Who is MCT and Talking About LOL: A Night of Comedy

Hello, and welcome to The Pulse, the podcast for Marshfield Community Theatre.

We are so excited to launch this podcast to give you updates and information on what’s happening with MCT. This podcast is a new thing for us, and we’re really hoping it will take off, and that starts with you. So, I’m going to take a quick moment to encourage you to share this with your friends and family and tell people about what we’re doing here.

We’re going to try to be post about every other week; talking about shows, events that we’re doing, fundraisers that we’re doing right now and then you’ll be able to meet and hear from so many people across MCT; a wide variety of people talking about what they do with MCT and why they joined MCT and all of these great stories that people at MCT get to tell.

So, be sure to give us some support and show some love for The Pulse and tell people about it. This is going to be a learning experience for us and we’re going to grow in this, but we’re so excited to be able to offer it to you, so be sure to let people know about it.

Today, we’re going to be looking at MCT’s history and where we are now. We are also going to catch up with one of our board directors, Amber Brand, to talk about this week’s LOL: A Night of Comedy, so stick around for that. Alright, let’s jump in.

MCT was founded in 2002 but was originally known as the Marshfield Performing Arts Society. A group of local theatre lovers and supporters came together to form a local community theatre troupe to put on productions for our community.

Like most young organizations, MPAS decided to start small with a variety show fundraiser in 2002. Soon after, MPAS decided it was time to produce a full-scale show. Money to fund the production was collected and a director was chosen.

Here’s a funny story about this first show. When it was suggested that tickets be sold for $10, some thought it was too much. But the director assured that the audience would pay $10 but get a $20 show.

This led to MPAS’ first production, “An Evening with Gershwin.” The show was only performed once to a crowd of over 500 people. So, MPAS decided to produce their first musical production, “The Wizard of Oz.”

Several productions later, it was 2012, and MPAS decided it was time to change their name. They changed it to Marshfield Community Theatre to better reflect what they wanted to do in the community and set out to produce at least four productions each year. Now, MCT produces a musical every summer, a children’s show every year, and has added fun events like the Haunted House and LOL: A Night of Comedy.

So, that was a really brief history lesson on MCT. If you want to know more about MCT’s history, be sure to go to marshfieldtheatre.org, and under the “About Us” button, you’ll be able to click “Our History” and that will give you the full story of MCT from where we started to where we are. MCT has a rich history full of fun stories and so much that has led to where we are and how we have grown to where we are over the years. So, be sure to go check that out.

But, there’s so much more that we can dive into about what MCT is doing right now.

MCT’s mission is to provide a creative outlet for the performing arts in our community through entertaining live-theatre productions produced by volunteers putting their heart in every show.

And that’s what we do at MCT. We put our heart in every show and event we produce. One of the most amazing things I’ve seen at MCT is how dedicated our volunteers are to making a show happen. Sometimes, we have to completely shift our lives around for a show.

So, MCT just finished performed Seussical this past June. But the really cool thing about Seussical is not just the storyline, and not just the fun that people had seeing the show. The really cool thing about Seussical is the fact that it was MCT’s 50th show. We have done 50 shows now, and that is a huge mile marker for us. But it was also the start of our 16th season. Right now, we are getting ready to start our next show, Clue on Stage, while also prepping for our second year of LOL: A Night of Comedy. We’ve definitely come a long way from that first show A Night with Gershwin and look at where we are now. We’re working on our 51st show, we’re doing these fun annual events every year and we’re genuinely working to support our mission of provide a creative outlet for our community. And then we’re excited about what we can do next and how we can continue to grow.

So, I wanted to take a moment and share a personal testimony with you guys today, since it’s our first episode.

Within those now 51 shows, I have been involved in 24 of them. I’ve been on stage for 11 of those shows and worked on the production team or crew for 13.

I’m not saying that to brag on myself. I’m saying that because I think it’s a pretty big deal that I keep coming back. In theatre, you get to tell so many amazing stories that take audiences away. You get to create new worlds full of adventure, laughs and heartfelt moments.

MCT is a theatre troupe that loves telling those stories, and we look forward to telling more stories in the years to come.

