Artists Walk EC 2017-08-13 019
Local News

Artist Walk produces ‘Private Lives’ to honor late founder

The third production by Artists Walk Theater will serve two purposes, according to its director, Andy Leahy. It is intended to be a welcome diversion from difficult times, and it will be a tribute to the late founder of the theater company, David Boettcher.

  Set construction proceeds on Aug. 13 at Flossmoor 
  Community House in preparation for the Aug. 25 
  opening of the Artist Walk Theater production of 
  “Private Lives.”
(Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

The third production by Artists Walk Theater will serve two purposes, according to its director, Andy Leahy. It is intended to be a welcome diversion from difficult times, and it will be a tribute to the late founder of the theater company, David Boettcher.

  Director Andy Leahy looks 
  at set design artwork 
  prior to rehearsal. 

 

“Private Lives,” by Noel Coward, will be performed at Flossmoor Community House, 847 Hutchison Road in Flossmoor at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 25 and 26 and Sept. 8, 9, 15 and 16. There will also be performances at 2 p.m. on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 and 17.

The play was one Boettcher had always wanted to be in, but the opportunity never presented itself during his acting years, Leahy said. The long-time local drama teacher was the force behind Artists Walk’s efforts to reintroduce professional theater to the South Suburbs.

Boettcher died early in June, just after he had finished casting the play.

  An artist’s rendering of 
  the Act 1 set. Artists 
  Walk President Megan 
  Tipton said the set is 
  going to be one of the 
  stars of the show. 

  (Provided image)
 

Artists Walk President Megan Tipton said the board met following Boettcher’s death and decided that, in his honor, the play should be produced as planned. 

Leahy agreed to step in and direct. He has extensive experience directing community theater, including a number of productions for the Drama Club of Chicago Heights. 

“Private Lives” is a comedy of manners that follows a divorced couple whose paths cross again while each is honeymooning with a new spouse.

The play was first produced in 1930, shortly after world markets had collapsed, and Leahy thinks the play’s popularity might have been related to its role as a diversion from grim economic times. 

It still works as a diversion from the troubles of the day, Leahy said.

“It’s very well written. It’s clever. It’s still funny” after 80 years, he said. “It will be an enjoyable evening of theater.”

The production staff includes: master electrician, Phillip B. Butowski; set construction, Greg Garcia; program book design, Nancy Kelley-Fernandez; set design consultant, Megan Tipton; web page, Tim Stinnett; production assistant, Phillip B. Butowski; ushers, The Saints.

Tickets are available online.

  From left, Greg Garcia, Phillip Butowski and Aaron 
  Wells work on set construction. 

 

 

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