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Chenoa Town Crier
Gridley Times
Ridgeview Review
Heyworth Buzz
LeRoy Leader

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Every Photo has a Story, every Story has a Photo
A publication by Alan Look Photography
McLean County's Sports and Leisure Magazine
Published Feb 15, May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15

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Pick up a copy of the current Normalite for Senior and Normal Township event listings.

by Kim Behrens

No Meeting This Week

McLean County Board Report

Matt Sorensen, Chairman
Recording Secretary:  Judith A. LaCasse

No Meeting This Week

Normal CornBelters looking for National Anthem Performers
Tryouts to be Held Saturday, April 4th from 9-11 a.m.
The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, are in search of performers to sing the National Anthem this season at The Corn Crib. The CornBelters will play their first home on Tuesday, May 19 at 6:35 p.m. versus the Gateway Grizzlies (“CEFCU Opening Night”).
The CornBelters are looking for talented, enthusiastic, and open-minded performers to be the pre-game entertainment by singing the National Anthem. The anthem will be performed a cappella by either an individual or a small group. Tryouts will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at The Corn Crib. If you are unable to attend you may also mail a CD, or DVD, of your performance or email a link of you singing to Jeff Holtke at
“These auditions provide a great opportunity for people in the community to come showcase their talents,” said Holtke, the CornBelters Director of Game Operations. “Performers also have a chance to perform the National Anthem in front of a large audience here at the Corn Crib.”
Some tips from the CornBelters for giving a great performance include:
1) Using a more straight-forward approach to singing the anthem (put your own style into it, but do not go overboard).
2) The anthem must be sung in 1 minute and 45 seconds due to game-day time constraints (watch your time!).
3) Most importantly, be enthusiastic and have FUN!
 THE NIBLET:  CornBelters full season tickets for the 2015 season are currently on sale!  To purchase full season tickets tickets, or for more information, please contact the CornBelters today at (309) 454-2255 (BALL) or stop by The Mid-Illini Credit Union Box Office at The Corn Crib during normal business hours.

Tribute to Harry and Jo Thiel to be held April 10
A memorial tribute to the long-time general manager of the Illinois State University student newspaper will be held next month.
The Vidette will host the tribute to Harry Thiel and his wife Josephine at 2 p.m. Friday, April 10. The public is invited. The Vidette Building is at the corner of Locust and University
Harry Thiel was general manager of the newspaper from 1976 to 1996. He died last December and Josephine died in November.  Harry was inducted into The Vidette Hall of Fame in 2009.
“Harry and Jo touched many lives through their years of dedication to The Vidette,” said current Vidette GM John Plevka. “While we are saddened by their passing, we are honored to help pay tribute to the Thiels, a name that for many is synonymous with Vidette.”
There will be several scheduled speakers at the memorial, but attendees wishing to share memories of the Thiels will also be invited to speak.
Public parking is available in the Bone Student Center Visitors Lot.

Twin Cities Community Cleanup Week to be held April 11-18
The Town of Normal, City of Bloomington and Ecology Action Center will once again host the annual Community Cleanup Week, this year April 11-18. The public is encouraged to participate.
 “You can volunteer whenever and wherever that week that works best for you,” explains EAC Executive Director Michael Brown. “New this year, we are encouraging people to tweet photos of their cleanup efforts using #BloNoCleanUp for a chance to receive prizes.”
The public can register to volunteer online at  They can also suggest potential cleanup sites.
“This is a great opportunity to give back to the community and really take pride in Bloomington-Normal,” says Josh Barnett, the Chair of the City of Bloomington’s Beautification Committee.
Cleanup site suggestions must be submitted by Monday, March 30. Volunteer registration is open until Monday, April 2.

2015 Gamma Phi Circus to be held April 17 & 18
The annual Gamma Phi Circus Spring Shows, an ISU Sibling Weekend tradition features performances by the oldest collegiate circus in the nation. This year marks the 86th anniversary of the founding of Gamma Phi at Illinois State University in 1929 by Clifford “Pop” Horton. This year, bring your shades but prepare to stargaze because we are celebrating the heart of SoCal-HOLLYWOOD! You won’t want to miss it!
Special rates and priority seating for alumni (sections L and M) are available for purchase only through April 3. Alumni tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $6 for children ages 5-12, and $1 for children ages 4 and under. Order your show tickets by April 3 at or by calling the Alumni Relations office at (309) 438-2586 or (800) 366-4478.
Non-alumni/reserved seating tickets (at regular rates) can be purchased through the Braden Box Office and Ticketmaster beginning February 14. On show weekend, reserved seating tickets may be purchased at the door. The Redbird Arena Box Office will be open from 5-7 p.m. April 17 and 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. April 18.
Student Alumni Council will sponsor its fourth annual pre-show Carnival on the Redbird Arena concourse, beginning at noon prior to the 1 p.m. Saturday Matinee show on April 18. This popular Sibling Weekend event is kid-approved and open to everyone that has a youth ticket to the matinee show. The Carnival includes a variety of games, face painters, photos, fun, and prizes for kids of all ages. For more information on the Student Alumni Council Sibling Weekend Carnival, visit

McLean County HCE wins ‘County of the Year’ Award
The 91st  Annual Conference of the IAHCE was held March 17-19 at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel. McLean County Association for Home and Community Education won the “County of the Year” award for the second year in a row! Attended by 21 McLean County HCE members, we participated in the Fun Walk, wore decorated shoes and pink conference shirts and attended many interesting share shops. The conference was attended by 354 people from 60 of the 76 HCE counties in Illinois.
McLean County HCE also received Education Awards in Family Issues, Community Outreach and Certified Volunteer Hours, and also the GRAND Award for Public Relations .

