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Corn Stock Theatre is proud to be presenting Corn Stock Theatre Digital Play Series and Corn Stock Theatre: Outside the Tent Digital Workshops to bring engaging content to our patrons from the safety and comfort from their homes while our theatre venues are dark. All Digital Play Series and Digital Workshop information can be found on Corn Stock Theatre’s website at CornStockTheatre.com, as well as advertised on the Theatre’s social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

“Corn Stock Theatre has been a staple in the Peoria arts community for over 67 years and we have loved every moment! When the pandemic hit, we were forced to shift gears and move the quality entertainment that we are known for into the digital world.  We’re so thankful to those who have supported our Digital Play Series and Outside the Tent: Digital Workshop Series and even more thankful to those who helped us. There has definitely been a learning curve as we’ve learned the ropes with digital streaming content and virtual workshops held via Zoom, but like a phoenix, we have risen from the ashes of COVID-19 to the challenge of keeping the theatre arts alive! Corn Stock strives to keep our community engaged and entertained but also the safety of our volunteers, patrons, and staff remains our top priority,” said Nyk Sutter-Downs, Theatre Manager.

A volunteer taskforce made up of Amy Williams, Anna Oxborrow, Chris Peterlin, and Megan Johnston, as well as staff members Nyk Sutter-Downs, Theatre Manager, Brandi Young, Box Office Manager / Bookkeeper, and Maggie Sloter, Assistant Box Office Manager / Grants & Fundraising Coordinator, have collaborated to find presenters for digital workshops as well as titles, directors, cast, and crew members for each of our digital plays.

Announcing Corn Stock Theatre’s Digital Play Series Lineup!


The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script

Written by Howard E. Koch

Directed by Amy Williams

Featuring cast members Chris Peterlin, Zachary Robertson, Jeramie Glass, Jeff Joyce, Newton Holt, Cristin Robertson, and Patrick Bell

Streaming Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:30pm CDT

An alien invasion throws humanity into chaos in the classic sci-fi novel The War of the Worlds–but all it took to cause real-life panic in the streets was Orson Welles’s 1938 radio adaptation, which listeners took for news. Corn Stock Theatre’s production will be on the 82nd Anniversary of the original broadcast! The show will also be interpreted into ASL by Nationally certified Sign Language Interpreter, Lynette Williams, NIC.


Dark Passages: The Cask of Amontillado & The Yellow Sign

Written by Edgar Allan Poe & Robert W. Chambers

Directed by Kyle Redmon

Featuring cast members Rose Blume, Alexandra Buchko, Ethan Johnson, Rachel McCrea, and Anne Resler

Streaming on Saturday, November 14 and Thursday, November 19 at 7:30pm CDT

Dark Passages brings together two classic tales of horror fiction adapted just for the Corn Stock stage. “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe tells a chilling tale of revenge, family honor, and fine Spanish wine. “The Yellow Sign” by Robert W. Chambers follows a young artist and his model as they try to navigate their burgeoning feelings for each other, while also trying to unravel the mystery of their ominous dreams and a strange, grotesque figure outside the window in the churchyard below. For over a century, these stories have fascinated and unsettled from the page, but now we invite you to delve into the darkness on stage!


A Deathly Development

Written by Kathy Chitwood & Whitney Chitwood

Directed by Nyk Sutter-Downs

Featuring cast members David Fritz, Nate Downs, Trish Ballard, Jim Sullivan, Mary Ellen Milem, Daniel Sutter, Leigh Hager, Julia McCammon, Jeff Craig, Kathy McCormick

Streaming on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30pm CDT

A tiny town, a turkey festival, and a MURDER?! Carrie Campbell, a prominent townsperson, has been murdered on the grounds of the Davisville Turkey Festival, and Special Investigator Getz is on the case, enlisting the viewing audience as citizen detectives, essential in solving the crime. Was it Mark, the conniving ex-boyfriend? Might it have been the blubbering baker, Bonnie, and her farmer husband, Pete? Maybe Madge, the limelight desperate socialite, is to blame? Or could the culprit be another among the cavalcade of eccentric characters who inhabit Davisville? The intrigue of the Investigation Discovery Channel meets the light-heartedness of Waiting for Guffman, A DEATHLY DEVELOPMENT is a documentary-style interweaving of suspect interrogation footage and narration. Pay close attention and you’ll be able solve WhoDunIt, HowDunIt, and WhyDunIt!


School Girls; or The African Mean Girls

Written by Jocelyn Bioh

Directed by Jasmyne Providence

Featuring cast members Tameka Mason, Mariah Harris, Asia Harris, Kat Kelley, Michelle Watson, Jamara Pearson, Jillian Thompson, and Amber Jackson

Streaming on Saturday, November 28 at 7:30pm CDT

Paulina, the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Global Universe pageant. But the arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter—and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. This buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe.


