Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

November 28, 2013

Live theater returns

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — A Centerville native has come back home armed with a wealth of theater experience and is now in the process of using that information to form a live theatre company.

Richard E. Talbot, the founder of Off The Square Theatre Company, said an organizational meeting to form a board of directors for the non-profit group is planned for Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre.

Talbot said the meeting is "to solicit and encourage interested community members and volunteers to join in the planned productions."

Talbot said planned theatre productions require those who are interested in acting, set construction, design, lighting, props, costumes, sound, musical and choreograph.

Six live performances are planned in 2014 at the Majestic Theatre. The first being "Godspell" with auditions slated for the first part of January and the show to debut in mid-March, Talbot said.

The other five live theatre productions are "Rumors," "The Mousetrap," "The Dining Room," "Missouri Legend" and "Cricket on the Hearth."

The Majestic Theatre was built in 1913 as an vaudeville theatre and later was used as a movie house. Morgan E. Cline purchased the unused building and had it restored to support live theatre.

"So I'm really excited about being able to offer shows in that space because that's what it was designed for and that's what Morgan Cline redeveloped it for."

For more information on this developing theatre group, call Talbot at (641) 437-1415, (641) 216-8175 or (641) 436-0260 or Bill Burch at (641) 856-2744.

Talbot graduated from Centerville High School in 1969. He studied theatre at Drake University in Des Moines then he joined the Navy.

Talbot then settled in San Diego and was active in community theatre. He was president of Associated Community Theaters of San Diego County. Talbot received several awards for play direction, set and costume design and the San Diego Theatre critics circle award for improving production standards of community theatres throughout the county.

"I was involved in theatre out in San Diego and northern California for a lot of years, so I have a lot of experience," Talbot said. "And I've talked to a lot of people there who are excited about a theatre group up and running again."