Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rush County Players Celebrate 32nd Season

On Saturday August 9, the Rush County Players gathered at the New Salem Lions Club for their Annual Meeting and Hammy Awards Celebration. Following a hog roast, with meat supplied by J & D Meats, and side dishes and desserts supplied by the RCP Board of Directors, the Players held their Annual Meeting.

Outgoing President Bonnie Locchetta opened the meeting, then yielded the floor to Outgoing Treasurer Chante Wells. Chante gave an overview of the financial health of the Players following the 2007-2008 season that included a breakdown of the income and expenses for each show presented last season, income from other sources including working concessions at the RCA Dome, and expenses for items including new windows in the Playhouse, microphone paks, and a new sound system. She also presented the Secretary's report for Outgoing Secretary Rhonda Barton. The Secretary's report included membership information among other items. Outgoing Vice-President Aaron Scholl then took the podium to cover a some proposed changes to the by-laws of the Players, dealing with memberships and Board member eligibility. These changes passed the membership unanimously.

At this time, the directors of the shows from the 2007-2008 season came forward to give a wrap-up report on their shows and present certificates to those who had contributed to their shows in a way over and above the usual. Chante Wells, director of "101 Dalmatians, Kids" presented certificates to Molly Rose, Terri Sipes, Whitley Griffin, and Sharon Scholl. The director of "Big Feet," Lisa Boaz, presented a certificate to Janet Foster. "A Joyful Noise" director, Shelli Griffin, showed her appreciation to Virginia Holdman, Michael Fisher, Matt Amos and Lisa Boaz. Lora Norris, who took on "Fiddler on the Roof," wanted to thank Loys Rees, Steven Locchetta, Billy Myers, and John Conn. The final director of the 2007-2008 season, Aaron Scholl, presented certificates of appreciation to the Rush County Commissioners, Pat Reed, and Matt Griffin.

Outgoing President Bonnie Locchetta gave a brief overview of her time in office, and challenged the incoming Board and the membership of RCP to continue to work with the youth of the community,and to attempt to increase membership, among other items. Then, incoming President Matt Griffin re-iterated many of the points Bonnie had made, committing RCP to continuing to work with youth, and encouraging the membership to join one of several committees to work in several areas. Outgoing Board members Bonnie Locchetta, Aaron Scholl, Chante Wells, and Rhonda Barton were thanked for their 3-year terms of service. The 2008-2009 Board of Directors is: President Matt Griffin, Vice-President Matt Amos, Treasurer Dan Scholl, Secretary Elizabeth Gist, Scott Medd, Sharon Scholl, Merrilyn Lower, Janet Rose, Jeff Wagoner, Becki Paul, Amanda Locchetta, and Lora Norris.

Finally, the directors for the shows to take place in the 2008-2009 season came forward to talk about their shows. Curt Mock, director of season opener, "God's Favorite," was unable to attend, but did send word that his auditions would be held at the Playhouse on Aug. 26 & 27, from 6-9 PM, and showdates would be Oct. 17, 18 and 19 at the Laughlin Center. Jack Harmon, who will be directing "Little Shop of Horrors," also announced his audition dates, which will be in late December at the Playhouse, and show dates, which are Feb.27, 28 and Mar. 1. Chante Wells and Bonnie Locchetta, co-directors discussed their 80's musicale, "Video Killed the Radio Star," audition and show dates to be set. The director of this year's children's production, Becki Paul, then talked about her "Disney Musicale," featuring the music and characters of Walt Disney, also with audition and show dates to be set later. The business portion of the evening was then adjourned.

At this point, the part of the evening everyone had been eagerly awaiting began....the presentation of the Hammy Awards. The Hammys are RCP's version of the Tonys. They are voted on by a top-secret committee, chosen by and known only to the President of the Board of Directors. So, this is not the Board or the Players patting themselves on the back. These awards are chosen by audience members, who go to each show and take notes. Then, at the end of the season, they vote on who they think were the best in each of several categories. The Blue Ribbon committee for the 2007-2008 season chose the following as the best in their respective categories:

Director of the Year----Aaron Scholl, Director of "Sandbag, Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Producer of the Year----Bonnie Locchetta, Producer of "Sandbag, Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Outstanding Musical Performance, Male----Mike Alexander, for "A Joyful Noise"
Outstanding Musical Performance, Female---Janet Foster, for "A Joyful Noise"
Outstanding Lead Actor, Male---Jack Harmon, for playing Judge Roy L. Been in "Sandbag, Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Outstanding Lead Actor, Female---Nikki Calciano, for playing Prosecutor Cling in "Sandbag, Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Male---Mark Sloan, for his performance as Lazar Wolf in "Fiddler on the Roof"
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Female---Bethany Hancock, for her performance as Hava in "Fiddler on the Roof"
Outstanding Character Portrayal, Male---Matt Amos, for playing Gus the Lovable Doorman in "Sandbag Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Outstanding Character Portrayal, Female---Elizabeth Gist, for playing Gretel Van Cistern in "Sandbag Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly"
Outstanding Technical Achievement---Scott Medd for "Fiddler on the Roof"
Outstanding Set---"Fiddler on the Roof"
Outstanding Costuming---the cast and crew of "101 Dalmatians Kids"
Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile, Male---Steven Locchetta, for Roger in "101 Dalmatians Kids"
Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile, Female---Tia Ruji, for Cruella DeVille in "101 Dalmatians Kids"
Outstanding Ensemble Musical Number---"Awesome God" by the cast of "A Joyful Noise"
Outstanding Non-Vocal Musical Performance---"Great God" by the blacklight dance group in "A Joyful Noise"

The last award given was Trouper of the Year. This award is voted on by the Board of Directors.
This is to recognize someone who has gone “above and beyond” in their work for the Players this past season. Generally, the recipient of this award has worked very hard, and usually for more than one show, in more than one capacity, but has not sought recognition for their efforts. The Trouper of the Year is a living example of what Rush County Players seeks to represent, that “the show must go on” with not only a sense of responsibility and duty, but a smile. This year, the Board recognized Bonnie Locchetta as the Trouper of the Year for her efforts in a variety areas.

The evening then closed out with music and karaoke provided by Kenny Walker. Thanks to the New Salem Lions Club, J & D Meats, Kenny Walker, and those who provided food items for the evening. For more information about Rush County Players, please visit,, call 938-1711 or email

Friday, August 1, 2008


Get jiggy with it!

by Elizabeth Gist ( my bud)

Irish traditions and music have long had a place in Rush County’s community, and August 1’s concert at Riverside Park Amphitheater is just another opportunity for everyone, Irish or not, to celebrate. Mother Grove and the McCabes will headline the Rushville St. Patrick’s Day Committee-sponsored concert, which begins at 7 p.m. WISH-TV news anchor Rick Dawson will emcee the event.

Mother GroveMother Grove and their “kilt rock” sound will open the evening. The group has performed all over the country and has been chosen to perform with Celtic rock powerhouses (Seven Nations, Black 47, Young Dubliners) and mainstream groups (Violent Femmes, Blue Oyster Cult, Berlin). Their unstoppable grooves and multi-layered rhythms dare you to stand still. Their professionalism is indicative of their many years as musicians, and they interact with the crowd at such a level that by evening’s end, you feel like a part of the band.

The McCabes will headline this very Irish event. The group was born in New York, but have played all over the U.S., earning their spot as one of America’s best-loved Irish bands.

The McCabesA host of musicians have passed through the group, including fiddler Matt Mancuso (Lord of the Dance), mandolin player Darryl Conlon (Crossroads), drummers Steve Holloway (Riverdance), Lez Warren (The Cult) and Mike Pardy (The Full Monty). Now with Sean McCabe on vocals, Ryan Cavan (drums), Daniel Paccine (bass), Rick Snell (guitar), and Matt Mancuso back on fiddle, they never rest on their laurels and play at Connolly’s Club on Times Square in NYC, New York’s biggest and newest Irish music revue.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


This week, our county lost a local landmark....and a lot more. The tiny town of Moscow, in the southwest corner of our county, was nearly decimated by a tornado. We had terrible storms Tuesday night, June 3, and were even evacuated out of the County Courthouse, where we were rehearsing for our play. When I got home, one of my friends, who is a volunteer firefighter and EMT called and told me that he was on his way to this town, and that it's historic 1888 double-span covered bridge was gone. This was a beautiful old bridge, lovingly restored over recent years, and celebrated each year by a Covered Bridge Festival. This festival was a large source of income for this little town, and now the future of this festival, the bridge, and the town, are in question. For the first day or so, the town was cut off by downed trees covering every road in and out of town, not to mention the bridge crossing the Flatrock River being gone. Now they are busing in volunteers to help with clearing debris. The Lt. Governor and our Congressman have toured the area, and it has been declared a disaster area. A good friend of mine, along with her daughter, watched her home being blown away above her as they searched for cover in the basement of their farmhouse. They lost all their belongings, their horses, all but one of their goats, and all other animals except their cat. They are battered and bruised, but alive. They are not alone. Several other families have lost everything. One woman was badly injured, but thankfully, no one was killed. When looking at the devastation, it is amazing that no one was.

Donations are being accepted to help those who have lost so much to rebuild, to recover something of their lives. You may donate to the Moscow Victims Assistance Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank in the United States. Please give if you can.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


This is the time of year for Board member nominations and elections. This year there are four openings to the Board due to normal rotating terms. The ballot below contains six (6) candidates proposed to you by the Board and is presented for your approval. Members elected by you, the membership, will serve a three-year term, beginning this August 1, 2008. Ballots must be returned to RCP no later than June 10, 2008. Ballots not returned by June 10th will be considered as a vote for the current Board of Directors choice. There is also a provision for a write-in vote as well, should you so choose. Remember that this is your organization, and its success depends on your participation and input!

RCP 2008 Board of Directors Ballot

The following are candidates to serve as Directors for the Rush County Players for a three-year term, commencing on August 1, 2008. There are four openings to be filled. Please vote for only four (4) candidates. The 4 candidates with the majority of votes will fill the available seats. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken by the current Board of Directors. Write- in candidates must be members in good standing in RCP to be considered.
(__________ Matt Amos) (__________ Amanda Locchetta)
(__________ Elizabeth Gist) (__________ Dan Scholl)
(__________ Steve Harmon) (__________ Jack Harmon)
(______________________ your write-in choice)

Mail your ballots to RCP, P.O. Box 33, Rushville, IN 46173. If ballots are not received by June 10, 2008 they will not be counted.
Voter's Signature __________________________________________ _ __________

You can also email this ballot to:, or

RCP is Riverside Park Amphitheatre Sponsor

RCP will be a sponsor of the shows at the Riverside Park Amphitheatre. We will have a table/stand at each show, where we will be able to sell tickets, t-shirts, memberships, or other items, get our name out in the public some more, all while enjoying some great entertainment. However, we need people to work at these events! The schedule of shows follows, each show begins at 7 PM, with the exception of July 12, which starts at 6:30. We will need to get some items from the Playhouse before each show (table, chairs, banner, etc) and return them afterward. We should have at least 2-4 people per event, but can have as many as we want. And remember, each show is FREE!

Riverside Park Amphitheater * Rushville, IN 2008 Concert Series Dates

Sat. June 7, 2008 (Rock & Roll) The Bootie Coons & The Why Store
Sat. June 21, 2008, 6:15 PM Vicki Richmond & The Indpls. Jazz Orchestra
Sat. July 12, 2008 (Bluegrass & Country) Wes Miller Band, Off the Wagon, Josh Mahoney and the Second Chance Band
Sat. July 26, 2008 (Retro!) Black Voodoo Band & Zanna-Doo
Fri. Aug. 1, 2008 (Our Annual Irish Fest) Mother Grove & The McCabe's
Sat. Aug. 16, 2008 (Blues & R & B) Max Allen & The Gene Deer Band

If you can help out RCP at any of these events, please contact Bonnie at, or 561- 3223. WE NEED TO KNOW ASAP!!!!! Feel free to bring along family or friends to help out, too. The more, the merrier!

Dis-Order in the Court!

The Rush County Players are in rehearsal for their last production of the 2007-2008 season. "Sandbag, Stage Left, or, One Dead Dolly" is " a parody of courtroom dramas like Ayn Rand's 'The Night of January 16'." The basic premise is that a community theatre diva has been killed by a falling sandbag during the "So Long, Dearie" number in a production of 'Hello, Dolly.' Her wimpy husband has been accused of the crime, and brought to trial. From this point on, the plot, such as it is, pretty much defies description as Defense Attorney Static and Prosecutor Cling present their cases to Judge Roy. L. Been (rhymes with "pin"). One by one, various community theatre types take the stand to testify, and it is the nuttiest parade of witnesses this side of Perry Mason." This will be a very special show, because, like only a very few before it, it will actually be presented in the Circuit Court Room of the Rush County Courthouse! The elevator is working, for those who need it. Not only is is held in the courtroom, but YOU, the audience, will actually help decide the outcome of the show! The show is written with 2 different endings, and our jury of selected audience members, will have a chance to vote on the verdict during each performance. Who are the "usual suspects" in this courtroom farce? Director Aaron Scholl, Assistant Director Scott Medd, and Producer Bonnie Locchetta are excited to have a mix of RCP veterans and new faces to round out the cast. Cast members include: Jack Harmon, Mark Sloan, Matt Griffin, Molly Rose, Sharon Scholl, Michael Best, Julie Craven, Linda Robinson*, Shelli Griffin, Amanda Locchetta, Elizabeth Gist*, Allie Best, Nikki Calciano*, Matt Amos, Chrissy Rankin, Steve Harmon, and Dan Scholl. Those with asterisks are new to the RCP stage. Show times are Fri. June 6 at 8 PM, Sat. June 7 at 2 PM, Sun. June 8 at 2 PM, Fri. June 13 at 8 PM, Sat. June 14 at 8 PM and Sun. June 15 at 2 PM. There are only 90 seats available for each show, and tickets will be going quickly! Tickets are currently available from any cast member, or at Elizabeth's Keepsakes and Collectibles, 237 N. Main St., Rushville. Adult tickets in advance are $8, and at the door are $10. Students K- 12 are always only $5. But wait!!! When you buy your tickets for the show, you can also buy your raffle tickets to sit on the jury. You can actually buy your way onto a jury! Raffle tickets for jury seats are $1 each, or 6 for $5. These are available right along with regular ticket sales. Jurors are not required to learn lines, but just to play along and have fun! If you have any questions, or want to make reservations, you can call Rush County Players at 938- 1711, visit their website at, or email them at Make plans now to help RCP close out another great season of live theatre here in Rush County, and be part of the wackiest trial of the century! We still need people to help sell tickets, and raffle tickets at each show, so if you can help, call Bonnie at 561-3223 ASAP! Finally, Director Aaron said if we SELL OUT 3 NIGHTS OF THIS SHOW he will SHAVE HIS LEGS!!!! Come on, people! This is TOOOOOO good to pass up!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Order in the court

