Ocala Civic Theatre announces 2024-2025 season

Home » Arts & Entertainment
Posted April 23, 2024 | By Lisa McGinnes

Bookended by blockbuster musicals, with plenty of magic and mystery in between, Ocala Civic Theatre’s (OCT) 2024-2025 season lineup got a rousing reception from around 180 theatergoers at the 74th Season Reveal Party on April 15.

For OCT Executive and Artistic Director Greg Thompson, the best part of the reveal event was “the people in the house.”

“We had a great turnout; I love that,” Thompson said. “People are so excited for the season reveal and everyone seemed to really, really love the new shows and were excited about what’s coming up.”

A season that includes four musicals “will provide exciting and challenging opportunities” for actors, said OCT Resident Music Director Jason Bartosic, who hopes to see both new and familiar faces at auditions.

“Having live orchestras for our musical productions at OCT augments the production quality of what the audience hears,” Bartosic said. “It makes everyone involved feel that they have been transported to an actual Broadway show. As a civic house, we are not only lucky to be able to hire live orchestras, but we are equally fortunate to have a professional musician pool in our community from which we pull our instrumentalists.”

Thompson agreed that a season with an equal number of musicals and plays is challenging.

“One of the things we want to do is challenge our audiences to see musicals in a different way, to understand there are a lot of just absolutely stunning studio musicals out there,” Thompson said. “I hope it’s challenging for not only our cast but our community—and not in a ‘We’re-trying-to-provoke-you’ way, but in that, ‘Hey, let’s all really think about all the ways we can do theater and tell theater together and share theater.’”

OCT’s 2024-2025 season will begin with the two productions that cap off the Arts for All summer performing arts intensive for young people: “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet,” which will be performed July 14-16, and “Godspell,” July 19-21.

Opening Sept. 5 will be the updated 2014 version of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” The title character, made famous by Julie Andrews in the original 1957 television version, is now “a little gutsier” and “a little more current feeling,” Thompson revealed.

“I am ecstatic for OCT to present the new Broadway version of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Bartosic said. “It has been updated with an exquisitely richer vocal and orchestral score, infused with delightfully colorful characters, and magically transformed into the spectacular fairy tale it should be for our modern era.”

The next show, opening Nov. 7, will be Tennessee Williams’ first critically acclaimed play, “The Glass Menagerie,” which debuted in 1944.

“I’m hoping to bring some new life into it,” Thompson said. “We’re bringing a really amazing guest director, Jeff McKerley, down from Atlanta, and he’s fantastic. He’s one of the best physical comedians I’ve ever met, and when he does drama, it’s magical.”

Bringing levity to the busy holiday season, the Southern small-town satire “A Tuna Christmas” will run Dec. 4-15, putting Thompson on stage alongside seasoned OCT actor Scott Fitzgerald. Between them, the two will play 20 zany characters in the lightning-fast, 1990s favorite, set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.

In January 2025, the season will continue with “Daddy Long Legs,” which Thompson called “just beautiful,” based on the classic novel that inspired the 1955 film starring Fred Astaire.

In March 2025, OCT will present “Clue On Stage,” a whodunit murder mystery adapted from the 1985 cult classic movie based on the popular board game.

The 2024-2025 season will conclude with the Tony Award-winning “The SpongeBob Musical,” based on the beloved animated series.

For more information and tickets, visit ocalacivictheatre.com.

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