So, we always need you support, and we need you to continue coming to our shows. There is nothing more exciting for us when the curtain opens or the first line is being spoken and we get to take you as an audience away to a crazy world full of hijinks, adventure, craziness, love and sometimes sadness. We get to take you on these emotional rides and just away from whatever you’re dealing with in the world. So, continue coming out and supporting us and we look forward to telling those stories to you in the future.

Now, we’re going to wrap things up a bit. Give us a quick moment, and we’re going to go catch up with Amber Brand and we’re going to talk about LOL: A Night of Comedy.

Kelby: Hello! Welcome back to the Pulse. We’re going to be talking about LOL: A Night of Comedy. I’m your host, Kelby Lorenz and today I have Amber Brand with me. We’re going to talk about the event so you have all the details and definitely know what you’re getting yourself into when you walk in and just prepare for the night and we’re going to get all the information right here. So, Amber, say hi to everybody!

Amber: Hello, everybody!

K: So, let’s start of with an easy one: What is LOL?

A: Well, LOL is a fun event, activity, whatever you want to call it, date night, friends night that we came up with last year. It was our first time doing it, and really it was an opportunity to take something that we weren’t currently doing in Marshfield. We had seen some friends performing comedy, and thought ‘How easy could it be to bring them out here and host them in Marshfield and turn it into a little bit of a fundraiser for MCT?’ So, we did the first one last year; it was so much fun. I think I laughed the loudest in the whole room. And, so, we’re doing it again this year and we’re really excited.

K: Awesome. So, you kind of already touched on this. But LOL started last year kind as a fun way for MCT to do something different. Most of you know that MCT, we put on productions every year, but we do fun stuff like this now too, and we’re looking at doing some more stuff in the future. Where did this idea really come from, from your perspective? Where did this idea come from in your head?

A: So, I was scrolling through Facebook, and a friend that I had gone to high school with forever and ever ago had posted that he was emceeing this comedy show in Springfield. And I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve always liked comedians. I’ve always thought they were funny.’ And I used to watch it sometimes on Netflix with my husband and I’m like ‘That would be fun!’ But, I’m also like ‘I’m old and I get tired from driving to Springfield at 7 o’clock for a show that doesn’t start until 8 or 9. That does not sound fun!’ So, in the way all of my ideas come about is really a result of my laziness and how can I make this easier for me? So, I got in touch with Sue and everyone at MCT and was like ‘Hey, I got this idea. Let’s have a comedy night in Marshfield, so that none of us have to drive to Springfield super late.”

K: You know, I think that is a fantastic way for this event to start. So, as people are thinking about buying tickets; maybe they’re on the fence and they don’t know if they want to go. What are some things people can expect from the night when they’re there?

A: So, it really encompasses your entire date night. So, you can arrive at 6 o’clock and you can grab your food from the food truck, so you don’t have to make a separate trip anywhere and you don’t have to go wait and hope that you get seated and fed in time. So, you show up at 6 o’clock and you grab your food from the food truck. Invite your friends, that’s the thing. You can come with just your spouse or just one friend, but you’re going to have so much more fun if you come with a couple of friends. Because, I don’t know about you guys, but when my friends start laughing, it makes me laugh harder. Then, the next thing you know, you’re all laughing. So, you can come and get your food. If you like to drink, there is wine and there is beer. If you don’t, that’s fine, there’s water available, too. So, you grab your drinks if you want a drink and the show starts off with our emcee, who will kind of host the entire show. He has a few jokes along the way, but his main goal is to, you know, let us know who’s coming on and tell us about them. So, there will a comedian that performs first. And then, we will have our headliner. There’s the featured comedian, no that’s not right. My terminology is wrong. They call it something in the comedy world, but I’m not a comedian so it’s way over my pay grade.

K: That’s totally fine. We can just keep moving.

A: So, you have your two comedians and they’ll perform. And really, it’s just a night where you sit, you be entertained, have some food, have some drinks and just have a good laugh. You know, laughing is good for you.

K: Awesome. So, you mentioned a food truck. Who’s the food truck this year?

