INDIANAPOLIS — Admit it. At one point or another in your life, you’ve had dreams of being a star of the stage, under the lights, and taking a curtain call to the sound of thunderous applause. For the right amount of money, and a few short weeks of rehearsal, the Buck Creek Players, with its Play-a-Part Fundraiser, can make that happen.
This year’s play-a-part fundraiser is “The Music Man,” a perennial favorite among theater aficionados, and all parts, from music man Harold Hill himself to love interest Marian Paroo, were up for grabs to the highest bidder. With no audition necessary, bidding on parts started as low as $25 each and went as high as $600 before the parts were cast.
The play-a-part fundraiser was the brainchild of Hancock County native Scott Robinson, who took over the job of fundraising performances after the passing of longtime Buck Creek actor and director Blaine Jarrett.
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“I racked my brain to come up with something new and fun, and the play-a-part production is what I came up,” Robinson said. “‘Grease,’ our first play-a-part production earned us enough funds to purchase all new auditorium and lobby seating.”
Once the bidding is complete and parts are assigned, one is likely to find some rather unusual casting; for example, in this production, a middle-aged man will be playing the part of 10-year-old Winthrop, a woman will be playing the male Mayor Shinn, and the mayor’s wife is being played by a man.
Daniel Klingler of Indianapolis snagged the role of the mayor’s wife, the melodramatic spotlight-loving Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn.
Klingler is well-known throughout the theater community for his expertise with wigs, hair and make-up. Often, his involvement involves behind-the-scenes work that preempts his ability to be on the stage. However, the shorter rehearsal schedule for the play-a-part production was a perfect fit for his schedule.
Klingler is most excited for the production and the inherent comedy of the casting. He will tower over Stacia Hulen, who will be playing the mayor.
“It will be more than funny,” Klingler said. “It’s a very light-hearted production, almost a parody. Scott gives us room to play with our characters and play up the innuendos.”
All characters will be in full costume.
Klingler is particularly excited about one costume in particular, one made by Broadway costumer Barry Doss for actor Harvey Fierstein.
Jason Plake and Katherine Sliter are cast as the leads, Harold Hill and Marian Paroo.
“They are age-appropriate,” Klinger said, “which makes it easy for everyone around them to be even more funny.”
Hancock County resident Scott Fleshood, no stranger to the Buck Creek stage, was not about to miss out on all the fun. Originally part of the production as vocal director, he found his way into the part of Tommy Djilas, the incorrigible River City teenager who has a crush on the mayor’s daughter.
“He’s a mischievous character to begin with, so I hope to keep to that while adding some of my snark to the lines,” Fleshood said.
Klingler promises a good show.
“With the community bidding on the parts,” Klinger said, “the director has to take what he gets, but there are a lot of dedicated people. It’s not your traditional ‘Music Man,’ but we will absolutely entertain you.
The show runs for four performances: 8 p.m. July 31, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Aug. 1 and at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 2. Visit buckcreekplayers.com for more information and to order tickets.