MOBY Theatrical Company celebrates one year

By Gus Bode

A Marion-based theatrical company officially has a full year of successful performances under its belt.

In light of its first anniversary, MOBY Theatrical Company will be presenting “A Carol Burnett Encore,” featuring a collaboration of scenes from last year’s MOBY “Carol Burnett” production, along with several new sketches and musical performances.

Each performance will feature surprise guests along with a diverse cast ranging in ages from teenagers to 50-years-old, including company directors Heather Barnett, Rita Pearce, Georgianna Richey and Sherri Terry.


Rita Pearce, Executive Vice President of MOBY Theatrical Company, assures viewers the encore show should be nothing short of spectacular.

“‘A Carol Burnett Encore’ is going to be a very special show. We have pulled a few scenes from the first show, but everything else is original,” Pearce said.

Originally televised on CBS, “The Carol Burnett Show” debuted in September 1967 and featured comical skits by actress Carol Burnett and a cast of entertaining regulars and Hollywood guests. MOBY began its first season of performances with an encore of “The Carol Burnett Show” in August 2006.

When it came to selecting MOBY’s opening performance, Pearce said it just made sense.

“Carol Burnett just seemed to fill the bill,” Pearce said. “We wanted to open up with something that anyone could enjoy. We wanted good, clean entertainment.”

Created in 2006 by four theatrically experienced women, MOBY allows actors, actresses, directors and skilled entertainers from the area to showcase their talents on stage. Co-founder Heather Barnett had planned to leave southern Illinois to pursue a career in performance when she joined Rita Pearce, Marlena Rondeau and Angela DeNosky to create MOBY Theatrical Company.

MOBY welcomed Senior Vice President Georgianna Richey and Artistic Director Sherri Perry in 2007 after Rondeau and DeNosky moved away from the area.


Selecting a name for MOBY, according to Barnett, was no small feat. In the end, the company took its name from the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. When asked what she has learned after her experience in Oz, Dorothy proclaims, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.”

“We wanted to represent our company and how we feel,” Barnett explains. “The idea of ‘my own back yard’ fit and M.O.B.Y. was born.”

MOBY will be performing “I Hate Hamlet” later this year and have four scheduled shows for 2008.

Performances of “A Carol Burnett Encore” are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center in Marion, Ill.; all seats are reserved. Tickets are also available online at

Ashley McRaven can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected].