From holiday-themed musicals to plays covering domestic violence, the Monroe County Civic Theater’s Director’s Symposium & Variety Show strives to bring the community together, said Steve Heise, director of Monroe County Civic Theater.
The Director’s Symposium & Variety Show will be presented Dec. 10 at the Players Pub.
For its 18th iteration, the free show offers a dozen acts featuring three theatrical productions and a variety of musical acts. A silent auction happen at intermission, and all proceeds will go to the benefit of The Rise! at the Middle Way House.The Rise! at the Middle Way House is a Bloomington nonprofit organization that provides shelter and services for survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault.
“We want the audience to come and have a good time and watch the talent of Bloomington and give to a good cause,” said Maryann Iaria, administrative secretary of Monroe County Civic Theater.
The event will focus on children’s sing-along songs in the beginning, Christmas carols and spiritual music led by folk group the Helber Sisters Band. One of the theatrical productions, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” will be performed by the Monroe County Civic Theater Players with music and singing.
“The first part of the show are where the children are singing, and it’s really more of a children’s event,” Heise said. “The end of the show has some more adult themes.”
Another theatrical production for the event, “What if?” concerns domestic violence and how it can be prevented. Heise said the more serious topics are saved for after intermission.
“It concentrates on how people can avoid being in violent situations and how domestic violence can be acknowledged,” Iaria said.
Because the event has such contrasting themes, parents and children don’t have to stay to the end, Heise said.
All of the theatrical productions are written by Bloomington playwrights, and local businesses will be providing items for the silent auction.
Attending the event is a good opportunity to connect with the community and do something enjoyable, Iaria said.
“Our theater promotes that anyone can be in show business, and especially in Bloomington, in any age,” Iaria said.
Donations and money raised at the silent auction will benefit The Rise! at the Middle Way House.
“Who ends up at The Rise! are effectively refugees in their own community,” Heise said. “The reason we do that is because they do really, really important work in the community.”
Aside from supporting a good cause,Heise said, this event enables people to make community members more aware of each other.
“You look outside, there’s a lot of discord that we can’t do anything about,” Heise said. “What we can do is get together as a community do things that bring us together and make us feel good about the community.”
Heise said audience members can turn their entertainment into smiles for people who have had a difficult time with domestic violence.
“The Civic Theatre is really about building community," Heise said. "That's the whole idea. Have a good time, get a little bit deeper."