October 5, 2012

Civic Players open with “The Lion in Winter”

Tonight marks the first show of the 2012-2013 season for Civic Players of Logansport.

by Amie Sites

LOGANSPORT — The Civic Players of Logansport have been rehearsing for four months and will showcase their hard work tonight for the opening of “The Lion in Winter” and the 2012-2013 Civic Players season.

“The Lion in Winter” is a 1966 play by James Goldman that takes place at King Henry II’s castle in Chinon, France at Christmastime in 1183. The play depicts the personal and political conflicts of the king, his wife, Eleanor and their children. The play was described by Nancy Quigney, director of the show, as a dark comedy.

Quigney said the play involves a lot of back stabbing as to who will be the successor to King Henry II’s crown and who will marry Alais, the King’s mistress. Henry has three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, the youngest son lightens the play with humor, Quigney said.

“The experience has been enlightening,” Quigney said. “It has been satisfying to read the script, picture it in my head and then watch it come to life in front of my eyes.”

“The Lion in Winter” has two acts, with a 15 minute intermission, and is two and a half to three hours long, Quigney said.

She previously directed a one act play, which was part of bigger collection of one acts during the Civic Players season last year, but this is her first time directing a full production. Quigney has been involved with Civic Players since she was pulled on stage in 2003 because someone didn’t show up for their part in “Mash.” She said she continued her involvement through different aspects of shows including working backstage and helping with costumes.

Civic Players of Logansport has presented more than 200 productions since 1958 and has performed at McHale Performing Arts Center since 1976, said Ken Fraza, auditorium manager. Most Civic Players’ shows feature adults, Fraza said.

Daniel Clymer is playing the part of King Henry II. He said that when he saw the Civic Players were performing “The Lion in Winter,” he knew he wanted to be involved.

Clymer, who grew up in Peru, has performed in shows in the area, but it will be his first performance at McHale. After moving to New York after college, he moved back to the area three years ago and enjoys teaching an acting class in Kokomo on Saturdays.

“I am anxious to do the best I can because I love the play,” Clymer said. “For me it’s about growing as an actor and I’m excited to depict a character that is a complex, proud man with great flaws.”

Henry II’s mistress, Alais Capet, is being played by Hope Long, a former Pioneer High School graduate.

Long has been involved with the company for more than 10 years and performed in her first play, “Gypsy,” at 6 years old. Long said her character is a princess who was taken by King Henry and is also his mistress.

“Acting is my passion, I absolutely love it,” Long said. “I plan to continue doing shows and I want to continue to move up the chain.”

During the play, Henry II’s three sons, played by Jeremy Hall, Dave Quigney and Ben Colsten, fight to become the successor of the king.

Jeremy Hall plays Richard, the oldest son, who he describes as the brave warrior. Hall participated in plays in high school, took a break from plays and just recently started performing again in the past three years.

When he isn’t acting, he is a branch manager at Springleaf Financial Services in Logansport.

“I forgot how much I love acting until I started doing it again,” Hall said. “My favorite part is getting reaction from the crowd.”

The middle son, Geoffrey, is played by Dave Quigney. He said that his character is the intellectual son who tries to gain the throne through treachery. Dave has been on stage for Civic Players since 1998 and has been in almost every show since then. Dave is an assistant dairy manager when he isn’t acting.

“My favorite part of acting happens somewhere between the challenge and the applause,” Dave said. “A show could go badly, but when you hear the applause from the audience, it doesn’t matter.”

Henry’s son, John, is being played by Ben Colsten. Colsten said that his character is the youngest, whiny son who is funny and selfish at his core.

When he isn’t acting, Colsten is an educator who helps inmates at the Cass County Jail get their GED.

“I’ve been in a total of 19 shows,” Colsten said. “I plan on continuing because it’s something that I truly love.”

Trina Noakes was the designer and creator for the costumes in “The Lion in Winter.” She said that from start to finish, the costumes took about a month to make, but it was great to go from envisioning an outfit, drawing it and then seeing the finished product on the actors and actresses.

Quigney said that the experience has been great because of the cast and people who have helped make everything possible.

Quigney said that she would direct again in the future, but not soon because she wants to spend more time with her 2-year-old daughter.

She will be costuming for the two upcoming Civic Players plays.

The Civic Players traditional season consists of two plays and one musical, board president, Ralph Anderson said. “The Quiet Man” is a play that will take place in March and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a musical that will take place in June.

However this season, in addition to the three plays, the Civic Players will be involved in two additional non-series events. The Civic Players will be partnering with the Cass County Historical Society for an event that will take place Oct. 19 and Oct. 20 at the Historical Museum, 1004 East Market St. The Civic Players will also be partnering with the Performing Arts Council to put on “It’s a Wonderful Life” in December.

Those interested in attending a performance can reach McHale Performing Arts Center, 1 Berry Lane, Logansport, at 574-753-4116.


Want to go?

Who: Civic Players of Logansport

What: “The Lion in Winter”

Where: McHale Performing Arts Center, 1 Berry Lane, located at

Logansport High School

When: Today and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the McHale box office. The

box office will be open one hour prior to each performance.