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McBain's 'Altar Call' opens at District Theatre


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Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 1:52 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
Seven years after debuting in Moline, former Quad-Cities playwright Melissa McBain's drama "Altar Call" will open Friday at The District Theatre, 1611 2nd Ave., Rock Island.

The work was produced by Playcrafters Barn Theatre in 2005, and a Dispatch/Argus review called it "a well-considered, complex show," resulting in "a striking, resonant, must-see production."

Maggie Stone (Angela Rathman), a 40-year-old minister's daughter, is trapped between the needs of her gay son, the demands of her Baptist father's church, and the desires of her physician husband. As the action shifts between the sacred and the secular, the church and Maggie's home, we experience a volatile mix of sexuality and religion, and faith and family explode, according to a District Theatre synopsis.

In addition to Ms. Rathman, the cast features Jerry Wolking, Bobby Duncalf, Patrick Gimm, Nicholas Waldbusser, Liz Blackwell, Dana Moss Peterson, Michael Carron, Jeff Blackwell, Melissa Scott and Martha Davenport -- all of whom are making their District debuts.

"They're very excited to be doing a show out here," said director Bryan Woods of Colona, who recently recently seen in the District play, "The Best Man," and directed Playcrafters' "Moving" this past July.

"It's just a great message; I thought it was a very powerful show," he said of "Altar Call." "Itdeals with homosexuality in the church, the mother's acceptance of choice, questions of faith and family -- the choices we make in our lives."

Ms. McBain -- who lives in Philadelphia,where she works as a professional playwright and teaching artist -- was last seen in the Quad Cities in May when The District Theatre presented her one-woman show, "Going Back Naked."

"Altar Call" will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (plus Dec. 6-8), and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 9. Ticketsare $15, available at (309) 235-1654 or by sending an email to tristan@districttheatre.com.



















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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