Over Our Head Players announces their 20th season of live theatre in Downtown Racine!  The 2011-2012 season, presented at Sixth Street Theatre, features the eighth annual Snowdance original comedy competition! In addition to the Snowdance festival of short comedies, they will offer four traditional format comedies.  The season includes Do Not Disturb opening in September, The Mystery of Irma Vep running over Halloween weekend and into November, the “2012 Snowdance 10 Minute Comedy Festival” opening in January, ART in spring, and You’ve Got Hate Mail in May.  Season ticket brochures are available through the box office, (262) 632-6802, and on the theatre’s website, www.overourheadplayers.org.  All shows are at the Sixth Street Theater, 318 Sixth Street, Downtown Racine.  Performances are Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 5:30 and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

 

Over Our Head Players opens their 20th season in September with Do Not Disturb, a racy comedy by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore.  Do Not Disturb is comprised of six vignettes about life and love over six nights in an upscale hotel suite, featuring all the likely characters:  a cheating husband, a one night stand, a hysterical groom, a Viking porno producer, and more.   Long time OOHPs audiences will remember these six seductive scenes set in a single hotel room; Do Not Disturb was one of OOHPs last productions at George’s Tavern in 1999.  OOHPs veteran Patti Fitchett directed Do Not Disturb in 1999 and is back at the helm for the encore production, which runs September 24-October 9.

 

In October, OOHPs celebrates Halloween with The Mystery of Irma Vep, Charles Ludlam’s classic spoof of genres from Hitchcock to melodrama.  Irma Vep, Lord Edgar Hillcrest’s first wife, met her untimely demise when attacked by a werewolf.  His second wife, facing a campy vampire and an Egyptian princess with a secret, tries to escape a similar deadly fate in this sidesplitting spoof.  Murder and mayhem ensue in a frightfully funny tale of terror.  Plus, all the characters are played by just two actors.  A madcap pairing of thrills and laughter, The Mystery of Irma Vep plays October 28 – November 13.  OOHPIE winner Cody Ernest co-directs with Artistic Director Rich Smith.

 

Over Our Head Players begins the new year with the “2012 Snowdance 10 Minute Comedy Festival,” the eighth anniversary production of the 10-minute original comedy competition that just keeps growing.  Entrants from throughout the community, the state, and the country are invited to submit original 10-minute plays to Racine’s very own Snowdance Comedy Festival.  In prior years, hundreds of entries from coast-to-coast have been received, and even international entrants have made it to production.  Judges will choose the best of the entrants to be produced.  Then, in the ultimate interactive experience, the audience can vote on who should win the cash prize.  Utah has Sundance, we have Snowdance!  Snowdance perennially sells out, even with five full weekends of performances; OOHP presents Snowdance January 27-February 26, 2012.  Artistic Director Rich Smith leads the Snowdance ensemble, which is sponsored by Minuteman Press.

 

In spring, Over Our Head Players presents an encore of the Tony Award-winning ART.  Wildly funny and slightly naughty, Yasmina Reza’s serio-comedy was previously seen at Sixth Street in 2001.  This wise, witty, intelligent comedy explores the nature of Art and Friendship. How much would you pay for a white painting? Would it matter who the painter was? Would it be art? In ART, friendships collide as one all-white painting sparks colorful debate.  ART runs March 23 – April 7, 2012.

 

The season closes with a You’ve Got Hate Mail, a bedroom farce in an on-line age.  From the popular playwrights Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, “Hate Mail” is so new that the original off-Broadway production is still running.  A broadband comedy of errors:  love “bytes” when an extra-marital affair goes horribly wrong.  Love letters are replaced by email, and the action depends on desktops, laptops, Blackberries, and iPhones.  Mark your calendars for sex, lies, and laptops May 4-20.

 

“Managing Artistic Director Rich Smith elaborates, “Over Our Head Players is extremely excited to jump into our 20th season!  We have grown every season since the day we first picked the name ‘Over Our Head Players’ out of a hat.  This year, we have a past-present-future theme.  We recognize that quality comedy is our trademark, so Season 20 pays homage to two past audience favorites by bringing back productions of Do Not Disturb and the award winning comedy ART.”

 

He continues, “We have always sought to challenge ourselves as well as our audiences.  The Mystery Of Irma Vep is a play that we have been tempted to produce for years.  It’s an incredibly fun comedy and spoof of old horror films.  It also requires two actors to play over eight roles and complete over 40 costume changes, so we have been a bit afraid of this terror comedy in past years.  We felt our 20th season deserved a challenge, however, so we decided to produce it.  I know our audience will love this comedy classic!”

 

Rich concludes, “OOHPs has prided itself since day one on seeking unique, fun, and fresh theatre experiences for our community.  In our 20 seasons, we have presented dozens of world premiers and several amateur and regional premiers as well.  Our 20th season continues that tradition.  Our signature event, Snowdance, will be back as well!  This 10-minute comedy completion is actually an entire evening of world premiers.  Scripts are already rolling in from around the world, vying for a spot in the 2012 festival.  Fittingly, we close the season with a very new show.  You’ve Got Hate Mail is actually still running its original production in New York, which stars the playwrights! We are very fortunate that they allowed us the rights to produce it so soon!”

 

Over Our Head Players Season Ticket Packages are now on sale.  A Full OOHP Package with tickets to each of the five productions is $62.00; the OOHP Light Package with tickets to the subscriber’s choice of four productions is $52.  With either package, the subscriber selects their preferred performance date and time, and exchanges are available.  Individual tickets will be on sale after September 1.  Individual tickets are $15.50 on Fridays and Saturdays and $13.50 on Sundays.  For reservations or information, please call the box office, (262)632-6802.  All performances are at the Sixth Street Theatre, 318 Sixth Street, Racine.

 

Over Our Head Players operates the Sixth Street Theatre in Downtown Racine.  OOHPs is a non-profit organization of volunteer theatrical talent from throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.  The mainstay of OOHP for eighteen seasons has been contemporary comedy. Last season featured Escanaba in Love, Escanaba in da Moonlight, The Smell of the Kill, Theatre/Schmeatre, and the 2011 Snowdance 10 Minute Comedy Festival.  Past productions include sell-outs of their original It’s a Wonderful Lifeboat, The Underpants, Below the Belt, Fuddy Meers, The Gene Pool, Power Plays, Bathroom Humor, the Wisconsin premiere of Cheese Louise, and the original Still Haven’t Found… .

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