Theater group likened to sinking ship called Titanic

Last summer, during the run of ERCT’s “Phantom of the Opera,” it was announced that the summer show for 2012 was going to be “The Music Man.” Indeed, up until about a month ago, it was understood by those of us in the theater community that the summer show was set to be “The Music Man.”

Then the news came a week ago. No “Music Man.”

Instead of a brilliant, well-known and well-loved musical with a huge cast of everyone from kids to adults, ERCT has decided to produce a largely unknown comedy play with a cast of 12 adults called “Noises Off.”

In recent history, ERCT has made some really foolish mistakes; “Secret Garden” was a financial disaster, “Phantom” broke the bank and provided little return, and “Clue” was overpriced and too unknown to draw a crowd. And now this …

The reason that large shows are done in the summer is a simple one: School’s out. This means a large number of kids with nothing to do, so community theater gives them an opportunity to do something worthwhile. It also means more profit, because parents and grandparents all want to see their children on stage and will buy tickets.

A large summer show is exceedingly beneficial to the community. In contrast, “Noises Off” is not. It is small, has no adolescent roles, and will not bring in an audience.

This kind of poor judgment is one that we have seen before from this organization, and it is likely one that we will see again and again, until ERCT finally founders amidst the rocks. And I will no longer be a part of it. I will not audition for “Noises Off,” and I urge others to consider it as well. Get to a lifeboat before you go down with the ship. — Brad Scarp, Zimmerman