HCE units to study quick freezer meals and ginger root in April
McLean County Association for Home and Community Education members will study “freezer meals made in a flash” at their monthly meetings unless otherwise noted. The fact find will be on ginger root.
Other free programs and workshops:- Apr 14, 9-12n, card making class, Miller Park Pavilion, Bloomington, Barb-309-242-6187. Apr 20: 9-12n, comfort quilts, Eileen, 309-533-1135; 1-4p, children’s dresses, pants, and shorts, Barb, 309-242-6187. These classes are held at Christ Lutheran Church, corner of Ft Jesse and Hershey Rd, Normal in the Activities Building in the southwest corner of the parking lot. Apr 20, 2-3:30p, Read & share the book Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, Extension Office, 1615 Commerce Blvd, Bloomington, LaVonne, 309-661-6391.   The public is welcome at all meetings. Units meet as follows:
Eastsiders: 9 a.m. Apr 3, Extension Auditorium, 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington; program, Nancy O’Neall; hostesses: Jan Strawser, Judy Crist, Cindy Brown, Lynn Warner; 309-378-4440.      
Normal: 9:15 a.m. Apr 6, Evergreen Place, Gregory & Adelaide, Normal; program, Jean Barrington; 309-452-7190.
Downs: 9:30 a.m. Apr 7, Jack’s Restaurant, LeRoy; program, Becky Toohill; hostesses: Carol Morefield, Lois Hines, Ruth Hood; 309-962-2121.
Dale: 10:30 a.m. Apr 8, Culvers on Hershey Rd, Bloomington; meeting followed by lunch; program, Myra Komnick; 309-829-8975.  
Dry Grove: 9:30 a.m. Apr 9; Denney’s in Normal; breakfast followed by meeting; 309-963-5552.
Money Creek: 11:30 a.m. Apr 13; Lexington Community Center; bag lunch followed by meeting; 309-365-4681.
Towanda: 7 p.m. Apr 13; Towanda Community Building; program, What’s In Your Wallet? by Sandy Whalen; hostesses, Cindy Jacobs, Leatha Poshard; 309-663-4796.
Night Owls: 7 p.m. Apr 15; home of  Linda Bergren, Normal; program: Jane Wood/Karen Thompson; hostess-Jodi White; 309-275-6723.
Lexington: 2 p.m. Apr 20; home of Dorothy Myers, Lexington; new meeting time; program, Alice Wick; hostess, Doris Beck; 309-365-8055.

In March 26 2015 Printed Normalite:
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Bill Linneman
The NCAA’s geographic confusion

Helen J. Leake's Gardeners Tips
Ease up on the pesticide use in your garden

The Spectator by Jim Bennett
Spring Training Was Different During WWII

Capitol Facts by Rich Miller
Who are Illinoisans for Growth and Opportunity?

Classic Colcalsure
Will Winter Ever Be Over

Normal Town Council Report
 by Steve Robinson

No Report This Week

Unit 5 School Board Report
 by Steve Robinson
No Report This Week

McLean County Board Report

No Report This Week

Capitol Commentary from Senator Bill Brady
Another Week

Subpoenas issued for Neighborhood Recover Initiative investigation

Statehouse Update from Jason Barickman
Citizen Activism Can Have Major Impact

Publisher Ed Pyne - Pyne Needles
Senator Brady’s plan will get people talking

Chimperscage - by Alan Look

A New Best Look Magazine arrived February 15th! - Also, look for the 2 Special Editions chronicalling the State Final runs by Ridgeview and Normal Community boys basketball teams!


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Mystery Photo, Legal Notices, Obituaries, Service Directory, School and Senior Information, and Classified advertisements

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Unit 5 School Board Report

by Kim Behrens

No Meeting This Week

Check out Best Look Magazine!

