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A Side-Splittingly Funny Play

...on its way to a theatre near you!

Play On! by Rick Abbot is in the best tradition of popular and hilariously funny plays about… putting on a play! Preceded by the likes of Noises Off, The Play that goes Wrong, or The Farndale Avenue… series, Play On! is about a community theatre bravely preparing to stage a murder mystery. It is written by one of their own, and rewritten repeatedly, which makes rehearsals rather fraught. Add a mix of relationships between the actors, crucially timed stage events that miss their cue, and a cast and stage crew all desperately trying to make it work, and you've got the ingredients for a rollicking entertaining evening with lots of audience laughter.

Play On! is the first production by the Center Stage Community Theatre (CSCT). So why "Take 2"? Well, for the last 40+ years it was The Sharon Players who brought English theatre to the stages of Raanana and Kfar Saba. After 40 years of successful productions with a loyal community following, the decision was taken to pass the baton, and who better to receive it than a couple of young energetic theatre people who were already busy bringing English theatre to the area.

Daniella and Grant Crankshaw made aliya from South Africa in 1997. Already in 1998 they were involved in productions by the Sharon Players, The Guild and TACT community theatres, but were sorely aware that something was missing. English language theatre needed a home. After years of hunting for suitable venues and funding partners, Daniella and Grant founded Center Stage in February 2019, and by October of the same year they opened the doors of a fabulous theatre venue, built with their own hands. Center Stage brought in wonderful professional productions from New York and home, such as The Last Rat of Theresienstadt and Bad Jews, comedy nights, cabaret evenings, Jazz ensembles, and also opened the highly successful youth theatre program. They quickly became the go-to culture center for English speakers in the area.

Just 107 days after opening their doors, COVID struck. Center Stage was in lockdown from late February 2020 until April 2021 – over a year of continued costs and zero income. Sadly, in January 2023 Daniella and Grant were forced to dismantle their lovingly built venue and close their doors. But losing their venue did not mean losing their energy, creativity, or determination to carry on. Today Center Stage, using various rented venues in the area, is carrying on with comedy nights, youth theatre programs, as well as adult community theatre workshops – and still on the lookout for a new permanent venue.

Center Stage Community Theatre, ably managed by Coordinator, Maurice Ross (formerly with Haifa English Theatre), is excited to be working on the production of Play On! directed by Phil Cohen who brings the cast the benefit of his extensive professional experience both here and in the UK. With a cast of 10, from septuagenarians to the youngest at just 19, "Play On!" actors are experienced stage people who have performed in the US, the UK, and with various Israeli theatre groups. The cast includes Yehuda Fachler, Sonia Levy, Dalya Librus, Rhoda Luer, Jakey Parry, Aviva Rosensweig, Laurence Seeff, Robin Shulman, Gavriella Silverstone and Ian Tick. They are supported by Carrie Lenga as Stage Manager and Miriam and Shelly Wartski as Costume and Prop designers.

Don't forget, laughter is good for the soul, so book early, tickets are going fast!

Performances are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday;

October 10th, 11th, and 12th, 20:00, at Eshkol Pais, 46 Hachayil St. (crnr Haneviim), Raanana.

Tickets are available from the ESRA office (09 748 2957) or online from the ESRA website (www.esra.org.il), or online through Eventer from the Center Stage website www.centerstageisrael.com/playon.

 

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