‘Illinois Poets on Parade’ to be staged at Anna Arts Center

The Anna Arts Center plans to present “Illinois Poets on Parade” as a performance held in conjunction with the state’s bicentennial celebration during 2018.

Performances are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at the arts center, which is located at 125 W. Davie St. in Anna.  

Tickets will be available at the door. Prices are $15 for adults, and $5 for students and children over 10 years of age. The arts center notes that the production is not for younger children.

The cast for “Illinois Poets on Parade” is diverse. Four families are involved.

David and Maryanne  Fischler, husband and wife,  are in  the “Spoon River” unit and David will also be seen as Mr. Lincoln later on.  

Mark Hasty portrays a man killed by his lover’s wife in “Spoon River” and “jams” on Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Jazz Fantasia.” 

His daughter Serena dances in both “Fog” and “Wynken, Blynken and Nod.”    

Laila and Everette Whitaker, a brother-sister duo, will be seen in the Act II children’s unit.   

Anthony Jimenez  will be  in “Spoon River” and “Arithmetic,” while his mother Mary  is a production assistant and runs the box office.

Lynn Steveson has compiled the script. She and Elizabeth Corbit, seen in “Spoon River,” are both retired school teachers.  

Nancy Kucera, a veterinarian, is in “Spoon River” and shares “The Old Country Road” by James Newton Matthews.  

Retired florist Pete Housman  shares Carl Sandburg’s famous poem “Chicago,” is in “Spoon River” and also appears in the children’s unit in a Shel Silverstein poem.   

Frank LaFoon, a  vineyard owner, will be reading “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.”  

Jackie Beatty, president of Friends of Stinson Library, is the main narrator for the poems.  

Bonni Littleton, of Union County Chamber of Commerce, appears in “Spoon River” and also shares a Carl Sandburg poem. 

Darryl Parks,  who is retired,  shares a Sandburg poem and is in the “Spoon River” unit.

Two guest artists from Carbondale’s Stage Company also are featured in the production.

Jeff McGoy will be sharing Vachel Lindsay’s “The Congo.” Charlie Hope Dorsey will be performing three of Gwendolyn Brooks poems, including the well known “We Real Cool.”

Several  students appear in the children’s unit which is mostly the poetry of Eugene Field and Shel Silverstein.  

The students who are performing include Anna Madura, Aaron Madura, Marilyn Musgrave and Angel Wiseman.  

Trinity Sweet, appears in  “Spoon River,” and the Lincoln section as Anne Rutledge. She has also worked on scenery.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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