, and detail oriented are encourged to come out and audtion.  A diverse cast is sought, and many roles are NOT age specific.

Plaza Theatre Company is a 158 seat theatre-in-the-round located at 111 S. Main in Cleburne, TX. The Company produces 10 shows a year usually in the style of family-friendly comedies and musicals. PlazaCo opened in November of 2006 and is currently producing it’s 49th show. The Company has been the proud recipient of over 25 Column Awards including winning “Best Musical” two years running during the past two seasons in addition to recently being named “Best Theatre Group” by the WFAA A-List for 2011. Further information about PlazaCo is available by visiting

Those who choose to audition are asked to come prepared to sing 32 bars of a showtune in the style of the show. An accompanist or CD player will be provided but each auditioner will be asked to provide their own sheet music or CD. A brief cold reading will also be required at the initial audition. Additionally, a brief dance combination will be taught so auditioners are asked to wear clothes that are comfortable to move in. A head shot and resume are requested.

Should the production team to take a further look at an auditoner, they may be invited to a Call Back audition on Saturday, January 14th from 9am to 1pm.


THE DROWSY CHAPERONE will open at Plaza Theatre Company on March 16th and play through April 14th, 2012. The show plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 3pm. Rehearsals will commence on January 16th. Double casting of some roles MAY be available to accommodate scheduling.


Ensemble THREE (3) MEN / THREE (3) Women
They are the house staff, reporters, band, wedding guests, statuary, monkeys, citizens, and more.  The chorus presence is expanded in this production.  Men with tap experience are especially sought.
Mrs. Tottendale – An older and rather forgetful matron
Underling – Tottendale’s Head of Household – dry wit, droll, can deliver a wry zinger
Robert Martin –  A model turned to “acting” – handsome and friendly, tap skills a plus
George – His put- upon Best Man, tap skills a plus
Mr. Feldzieg – a demanding and panicky Broadway producer
Kitty – Feldzieg’s dim-witted girlfiriend
Gangster #1 / #2  – Two – trying to be intimidating – mobsters who have quit wits and quicker hand gestures
Adolpho – former silent film actor turned to stage actor with little success – must be able to do lots of accents — badly.
Janet Van De Graaf – Broadway startlet of a bygone era – a follies girl with a big decision to make
The Drowsy Chaperone – a seasoned no-nonsense guardian/friend of Janet’s tasked with keeping her out of trouble, when she’s not besotted herself
Trix The Aviatrix – friendly, sassy, and only in two scenes – a scene stealing song and saver of the plot
Superintendant – non singing role – could be ensemble member

A PlazaCo Christmas Card – 2011

Announcing a special OPEN HOUSE to see the new Plaza Academy (with Santa)

We are simply thrilled at the prospect of expanding our Plaza Academy starting with the Spring Semester on January 24th. The new Academy will be housed at the Fine Arts & Dance Studio at 221 S. Mill Street here in Cleburne (just across the street from the theatre).

To celebrate the opening of this new facility, we’ll be offering an Open House for parents, students, performers and Plaza patrons to come check out the new digs.

You can:

  • Have pictures taken with SANTA
  • Tour the new facility
  • Sing Christmas karaoke with our music instructors
  • Learn a dance to “Jingle Bell Rock” with our dance instructors
  • Play some Christmas games with our acting instructors
  • Enjoy some holiday goodies

The Open House will be held next Tuesday, December 13th from 7pm to 9:30pm. Those who wish to attend can come any time during those hours.

We hope you’ll take a moment to come and tour the new Plaza Academy Fine Arts & Dance Studio. For more information cal 817-202-0600 or visit

Plaza Academy Open House with SANTA!

We are so excited about a new space for Plaza Academy,

we just can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Join us for a special Open House

Tuesday, December 13th 7:00-9:30 p.m

SantaHave pictures taken with Santa

Tour our new facility

Sing Christmas Karaoke with our Music teachers

Learn a dance to “Jingle Bell Rock” with our Dance instructors

Play Christmas Games with our Acting teachers

Enjoy some holiday goodies

Plaza Academy
221 Mill St Cleburne Tx, 76033

Announcing the official Cast List for Plaza Theatre Company’s production of Fiddler on the Roof

We were overwhelmed by the sheer level of talent demonstrated by those who auditioned for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Thank you to all who came and shared your talents with us. We are ecstatic about the amazing cast we will have assembled for the show. The official Cast List is below and those who are double cast are noted. The casts have not yet been separated into performance nights – once that is finalized, we will share that information here. Currently the doubles are listed alphabetically. Until then , here is the Cast List for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Plaza Theatre Company:

