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Theatre for Everyone

By David Boegaard

Beloit Civic Theatre is home to fine performances of plays and musicals. Often known as BCT, the strength of the theatre is obvious from its longevity and the level of the community's participation. As Loren M. Sass, Vice President of Beloit Civic Theatre proudly relates, BCT "has been producing a season of three shows a year since 1932." And it's not a coincidence BCT has lasted so long, suggests Sass. The theatre is very popular, with "over 1000 season subscribers attending our shows." The theatre supports the community, and the community supports the theatre.

Each season offers new spectacles. BCT presents the fall musical in September, and separate plays in the winter and spring seasons. Each production features nine performances, says Sass, running two weekends on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. BCT also offers three matinee performances of each production at 3 p.m.

The 2015-2016 season will include productions of Nunsense, a musical comedy, The Dining Room, a drama set around the daily occurrence of family meals, and Exit Laughing, a slightly ribald comedy about a surprising night for the members of a bridge club.

Beloit Civic Theatre prides itself on producing great plays and musicals - while remaining affordable to everyone in the community. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, and $8 for students and senior citizens over sixty. This is only possible because "BCT often receives grants from Beloit's visitors and convention bureau because we bring in patrons from Madison to Rockford and beyond," as well as receiving grants from local businesses, Sass says.

The best way to take part in the festivities, however, is to join the 1000+ other community members who are season members. As Sass mentions, "Season members receive one show free when they purchase a season membership." And season ticket holders get to attend the yearly board meeting, with a lovely dinner. Thus, as Sass explains, "a senior citizen gets three shows and a free meal for $16. What's not to like about that!"

On top of everything else that BCT does for the Beloit community, they also take an interest in the education of the young people of Beloit. At intermissions, the theatre offers homemade cookies, as well as coffee and soda. Patrons are encouraged to make donations for these concessions, with all the donations going to scholarships. Sass notes with pride, "each year BCT gives up to five $500 scholarships to area high school seniors who plan on continuing their studies in the performing arts."

The Beloit Civic Theatre creates a wonderful community space for the people of Beloit and beyond. Sass sums up the principle on which the BCT is built - the theatre members "strive for excellence and professionalism in all aspects of the production from costumes, to sets, to acting, to front-of-house tasks." An outstanding experience, open to everyone.

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