Melodrama Playing at the Olde Coloma Theatre!

Olde Coloma TheatreCome to the Olde Coloma Theatre! Cheer the heroine and hero! Boo and hiss the evil villains! Interact with your actors — who reply in character! Enjoy the rare art of melodrama — it’s one of only three such theatres in California! Children under 5′ tall sit up front and are a part of the show. Adults enjoy the innuendos that fly over the children’s heads!

Five different shows are presented from mid-May through late December. The Olde Coloma Theatre provides audiences with entertaining interactive theatre. It also provides the local community a place and project to focus its energies and resources. All the Theatre’s Coloma Crescent Performers are from the local area and are from 5 to over 60 years old. People from all walks of life volunteer at the theatre in all its many jobs, and there’s always room for new volunteers.

Olde Coloma Theatre melodramaThe autumn show has just started: “Hilda’s Haunted Hilltops Halloween Retirement Home … or … Remember The Golden Fool.” Come see what happens to old Halloween characters who just can’t scare anyone any more. Plays are every Friday and Saturday night, with matinees on October 12, 19 & 26. Artistic Director Melynda Tipton, who has been involved with almost every aspect of theatre since she was 14 years old, wrote this new show for the stage. It is a throwback to a Halloween show she wrote two years ago. The same characters in the same home face a new problem. It’s fun for those who have seen the earlier show, and for those who are new to the plays.

The winter show is called, “A Coloma Christmas Carol … or … Will Someone Get this Lady off the Stage?” by Heather Whittington and Melynda Tipton. It runs every Friday and Saturday night from Nov 21, 2008 – Dec 21, 2008, with matinees on November 30 and December 7, 14 and 21.

All shows are family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. It is interactive theatre — the audience talks with the characters and they answer. For actors, this is some of the most challenging acting because they need to be able to ad lib to the audience. Every show is a little different, adapted for each audience!

Coloma melodramaTipton encourages all to come see the shows, and all who are interested to invest some time and energy into the theatre. “If you have a talent, we can find a use for it,” she invites. “Anyone with any talent and willingness is welcome to bring it to the Theatre.”

Folks are needed to work backstage crew, front concession and ticket help, and as parking attendants, performers, lighting & sound technicians, costume-makers, and cleaning crew. On the artistic side, directors, assistant directors, writers, performers, and musicians (especially piano players) are neeed. Volunteers can commit to an entire run, or help out an evening or two to see the show for free.

High school students can get community service credit working at the theatre, and have a rewarding experience there. Tipton exclaims, “I know so many kids who if they hadn’t gotten involved in theatre, would have been out getting stoned and stealing cars.” What they and others find at the theatre instead is a sense of community, a sense of fulfillment, and new confidence when in front of an audience. Working on a show behind the stage also provides a tangible end result that is very satisfying. Plus there’s great personal connections. “After working a show with people, you feel so much closer with them,” says Tipton. “If you work the theatre, you join the family of the Coloma Crescent Players.”

old-time Coloma melodramaSo come on out to see a show, enjoy some refreshments including fresh popped corn which you salt yourself, and have fun with live performers. Feel free too to donate items to the theatre — the wish list includes wood for building sets, paint, costume items, and props such as old lanterns, candle holders, old paintings, tea sets, household items, floor area rugs, bolts of material, and much more.

The theatre is a nonprofit entity with 501(c) status, so donations are tax-deductable. All the money made through shows goes straight back into the theatre. Says Tipton, who volunteers 40-60 hours per week for the theatre, “It’s the most hard and thrilling work I’ve ever done. It’s a great joy and a great responsibility.” Email Melynda Tipton to become part of the drama.

Shows are at the Olde Coloma Theatre, 380 Monument Road, Coloma 95613. Doors open at 7:30pm, curtain rises at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 general, $9 for ages 55+, and $5 for ages 12 and under. Call for reservations: (530) 626-5282. Visit the Olde Coloma Theatre website for more information. Enjoy the show!

by Sara SK