Fiddler on the Roof Cast List

Tevye              Burl Proctor / Aaron Siler

Golde               Judy Keller / Samantha Parrish

Lazar Wolf      Jon Kennedy / Al Mayo

Yente               Christia Caudle / Stacey King

Motel              Jerry Downey

Perchik            Andrew Guzman

Fyedka             Auston McIntosh

Tseitel              Jessica Astorga / Tabitha Barrus

Hodel                Katrina Nicholas / Monica Music

Chava               Julianna Keller / Taylor O’Toole

Shprintze           Brooke Boyd / Paige Moore

Chava Dance   Lulu Ashley / Kylee Scarborough

Eden Barrus

Mimi Barrus

Mordcha         JaceSon Barrus

Avram             Greg Burton / Corey Davis

Mendel            Mark McKee / David Phillips

The Rabbi               James Long

Nachum          Ric Holly

Constable       Jay Cornils

Yussel              Neal Abbott

Fruma-Sarah    Caroline Rivera

Grandma Tseitel       Soni Barrus

Shaindel           Ruth Ann Warwick

Bottle Dancer     Mark McKee / David Phillips

Bottle Dancers / Russians        Devlin Pollock

Mitchell Moore

Ben Midkiff

Villagers –

Kristi Taylor

Rachel Daniels

Dana Siler / Kennedy Styron

Julia Ekpo

Hannah Midkiff

Scout Harrell / Mary Vickers

Jenny Lynn Davis

Emily Warwick

Keah Kenney

Breanna Levac / Erika Pope

Lloyd Ekpo

Solomon Abah

Brendan Lane

David Midkiff

Braden Davis / Micah Ekpo

Amber Mayo

Caleb Midkiff

Eden Ashley / Abigail Scarborough

Ellie Ashley / Suzi Hanford

Piper Robinson


FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will open at Plaza Theatre Company on Friday February 3rd and play thru March 10th. Tickets are available by calling the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600 and further information about the theatre and the show are available by visiting the Plaza website at

Special Film & TV and Musical Theatre Workshop with Curt Mega and Kimberly Whalen

A Plaza Academy Special Event

We are proud to announce a very special workshop series being offered at Plaza Academy in December.

Former Plaza actor Curt Mega and his wife Kimberly Whalen will be instructing four fantastic workshops covering Film, TV and Musical Theater.

Curt Mega Curt’s credits include a recurring guest star on Fox’s “Glee” as Nick the Warbler (lead singer of the top 10 pop song release of “Uptown Girl”), Damn Yankees at Casa Manana and The Light in the Piazza at Theatre Three.If you are a Plaza Theatre Company regular you may remember Curt in YOUR A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and in his directing debut with SEE HOW THEY RUN,
Kimberly Whalen Kimberly’s credits include a year run as the lead in The Fantasticks 50th Anniversary NYC Production, 20th Century Fox’s feature film “The Tree Of Life” with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and most recently, a recurring co-star on ABC’s “General Hospital“.

Each workshop will be based on the Meisner philosophy of acting: living truthfully in imaginary circumstances.

Film and TV Workshop:

This workshop covers the Film & TV aspect of acting and performance.
Students will study the tools of character development and truthful instinct with the intimacy of the camera.

Course will cover improv, listening skills, cold reads and scene study followed by an in depth discussion and Q&A on the business of Film/TV as a profession.

Thursday December 29th

9 am-1 pm: 12-15 year olds
3pm-7pm: 16 and older

Musical Theater Workshop:

This workshop will focus on learning to tell a story truthfully with song as a further dimension of character development and storytelling.

Course will cover musical oriented improv and exercises, as well as scene study of song. An in depth discussion and Q&A on the business of theatre and musical theatre as a profession will follow.

Friday December 30th

9am-1pm: 12-15 year olds
3pm-7pm 16 and older


Workshops are $50 each or $80 for both.

All proceeds are graciously being donated to the Plaza Academy


Call Plaza Academy box for enrollment or click on link below for online registration.

