AP NEWS

Variety show for a parking lot

May 17, 2019

CISSNA PARK — “Peace, Love and a Parking Lot.” That’s the name of the new variety show that will be hosted by the Country Theatre Workshop in Cissna Park. The variety show will act as a fundraiser in hopes of getting a parking lot paved for the theater.

The cost to get a proper parking lot paved for the theater will cost more than $50,000.

“You have to tear up what’s there (grass, rocks and some blacktop) to get everything prepared,” longtime CTW participant Robin Shuda said.

The variety show for CTW will take place this weekend at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the theater at 1280 E. 770N Road in Cissna Park. Tickets cost $15.

Shuda, 71, of Watseka, has been involved with CTW for more than 30 years. Now that she’s retired from teaching in Kentland, Ind., she works part time at the Watseka Public Library and still helps out with CTW.

“I’ve been in shows, I’ve directed, I’ve done set and costume design,” Shuda said. “In any community theater, you better help do everything — it makes things go by faster, and it’s more fun.”

This season, Shuda won’t be in any of the shows (including their upcoming production of “The Addams Family”), but she will be helping with costume design.

Last year during CTW’s production of “Mary Poppins,” torrential rains caused patrons to park in a swamp-like area that was normally dry and grassy.

“The parking lot will be a huge benefit, in the fact that many of our patrons are my age and older, especially if there’s wheelchairs and walkers,” Shuda said.

During each final dress rehearsal of every show, CTW invites area nursing homes and assisted living centers to see their shows for free.

“If you put on your pretty shoes to come see a play, you don’t wanna step in two inches of mud,” Shuda said. “We’re just looking forward to this because with a parking lot, the drainage is better and maintenance is easier.”

Shuda remembers last year board members directing traffic outside after one of their shows.

“A parking lot will be a convenience to the patrons, and, of course, we want them to come back,” she said.

CTW board president Brian Zecher and board member Kena Clark will both be performing in the variety show.

Tickets will be available at the door on the days of the performances.