BY DIANE CARLSON
Over Our Head Players will present its 27th season of live theatre in Downtown Racine at the Sixth Street Theatre, featuring the 15th anniversary Snowdance original comedy competition. In addition to the Snowdance festival of short comedies, they will offer two full length comedies and one sketch comedy production.
The season includes Theatre / Schmeatre, opening Sept. 14, 3C beginning November 9, the “2019 Snowdance® 10 Minute Comedy Festival” next winter, and Leaving Iowa in the spring.
Theatre/Schmeatre is an evening of all-new sketches written by OOHP. These short, unrelated, original scripted comedies follow in the tradition of Second City and promise lots of silliness and satire. By “original,” we mean all of these sketches will be written by Over Our Head Players. By “sketches,” we mean short pieces with minimal technical elements. And by “comedies,” we mean funny! Once again, we’ll also feature live music from some of the area’s finest musicians. A very hot ticket in past years, Theatre/Schmeatre is sure to sell out. Please note there are no Sunday performances of Theatre/Schmeatre, which runs Sept. 14 – 29.
3C is a bold new parody by David Adjmi. In this hilarious but occasionally horrifying alternate universe sitcom, Brad, an ex-serviceman, is just back from Vietnam. After a wild party, he wakes up in Connie and Linda’s kitchen. The two women are, conveniently, looking for a roommate, so Brad moves in. A series of misunderstandings ensues, spiraling down from farce to devastation. After its premiere in New York, 3C was kept off the stage for years by lawyers arguing it violated copyright laws. Recently, the cease and desist order was lifted, and OOHP snatched up the rights. Inspired by one very specific 1970’s sitcom, 3C runs Nov. 9 – 25.
The new year begins with the 2019 Snowdance® 10 Minute Comedy Festival, the 15th anniversary production of the 10-minute original comedy competition that just keeps growing. Entrants from throughout the community, the state and the country are invited to submit original 10-minute plays to Racine’s very own Snowdance Comedy Festival. In prior years, hundreds of entries from coast-to-coast have been received, and even international entrants have made it to production. Judges will choose the best of the entrants to be produced. Then, in the ultimate interactive experience, the audience can vote on who should win the cash prize. Utah has Sundance, we have Snowdance! Snowdance perennially sells out, even with five full weekends of performances, Jan. 25 – Feb. 24, 2019.
Next spring, OOHP presents an encore of Leaving Iowa, which they first produced in 2009. Warm, nostalgic, family vacation laughs by Tim Clue and Spike Manton, Leaving Iowa offers a toast to parents from the “Greatest Generation” and a roast of their dedication to the road trip. Driving across Iowa, Don relives the vacations he spent as a boy trapped in the family station wagon en route to uninteresting sites. Shifting smoothly from the present to the annual, torturous vacations of his childhood, it will keep you laughing, remembering the childhood vacations you tried to forget. Simultaneously hilarious and touching, Leaving Iowa plays March 29 – April 14, 2019.
Managing Artistic Director Rich Smith summarizes the season, “Over Our Head Players loves bringing new and unexpected theatre experiences to our audience. Although this season has some familiar productions, such as our Theatre / Schmeatre sketch format, and includes the popular Snowdance competition, we know our production of the controversial play 3C will certainly provide that element of ‘the unexpected.’ 3C is sure to inspire some great conversations on the audience’s drive home.”
He continues, referring to last season’s record-breaking number of season ticket subscribers, “Our theatre company is so excited to see the season subscribers list grow yet again this year. Racine has a vibrant arts community that continues to support contemporary theatre.”
Over Our Head Players season ticket packages are now on sale. A season ticket package with tickets to each of the four shows is $64. Individual tickets are $18.50 on Fridays and Saturdays and $16 on Sundays and Thursdays. For reservations or information, please call the box office, (262) 632-6802. Season ticket brochures are available on the website at overourheadplayers.org. All performances are at the Sixth Street Theatre, 318 Sixth Street, Racine.
Diane Carlson is vice president of the Over Our Head Players Board of Directors.