Throw Back Thursday – These Shining Lives (2020)

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As we wrap up the year that is 2020, we celebrate 40 years of theatre, passion and community. For our last TBT we look back at our last show we did live–These Shining Lives. A beautiful show that touched the hearts of so many. Who knew that would be the last live production for MVLCT and most other theatres all over the US for a long time?

Never fear, friends. Live theatre will be back and so will MVLCT! Keep an eye out for future productions and projects for 2021. If you are interested in participating, would like more information or would like to donate, please email us at mvlcommunitytheatre@gmail.com or subscribe to our newsletter.

We look forward to what lies ahead in 2021. Thank you all for your support this (strange) year and for the last 40 years.

Here’s to 40 more!


FROM KAMI ZBANEK-HILL (DIRECTOR)

This summer, in the middle of lockdown, my partner and I decided to break the monotony. We masked up and hit the road two hours away to a small town in Illinois. 

Among the dollar stores, coffee shops and boutiques, ghosts walked and still do. 

Last March I had the honor of making my directorial debut with MVLCT. 

An incredible group of people came together to produce These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich. The story of the unsung female heroes of the Radium Dial Company who fought a corporate giant and won.  

This experience was one of those stars-aligning, magic-sparking, life-changing times.

I watched this cast approach this text with such reverence and these characters with such respect. It was nothing short of inspiring. 

Jen created prim Frances into the “mom friend” we all love. Kim brought joy and innocence with her portrayal of Pearl. Braden Rood’s sass level was stratospheric as Charlotte, and Mary broke our hearts and put them back together again as Catherine Donohue.

Surrounding and supporting the story of these four was our incredible supporting cast including Schulyer portraying everyone’s ideal husband, Tom, Craig being the sleazy boss everyone loved to hate, and our matchless ensemble who provided so much creative material to work with, shaping the world as the director was easy.

Memories of shows often include hilarious backstage antics, goof ups and hijinks, (and there WERE plenty of those! Flying wigs, coloring hands with highlighters, our sound/light tech being questioned by postal authorities because of his glow-in-the-dark paint pigment!) but the most incredible thing about this particular show was it felt almost sacred. 

Telling THIS story about THESE women meant so much to us. We wanted to do right by them, and it drove us to create something truly special.

It really brought home to me the power that community theater can have on real life events. Without this play, their story would have gone unheard by many in our area.

But WE got to share it. And we were proud to do so. 

So this summer, as I got to stand in front of Catherine Donohue’s grave, I got to thank her for her sacrifice and honestly tell her that we did the best we could to honor her. 

I owe that moment to my entire team. I am forever grateful, and a piece of my heart will always be in Ottawa. 



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