The Review of ANNIE from the Keene Star

We’ve gotten our first review of ANNIE. And it confirms what we’ve heard from so many folks – that ANNIE is a wonderful Christmas show the whole family will love. We’re posting the terrific review below, but before you read it – let us remind you that we’ve added extra performances of ANNIE to accommodate demand. These dates are:

Monday December 5th at 7:30pm

Monday December 12th at 7:30pm

Monday December 19th at 7:30pm

Tuesday December 20th at 7:30pm

Wednesday December 21st at 7:30pm

Now read on for an exceptional review of ANNIE by Amy Wolff Sorter of the Keene Star –

keenestar@thestargroup.comWhen one thinks about the musical “Annie,” a few things come to mind. Red-headed orphan. The song “Tomorrow.” Rags-to-riches story and happy endings. The song “Tomorrow.” The Great Depression. And yes . . . the song “Tomorrow.” The very plot of this story — young, optimistic orphan finds happiness with her new adoptive (and wealthy) father — makes it a great holiday play.

One thing that may not come to mind, however, is risk-taking. It might seem, on the surface, that “Annie” represents a safe play for the Plaza Theatre Company to produce. Yet inherent in that production are some challenges that, happily enough, the cast and crew overcomes, leading to a delightfully acted, sung and entertaining production.

The first challenge is the staging. “Annie” is at its best in a proscenium-style setting, one in which a stage is at the front and elevated slightly above the audience.  It’s also a show with splashy numbers and a lot of dancing, typically not suited for the intimacy and small space of in-the-round theater.  But director Taffy Geisel and choreographer Tabitha Barrus make it work. The blocking and choreography fit beautifully in the small space and, for close to two hours, the cast sings, dances and makes its way through the in-the-round setting with ease, skill and energy.

The second is the role of Annie herself. This is not an easy one – it has to combine relentless optimism with a dose of realism and even, to an extent, leadership. Taylor O’Toole, who portrays Annie (she is double-cast with Rachel Browning), is exquisite in this role, standing up to Miss Hannigan (Darcy Farrington, who shares the role with Caroline Rivera) when called for, looking out for her orphan friends and wrapping Oliver Warbucks (ably portrayed by Jay Lewis, who shares the role with Tyler Cox) around her small hand.  O’Toole’s face is expressive – her smile lights up the stage, and her characterization of the downtrodden yet relentlessly cheerful Annie moves the play along very well.  O’Toole’s interpretation makes it easy to see why Annie is so well-liked.

The third challenge inherent in this production is the timing. “Annie” is a period piece, set during the Great Depression. Yet a lot of what goes on the stage is definitely applicable today. To their credit, director and choreographer seem to understand this and play off it. The song “N.Y.C.,” during which Annie, Warbucks and Grace Farrell (Jill Baker and Denise Fisher share this role) take their stroll up Fifth Avenue, admirably squares the “haves” and the “have-nots” against one another – not too different from the recent “Occupy Wall Street” activities.

And, not to get overly political, “We’d Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover,” performed wonderfully well and sung with extreme sarcasm by Hooverville’s residents, is applicable today  — one could substitute “Herbert Hoover” with the name of any politician they so desire. And later on in the production, when President Franklin Roosevelt (portrayed by Doug Henry) notes that having Annie on hand during a serious meeting with his advisers “will keep us on our best behavior,” one wonders if perhaps sending red-headed children to the corridors of power in D.C. might have the same impact.

Despite the somewhat somber moments of the show, there is a lot of humor to be found. Farrington, as Miss Hannigan, gets her share of laughs, whether she’s stumbling around, flask in hand, getting stomped on by one of the orphans or interacting with her brother Rooster (JaceSon Barrus). Speaking of which, Barrus keeps that laughter going when introducing his latest girlfriend, Lilly St. Regis (Tina Barrus) – “like in the hotel!” And when these two don their disguises as the “Mudges,” Annie’s alleged parents, they’re hilarious as well.

There are other entertaining moments as well. The scene acted around “Fully Dressed” at the NBC Radio Studio with Bert Healy (Joey Geisel), Harold Ickes (Josh Leblo) and the Boylan Sisters (Caitlan Davis, Hannah Midkiff and Emily Warwick) brings to mind slapstick at its best. When Lewis’ Oliver Warbucks discusses his own rags-to-riches rise with his small charge, he refers to $100 million as “back then, when it was a lot of money.” And Warbucks also brings down the house when referring to New York City in that typical snobby way in which New Yorkers refer to their home turf : “After New York,” he pontificates, “Everything is . . . Godley!”

So yes, “Annie” is a “must-see” show for this holiday season. It’s entertaining and fun. The tunes sink into your brain and lodge there. The cast is wonderful and energetic. Just as importantly, the cast and crew of this production have surmounted some interesting challenges to make it a thoroughly enjoyable show.

“Annie” will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and Mondays through Dec. 19, then Tuesday-Friday Dec. 20-23. For information, contact the Plaza Theatre at 817-202-0600 or