‘Breaking Legs’ for laughs

By Gus Bode

Even without a place to call home, the Jackson County Stage Company hasn’t lost its way.

The 2006-2007 season of the Jackson County Stage Company opens with the comedy “Breaking Legs.”

Written by Tom Dulack, “Breaking Legs” is the story of a college professor who has written a play but needs financial support to get it produced.

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He turns to a former student whose family happens to be the mob. The family has its own thoughts about how the play should be organized.

“Breaking Legs” will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Mugsy’s Entertainment Center. Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased at the venue and The Science Center, located at 2321 S. Illinois Ave. Angie, the former student, has a plan of her own in store for the professor.

“Break a leg” takes on an entirely different meaning when the mob gets involved.

Arrianna Loose co-stars as the former student with ulterior motives of her own.

A promotions director at Clear Channel Radio in southern Illinois, Loose became involved with the stage company on a whim. After seeing a flyer in a restaurant, she attended the auditions the same night and got the role.

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Loose said her character Angie possesses qualities she wished she had.

“Angie is very assertive and aggressive. She sees what she wants and she goes after it,” she said.

Loose said working at the stage company has also been a learning experience with working under the direction of retired theater professor Christian H. Moe.

Moe is credited with reviving the playwriting program and even has a theater named in his honor in the Communications Building.

Stage company president Catherine Field said retired professionals like Moe help bring quality to community theater.

In addition to being the stage company president, Field is also a doctral student and sociology instructor.

“You don’t have time, you make time for what’s important. We (the actors) all do it. It’s important to us to have the arts in Carbondale,” she said.

The Jackson County Stage Company has been looking for a new home since April 2005.

From 1983 until 2005, the Bank of Carbondale leased the company a building on Washington Street rent-free. When the cost of repairs became too excessive, the company had to find a new home.

The Stage Company has adopted temporary studios in places like Mugsy’s, Carbondale Community High School and the Carbondale Civic Center.

Currently, its looking for a venue to permanently call home.

Despite this minor set back, Field says the company looks forward to a successful season.

The next production is the comedy “Social Security”, performing January 26-28. A dinner theater entitled “Harlequinade” and a theatrical adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Christopher Sergel.

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