Another week of rehearsals gone by.....we have now been joined by all the members of the "Thoroughly Modern Millie" cast from RCHS. Actually, this only turned out to be 2 people, because 1 of them had to drop out due to a new job. After losing another cast member to conflicts, and possibly losing 2 more, we are starting to look at alternatives. We asked a current cast member to understudy one role, and have asked a couple other folks to join us in a couple of other roles. Things are starting to gel very well.

Some cast members (Shelli in particular) already have their lines memorized!!! Very impressive!!! Our goal for our first off-book rehearsal is May 12, but this may be extended due to the addition of new members and for our "Millie" people.

We have been rehearsing the last 2 weeks at Main Street Christian Church due to issues at the Playhouse, but next week, we are moving back to the upstairs at the Playhouse. We should be fine up there. We do have to deal the issues down there, but that will come in time.

We are also preparing for the Community Day Picnic at the Amphitheatre on May 17, and our Board meeting on the 20th. We are going to be planning the schedule for next season, so that will be forthcoming soon!

That's it for now.....more news soon!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Welcome to the show!

Welcome, everyone, to the RCP blog! Here, we will let you know all the news that's fit to print (or blog) about upcoming Rush County Players productions, as well as backstage news, and anything and everything else going on in the wonderful world of community theatre.

Currently, we are working on a great comedy called, "Sandbag, Stage Left, or One Dead Dolly." This show is written by John Anthony, and is basically the story of every community theatre company out there.....although not all of us have had a leading lady crushed by a sandbag. It's a lot like "Waiting for Guffman" which, again, is a lot like RCP. If you haven't seen it, rent it. Netflix it. Do whatever you have to do. If you are a community theatre geek, you MUST see "Waiting for Guffman."

Oops, sorry, I digress. I'll get into my love of "Guffman" later. "Sandbag" is directed by Aaron Scholl. It is his second directorial effort. His assistant director, in his first turn in such a position, is Scott Medd. Producing is Bonnie Locchetta (that's me, by the way). Our cast includes a lot of RCP regulars, and a few new folks. Here's the run down, with asterisks by the newbies.....

Judge----Jack Harmon
Bailiff---Kyle Huntsman
Guard #1---Mike Best
Guard #2---Tyler Coons
Guard #3---Tiffany Alexander
Prosecutor Cling---Nikki Calciano *
Defender Static---Matt Griffin
Arnold Meddle---Dan Scholl
Salvatore Soo---Steve Harmon
Gretel Van Cistern---Liz Gist *
Ginger Rayle---Chrissy Rankin
Mrs. Byron Shelley---Shelli Griffin
Byron Shelley---Mark Sloan
Edwena Bury---Sharon Scholl
Penelope Pacemaker---Amanda Locchetta
Harriett Meddle---Jayne Ashbrook *
Dora Glockamorra---Molly Rose
Gus, the lovable doorman---Justin Rodgers
Stenographer---Allie Best

So far, we have had a read thru and one rehearsal, and we continue to crack ourselves up. This show is hilarious! Shelli, as Mrs. Byron Shelley, almost has her part memorized already!!! Needless to say, we are very impressed!!!

Showdates, by the way, are Fri. June 6 at 8 pm, Sat. June 7 at 2 pm, Sun. June 8 at 2 pm, Fri. June. 14 at 8 pm, Sat. June 15 at 8 pm, and Sun. June 16 at 2 PM. We are fortunate to actually present this courtroom comedy in the courtroom at the Rush County Courthouse! Also, we will have an actual jury, who will decide the outcome of the show (there are 2 different endings written). When we begin selling tickets for the show (next week, hopefully) we will also begin selling raffle tickets for those jury seats. Those jurors will actually vote on the guilt or innocence....well, I don't want to give too much away just yet......

I will be back soon with more, but hopefully this will give you a little taste of what we are doing. See ya' when the curtain comes back up!