Improv comedy performance at the Kent

By Terri Riggle

The Cedar Springs Community Players is pleased to announce its first annual comedy “Improv Night” debuting at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Doors will open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7 pm. Local talent will take to the stage to entertain their audience for 90 minutes. Cost is only $5 at the door. It’s not The Second City, but in the same fashion, it should be an evening of grins and giggles as performers quickly create characters and dialog in the spur of a moment!

Improvisational theater is a form of live theater in which the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment. The most direct ancestor of modern improv is probably the Commedia Dell’Arte, which was popular throughout Europe starting in the mid-1500. Troupes of performers would travel from village to village, presenting shows in the public squares and on makeshift stages. They would improvise the dialog, within a framework provided by a set called a “scenario.”

During the 1920’s and ‘30’s, a woman named Viola Spolin developed a new approach to teach acting. It was based on a simple yet powerful idea that children would enjoy learning the craft if it were presented as a series of games.

Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, built on his mother’s work and was one of the driving forces of improvisational theatre centered at the University of Chicago in the mid-1950. Along with people like Del Close and David Shepherd, Sills created an ensemble of actors who developed a kind of modern “Commedia” which would appeal to the average man in the street. The goal was to create theatre that was accessible to everyone.

The group that sprang from the work of Sills, Shepherd and Close, called The Compass, was extremely successful. It brought people to the theatre who, in many cases, had never gone before. Eventually, it led to the development of a company called The Second City in Chicago, which opened its doors in December of 1959 and has since grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theatre and school of improvisation. The main focus of the theater was to provide a place where scenes and story were created improvisationally, using the same innovative techniques that Viola Spolin had developed and taught.

The Second City has been a launching pad for comedians, actors, directors and others working in show business. Notable alumni include Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, George Wendt and Fred Willard, among many others.

The Players hope to form a permanent Improv troupe which would be able to perform in area locales all throughout the year. They encourage any persons interested in being a part of the troupe to attend the performance and leave your name at the box office or leave a comment on their website


It’s A Wonderful Life – A live Radio Play opens tonight at the Kent Theater!

It’s A Wonderful Life – A live Radio Play opens tonight at the Kent Theater! Box office opens at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for anyone 18 or under. Performances also Dec 9 and 10.

Don’t miss this holiday classic!

Photos taken during rehearsal.

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  • It's A Wonderful Life A Live Radio Play 2016


Rehearsal continues for It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show

All the actors are learning their blocking, and we have started working on character development. For most all the participants, it’s the first time they’ve been in this style of live performance format. We are excited about bringing this cherished holiday movie to life on the Kent Theatre stage. A huge part of that effort will be all the “homemade” sound effects. Just as in old radio shows of yesteryear, we will be using all sorts of objects to create the sounds needed to enhance the audience’s enjoyment of the show.

Terri Riggle



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The Foreigner Opens Tonight at the Kent Theatre

See The Foreigner this week!

The Foreigner will be presented by the Cedar Springs Community Players at the Kent Theatre on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 13, 14, and 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door. Character and prop sponsorships will be available in the theater lobby for $5.

We also have a great display of stories and pictures of Jack Clark and his history with the CSCP. The Foreigner was his favorite play and this production is dedicated to him. Please come out and enjoy the show.

Thank you for supporting the Cedar Springs Community Players!


The Foreigner comes to Cedar Springs!

The Foreigner Comes To Cear Springs!
The Foreigner Comes To Cedar Springs!

The Cedar Springs Community Players proudly present The Foreigner at the Kent Theatre on October 13, 14, and 15.

The comedy takes place in Betty Meek’s Fishing Lodge Resort in Tilghman County, Georgia. Mostly middle-income people come to this laid back, off-the-beaten-track resort to fish, swim, play a little cards and fill up on Betty’s down-home cooking. Now insert into the mix, Charlie, a foreigner and shy proofreader who is brought to the resort from England by his friend, “Froggy”. Charlie wants nothing more than to be left alone and is fearful of making conversation with strangers. So “Froggy” tells the others that Charlie is a foreigner and speaks no English. The fun really begins when Charlie overhears more than he should and things get complicated. The show has one comic surprise after another and the “good guys” emerge triumphant! Even though The Foreigner takes place in the recent past, the Golden Rule in dealing with people, even though they are “foreigners” is as relevant as it always has been.

This is the 76th show by the Cedar Springs Community Players in the 45 years of producing plays and musicals in the community. The Foreigner, by Larry Shue, is directed by Sue Harrison, with Nancy Noreen as Production Coordinator, Charlene Sommer as Stage Manager, and Deb Irwin working with props.

Many of the cast members have worked with the Players before or with other community theatre groups. The cast includes: Doug Christensen as “Froggy” LeSueur, a British officer; R.J.Moore as Charlie Baker, a pathologically shy British proof-reader; Laura Johnson as Betty Meeks, widow and owner of the resort; Mark Stoll as Rev David M. Lee; Anna Ambrose is Catherine Simms, a former debutante engaged to Rev. Lee; Rod Zamarron as Owen Musser, a backwoods scoundrel with tattoos; and Tom Johnson as Ellard Simms, a backward boy who is Catherine’s brother.

The Foreigner will be presented at the Kent Theatre on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 13, 14, and 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door. Character and prop sponsorships will be available in the theater lobby for $5.

Thank you for supporting the Cedar Springs Community Players!

It’s a Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play!!

In just a little less than a month, the Players will be holding auditions for their next production, It’s a Wonderful Life-A Live Radio Play!! Plan on attending them on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 24 and
25 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the CS United Methodist Church. We need kids 12 and up; men and women of any age. Performances will be at the Kent Theatre on Dec. 8, 9 and 10. It’s a holiday classic recreated live and onstage.

Terri Riggle – Director


The Foreigner 2016 Pre-Production Photos

The Foreigner opens on October 13th at the Kent Theatre!

Here are some photos that have been taken during rehearsals and the Red Flannel Festival.


THE FOREIGNER OCTOBER 13, 14, & 15 – Kent Theatre 7:30 pm

The Cedar Springs Community Players are both honoring the past and trying something new with their upcoming production of The Foreigner. The show is being dedicated to Jack Clark, a longtime member, who died earlier this year. The Foreigner was Jack’s favorite show and he would travel all over the state to see productions of it. There will be displays of photographs and stories about Jack’s participation in past productions at the theater. If you have photos or a memory to share, please contact Bob Clifford at


The Players are also offering some fun sponsorship opportunities for their theater patrons. The Foreigner is a play with a single set and there are a number of items that appear on the set or are mentioned in the play – some of them quite humorously. Sponsors will receive special pins that they can wear during the play to show they are an official Croquet Mallet, Carrot, Spoon Rack, etc., sponsor. Sponsorships are as follows:

Sauerkraut – $5

Carrot, Spoon Rack, Candle, Fork, or Lamp – $5

Apples or Fireplace – $5

Croquet Mallets, Harmonica, Suitcase, or Key to Room 7 – $5

Sponsorships can be purchased at the theater on the day of the performance or in advance from a Players member or cast member.

Friends of the Players and the cast and crew can also send well wishes to them in the program for $10 and local businesses can advertise in the program as well. Please contact Bob Clifford at