Lonely Planet

Written by Steven Dietz

Directed by Trevor Neff

Featuring cast members Ed Peck and Isaac Simmons

Streaming on Tuesday, December 1 at 7:30pm CDT (World’s AIDS Day)

Jody is in his forties and runs a map store. Not one for the outside world, he stays in his store all the time. His friend, Carl is in his late thirties and has been bringing chairs of dead friends into Jody’s store and leaving them there. When Jody needs to take an AIDS test, Carl tries to convince him it is not only okay to leave the store but also that he must take responsibility for his life. If he doesn’t, he will join the set of chairs that Carl has taken great pains to place in the right spots around the store. Through their interaction, the two realize how grateful they are to have such a strong lasting friendship.


It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Adapted by Joe Landry

Directed by Anna Oxborrow

Featuring cast members Nathan Irwin, Jeramie Glass, Greg Blume, Patrick Bell, Megan Johnston, Celeste Matheson, and Grace Blume

Streaming on Saturday, December 19 at 7:30pm CDT

This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.

“This time in our lives looks different than any other in Corn Stock Theatre’s history,” said Maggie Sloter, Assistant Box Office Manager and Grants / Fundraising Coordinator. “We have been pursuing different avenues to raise funds for our organization, including the Digital Play Series, Masterclass Q&A’s, and virtual fundraisers. We have also been pursuing the many grant opportunities available to our region and area. Corn Stock is thrilled to continue bringing our audience safe opportunities to connect with us and learn about the theatre process through the events that we’re presenting. We are adapting to what our “new normal” will be until the pandemic passes.”


Corn Stock Theatre’s Outside the Tent: Digital Workshop Series

Beyond Corn Stock’s Digital Play Series, education and engagement have been our priority for patrons of all ages. Corn Stock’s Outside the Tent: Digital Workshop Series provides a more intimate setting for our presenter and participants for each workshop that explores technical theatre areas, Broadway tips and tricks, audition pros and cons, and more. Scholarships are available for each workshop for any student who is in financial need. Current and future Digital Workshop Series are all presented via Zoom and can be found at our workshop website CornStockTheatre.CourseStorm.com.


From Decibel to Downbeat: The Process of Sound Design with Brady Varwig

Presented by Brady Varwig

Hosted by Nyk Sutter-Downs

Streaming on Thursday, October 29 at 6:00 pm CDT

Corn Stock invites you to join us and Brady to learn about the sound design process, differences between musicals and plays, how to effectively use sound effects, and how to properly use microphones. You can even learn basics on how to use the current sound board that Corn Stock uses for productions! Brady has been part of Corn Stock for the past few years off and on but has more recently become their Sound Chair. Brady loves to run sound and lighting and has been part of hundreds of events as the sound technician. He also is the owner of Varwig Studios and travels around the United States running sound for corporate events.


It’s Lit: Lighting Design with Aja M. Jackson

Presented by Aja M. Jackson

Hosted by Nyk Sutter-Downs

Streaming on Wednesday, November 11 at 6:00 pm CDT

Come sit with Aja to hear how she got her start in lighting design, what goes into light design, and how collaboration is key. You can view her website ahead of time to see her designs here. Aja is a Boston-based lighting designer working in theater, opera, dance, corporate events, and interdisciplinary immersive performances. Aja is an alumnus from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film (UNL), she graduated with a BFA in Theatrical Design and BA in Dance Performance, later receiving her MFA in Lighting Design from Boston University.


From Artist to Admin: Managing a Theatre with John Stuff

Presented by John Stuff

Hosted by Nyk Sutter-Downs

Streaming on Tuesday, December 7 at 6:00 pm CDT

John Stuff, originally from Champaign, IL,  is excited to join us to talk about core skills to succeed in administration, how to transition from onstage actor to artistic administrator, and how to build skills in a community theatre setting to be a successful administrator. John received his BFA in Graphic Design and worked for the University of Illinois as a graphic design for 13 years. In 1990, John took the role of Manager at Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company. In 2017, he took a job as Executive Director at The Depot Theater Company in Dodge City, Kansas and is now the Supervisor of Promotions at the Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Dodge City, KS.

Since mid-July, Corn Stock Theatre has produced nearly 10 digital events reaching patrons of all ages from Illinois, to Kansas, and even Oklahoma. While the future is unknown, Corn Stock Theatre is committed to continuing our online presence through Digital Plays and Digital Workshops. Board President, Aaron Elwell, says “Over its 67 year history, Corn Stock Theatre has remained committed to its mission of providing opportunities for participating in and learning about theatre in all its aspects, as well as allowing audiences to enjoy the fruits of those labors. The pandemic has disrupted our normal avenues of fulfilling this mission, and the Digital Play and Workshop Series is our way of giving volunteers and patrons the ability to enjoy the things they love about theatre as safely as possible.”


Corn Stock Theatre’s Mission: The purpose of the organization shall be to study, teach, and promote theatre in all phases, to provide a practical yet experimental environment for the creative artist and technician, to create and present productions of quality in a professional manner which will offer a challenge to the talents and skills available, and to entertain and enlighten the viewer through the use of the dramatic arts.

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