ALTON — The Alton Little Theater Board of Directors announces the 83rd season.
Two musicals and four comedy-dramas will comprise the core season ticket package, which will go on sale for early-bird purchase March 1.
The cost is $75, with an increase to $80 after May 31; this represents a 33 percent savings off door-sale admission for season ticket holders.
PR Director Lee Cox says a season ticket purchase is a “winning ticket in 2016.”
The season will open with a new staging of “Steel Magnolias” (directed by Diana Enloe, on stage Sept. 16-25); “The Addams Family” (musical) goes up Oct. 28 through Nov. 6 (directed by Kevin Frakes); “Driving Miss Daisy” (directed by Mark Hilgert) goes on stage Dec. 2-11; the 83rd season continues into 2017 with “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” (directed by Kevin Frakes Jan. 27 through Feb. 5); “Don’t Talk To The Actors” (a new Tom Dudzick play directed by Diana Enloe, March 24 to April 2) and ending the core season with “Man Of La Mancha” (musical) directed by Lee Cox and on stage May 12-21, 2017.
The season ticket package will have “bookend” young adult musicals during the summers — “Fame” July 22-24 and July 29-31 and “Once Upon A Mattress” July 21-23 and July 28-30 (2017); both musicals showcase high school and college-age talents and will be directed by Kevin Frakes with Sue Parton Stanard serving as musical director. Subscribers can purchase tickets for the summer musicals for $20 for adults and $10 for students. The theater group also is planning to feature a new Canadian comedy for a three-performance limited engagement in February 2017, right before Valentine’s Day. Concerts and one-night events will offer patrons the chance to attend entertainment events 12 times per year.
The theater, 2450 N. Henry St., still is hoping to relocate to an expanded facility in Downtown Alton but continues to grow programming and audiences through innovative scheduling and the additions of the Extra, EXTRA Entertainment Series. Cox says it takes a tremendous time commitment from key personnel but “we believe that ALT can anchor the arts community in the Riverbend and enrich the lives of future generations.” The theater will sponsor a summer youth drama camp June 6-10 and will expand training for students seeking to major in theater-related programs in college. Three of ALT’s patrons left a bequest for college scholarships for high school seniors planning on pursuing theater degrees and ALT will be announcing the criteria for application during the Art March Madness kickoff of the 83rd season and the run of “The Foreigner” March 10-20 at the showplace.
The 83rd season will see a slight schedule change in the production run of every mainstage production, with shows opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening and running through the following week’s second Sunday matinee. Every show will have nine performances (with a Thursday night preview given to community groups who wish to host their own fundraiser).
“Our loyal season ticket base said they missed the opportunity to attend a Tuesday or Wednesday evening performance, so we’re bringing back the added performances to make sure that everyone can see the terrific lineup we have planned,” Cox says.
ALT is offering online ticket sales for season tickets 24 hours per day through altonlittletheater.org. Cox said the new system is user-friendly. Season ticket purchases can also be made from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through the box office line at (618) 462-3205. Group discounts, available for groups of 20 or more, can be arranged through the ALT office at (618) 462-3205. Season ticket holders who wish to change the evening or day of their performance attendance can still do so at no extra charge, if seating is available, through the reservation line at (618) 462-6562. Advertisers, volunteers and charity complimentary tickets can make reservations through the ticket information line at (618) 462-6562.
“We make every attempt to be accessible and responsive to our community’s preferences and needs,” Cox said. “We’ve lasted 83 years and are the longest-running community theater in the state because we live in a great place with great people who care about the arts. Buying a season ticket is an investment in making life a little better for all of us.”