New company owner Madeline Franklin is directing her fourth annual Fremont production, the Tony-Award winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at historic Cutting Hall in Palatine, August 7-9 and 14-16.
Fremont is an example of terrific musical theatre consistently performing in Chicagoland patrons’ back yards, tapping into the immense local talent pool of professional and amateur actors, dancers, singers, musicians, choreographers, directors and technical designers looking to do great work.
While most onstage positions in community theatre are unpaid, many provide stipends for directors, choreographers, musical directors, musicians and technical experts. That allows many professionals to supplement their work on pro stages and stay involved in community productions.
Fremont’s How to Succeed…. choreographer, Dina DiCostanzo, is just one example.
“I grew up in Palatine, so I love to work back in my hometown,” she said. Indeed, this marks her fourth show with Fremont. In addition, DiCostanzo works with Palatine’s Music On Stage, where she’ll returns this fall to choreograph that company’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
It’s all part of balancing a busy performance and choreography schedule that this year included her first stint as lead choreographer for an Equity show—Porchlight’s acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd, where she’s an Artistic Associate. (See our review of Sweeney Todd here and more about the lovely and talented DiCostanzo here.)
Perhaps it’s a testament to her success and the people she’s met in Chicagoland’s professional theatre community that allows DiCostanzo to wax philosophical about the niche community theatre occupies for patrons and performers. Writing about her show and the Fremont company the afternoon of the How to Succeed… opening night, she gives testimony as to why community “theatre and the arts matter at every level.”
“For months, teachers, lawyers, students, servers, financial planners, moms, dads (and more!) come together and create,” she said. “I’ve seen bad days fade away by the end of rehearsal, the feeling of accomplishment when a dance step is finally picked up or a moment is found, the community bind together to support local art and the people from their neighborhoods. It’s pretty awesome and special. If you’re so inclined…be part of our family and come check it out.”
For more information on Fremont Street Theater Company’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Cutting Hall in Palatine, click here or call Rusty Franklin, producer, at (847) 477-8102. Chicagoland community theatre resources may be found here and here. Please feel free to post additional links in the comments section of this article and send any community musical theatre listings to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in this site’s “onstage” calendar.