A: Yes, the food truck this year is The Polka Dot Pig and they’ve been in Marshfield. If you guys are local, if you’ve been in town, you’ve probably had the opportunity to eat from them. They have everything from shredded pork nachos to tacos to jalapeño poppers and they have all kinds of things to eat.

K: Awesome. So, as people are thinking about coming, they’re probably going to want to know: who are the comedians this year? Yeah, go ahead. You can take a second to pull that up.

A: Of course, you would ask me that. My brain only holds so much information.

K: Come on, Amber. You know people are going to want to know who’s going to be there!

A: Okay, well our emcee for the night will be Brandon Speakes. And like I told you, that was the person that I saw on Facebook that was doing the thing that I was like ‘This is cool.’ So, he’ll be our emcee. And then we will have Anna Fleeman. She is a comedian out of, she’s from this area. I think she’s from Kansas or something like that. And then Bill May, and he is our headliner. Right, is that the terminology? And he is also from the area, he is from Joplin. We’re looking forward to having him. We’re really looking forward to having a female comedian. Last year, we had two, well they were all males, so it will be a little extra, I guess.

K: Yeah, it sounds like a fun night out. If you want to know more about our comedians, you can always go to marshfieldtheatre.org and click on our Laugh Out Loud page. Soft little plug there. No shame. So, Amber, personally, what is your favorite part about LOL and the comedy night?

A: My favorite part about the comedy night is just that whole, everybody laughing. When everyone in the room, it’s like being at a show, except this isn’t a show we had to put all the work into. We just get to be on the receiving end, I guess, of the excitement and the fun. I just love sitting in the room when they’re telling something, a joke, something funny and the whole room starts laughing. That’s like ‘Ah!’ That’s perfect for me.

K: Awesome. So, is there a recommended age for this show? We should probably plug that, just to make sure.

A: Yes. We do recommend age 16 and up. Our comedians, for the most part, like to keep it pretty clean and pretty classy. But, you know, this is an adult evening; there are alcoholic beverages and we just like to be cautious with that. So, we definitely recommend 18 and up, wait 16 and up. But, keeping in mind, too, that there is alcohol served that night.

K: Awesome. One final question for you. This is not one of the questions I gave you ahead of time, so I’m going to throw you for a loop here, probably. But, can you tell us your favorite joke?

A: [LOL] I don’t have one. I don’t have a joke.

K: Come on, Amber!

A: I don’t even know a joke! I have, well okay, it’s not a joke, but I was eating a cucumber earlier and I was like ‘A cucumber without salt is like… I don’t know.’ And my friend Michaela was here, and she was like ‘A cucumber without salt is like life without glitter.’ So, it’s not really a joke, but it might be a motto to live by.

K: Alright, we’ll take that. We’ll take that. LOL is scheduled for Aug. 3. Come at 6 p.m. to get food from the Polka Dot Pig, and then stick around, at 7 p.m. our show will start with our comedians. We hope to see you all there. You can get more information about the show at marshfieldtheatre.org and you can also get your tickets there. Tickets are…?

A: They are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. But, like I said, come with your friends. Buy a table, it seats 8 and it’s only $80. It’s your best savings and the best way to have fun.

K: Awesome. And if you have more questions, feel free to reach out to us. You can reach us on our social media pages. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. And, like I said, if you need more information, you can always check out our website marshfieldtheatre.org.

Okay, it’s time to wrap up our first episode of The Pulse. Thank you all so much for listening. Come back for future episodes, we’ll keep you posted on when go up. And for more information on what MCT is currently doing, you can always follow us on our social media channels. We are on Facebook as Marshfield Community Theatre. We are on Twitter as @MfieldTheatre. We are as @MfieldTheatre, and we are on Instagram as @marshfieldcommunitytheatre, and that’s with an -re. You can also learn more about what’s going on by visiting marshfieldtheatre.org, we try to keep that as up-to-date as possible for you guys. If you have any questions, you can reach out to one of our social media pages, and we’ll get you connected to the right people. Alright, this is Kelby Lorenz, signing out for the Pulse. We’ll see ya next time.