Dream Theatre to host

Sam Litteken, freshman undecided major, decorates the Joplin Performing Arts Centre with cobwebs and grapevines for the Dream Theatre Masquerade Ball at 5

30 p.m. Oct. 21.

Sam Litteken, freshman undecided major, decorates the Joplin Performing Arts Centre with cobwebs and grapevines for the Dream Theatre Masquerade Ball at 5

Dream Theatre Company is redefining community theatre in a renovated Joplin church.

The company, founded by Becky Gooch, freshman theatre major, has produced their original play Shot in Studio 4 as well as a night of children’s one acts.

The company currently works out of the Joplin Performing Arts Centre, a renovated church at 15th Street and Pearl purchased recently by Raven Micale.

Though Joplin already offers several options for theatergoers, the members of the Dream Theatre Company aspire to change the way community theatre is approached.

With community theatre often leaning to the tamer side as far as content the members of Dream Theatre plan to take their company in a new direction.

“The freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want.” Gooch said, “[Often] you have to consider what the community will allow, I would rather just have fun.”

The group also hopes to change the attitude surrounding local theatre by taking a more open and inclusive approach.

“If someone wants to be involved we will find a place for them,” Gooch said. “We are a tight-knit group, but we’re not closed.”

The group would like to generate community involvement in every aspect of its productions.

They plan on working with local businesses and playwrights to keep the theatre “truly part of the community.”

Their aspiration is to generate interest in auditions in order to rediscover local talent.

“You come in with a fresh start every time,” said Sam Litteken, freshman undecided major and company member.

Though all the members currently participate in every aspect of the productions, they aspire to eventually raise enough interest to be able to concentrate their talents on one particular area.

“I would like to end up taking a step back,” Gooch said.

For a relatively new group, they already have next year’s worth of productions in the works including plans for an original “pirate rock musical,” the prospective purchase of the rights to Cannibal! The musical as well as the production of works by local playwrights.

The group is also deep into the planning of their first Halloween Masquerade Ball fundraiser set for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Joplin Performing Arts Centre.

The ball is meant to be a formal costume affair with a costume contest, games, food and music.

The group reached the decision to throw a masquerade after considering several options including price and benefit for the patrons.

“We were going to do a spook house,” Gooch said, “but for the same amount of money, instead of walking through, seeing some cheesy stuff, maybe jumping once or twice you can come eat free food, dance and hang out with your friends.”

Attendees are encouraged to come in a full costume and for $8 can expect Halloween-themed music videos, tarot readings, food and music.

Gooch hopes word of the fundraiser will reach beyond the immediate circle surrounding Dream Theatre and bring in not only money for the group but generate interest in theatre and the company’s upcoming productions.

“We would like to see people we don’t know,” Gooch said.

Other members of the company include Megan Armstrong, sophomore music education major, Bryan Gilmore sophomore undecided major, and Nathan Pharr, senior at Carl Junction High School. For information about the Masquerade Ball and Dream Theatre please contact Becky Gooch at 439-2420, Sam Litteken at 439-1597, or Bryan Gilmore at 529-8576.