Normal Landscape Waste Collection to Begin Week of March 30
The Town of Normal will resume curbside collection of landscape waste from single family and duplex homes beginning the week of March 30 on the regular refuse collection day.  All items to be collected should be placed curbside no later than 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection or after 6:00 p.m. the evening before.
Landscape waste is defined as weeds, leaves and other vegetation (with thickness less than ½ inch) which easily decompose. This waste, excluding grass clippings, should be placed at the curb in open bags or open carts weighing less than 35 pounds, or placed in a Town-issued cart displaying a LANDSCAPE WASTE decal on the upper portion of each side. Decals can be obtained at the Public Works office, City Hall reception desk, Police Station or at the Normal Public Library.
Grass clippings, dirt (devoid of rocks) and non-woody vegetation can be dropped off at the Normal Public Works landscape waste drop-off site at 1301 Warriner Street.  The drop-site is open 24/7.
Landscape waste collection is provided annually - usually from April to late November.
Sticks, bush clippings and other brush items should not been included with landscape waste.  Sticks should be placed in a separate pile (not in a container or bag) at the curb for brush collection.

Heartland C. C. exhibit features Strong Girls by BHS art teacher Monica Estabrook
Free photogram workshop for area high school students Sat., April 11
Strong Girls by Monica Estabrook will be on display March 23 through May 8 in the Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College. The gallery is located in room 2507 of the Instructional Commons Building on Heartland’s Normal campus, 1500 W. Raab Road.
The exhibit of photos include Estabrook’s former art students from Stevenson Elementary School in Bloomington. Each girl demonstrates unique strengths and individual character.
Gallery Coordinator Danell Dvorak adds that a strong girl can mean different things to different people. “We want this exhibit to start a conversation,” she said. “What is a strong girl? Who are the strong girls in your life?”
An artist reception takes place Tuesday, March 31 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the gallery. The reception includes light refreshments and a free drawing activity for kids.
In conjunction with her exhibit, Estabrook will present a free photogram workshop for area high school students. The workshop takes place Saturday, April 11 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in room 2501 of HCC’s Instructional Commons Building. Registration is required and can be completed by emailing Danell Dvorak at
Estabrook is a practicing artist and an art teacher at Bloomington High School. Her photographs, mixed media works and interactive installations have been exhibited at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, McMaster Art Gallery in Columbia, South Carolina and Limner Gallery in New York City, among others. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master of arts in teaching K-12 art education from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Additionally, she earned a master of fine arts in photography from Southern Illinois University.
Estabrook taught at Stevenson Elementary from 2007-2014, and was awarded classroom grants for art supplies and equipment from State Farm and the Beyond the Books Educational Foundation in 2011. Her professional memberships include the Illinois Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association

‘Young at Heart-and’ Acting Program for Seniors New Class Sessions begin April 6th
Young at Heartland’s eleventh season will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 6. Class sessions will meet every Monday through June 1.  Limited enrollment deadline is April 3. Sessions are dedicated to the study of the craft of acting, culminating in performances at senior activity centers in the area. Ensemble members will collaborate with the instructor in choosing appropriate material to be memorized or performed as a reading.
Eight 120-minute acting workshop sessions, for persons 55 and over, will be held at Heartland Theatre Company and taught by Kathleen Kirk.
Kathleen Kirk directed THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE at Heartland, served as Dramaturg for The Mike Dobbins Memorial NEW PLAYS FROM THE HEARTLAND and served as Dramaturg and Assistant Director for EARTH AND SKY.  She has appeared often on Heartland’s stage as an actor in MIDDLETOWN, THE CLEAN HOUSE, SKYLIGHT and BETRAYAL, among others.  She worked as a professional actor in Chicago in the ‘80s before graduate school at DePaul University.
Young at Heartland strives to build an ensemble of seniors who share the values of continuing education, creative self-expression, and community outreach.  It is designed to accommodate and support performers’ comfort levels with memorization. The program aims to find appropriate pathways to showcase performers’ gifts in a fun, stress-free atmosphere.
Limited enrollment deadline is April 3. Participants must be registered in advance. Advance Registration fee is $30. For the Spring Session. (The Fall Session requires a separate fee to be paid in August.)
Those interested or needing more information are asked to call YAH Program Director Ann White at (309) 452-5647 or email
Heartland’s Acting Workshop, called “Young at Heart-land” is a program of Heartland Theatre Company and is funded in part by the McLean County Arts Center Regranting program, grant provider for the Illinois Arts Council.

Towanda honors Bonnie Lou, music pioneer, star of radio and TV
In a joint resolution, the Village of Towanda, Illinois and the Towanda Area Historical Society honor rock and roll pioneer Bonnie Lou, who had international hit records in the 1950s, and was a star on popular TV and radio programs for several decades.
Bonnie Lou was born Mary Joan Kath in Towanda in 1924. Before she completed high school, she was a featured performer on WJBC radio in Bloomington. At age 17 she was hired by KMBC in Kansas City to perform on Brush Creek Follies, one of the most popular radio shows in the country.
In 1945 one of the country’s most powerful radio stations, WLW, hired Bonnie Lou after hearing her recordings and immediately featured her on its popular Midwestern Hayride program. She then began a radio and TV career that made her a household name in millions of American homes. She was, and is, beloved as a singer and musician. Bonnie Lou was also one of the first female co-hosts of a weekday TV talk show.
In the early 1950s Bonnie Lou was signed to a contract with legendary King Records, and scored international hits that were distributed around the world. Two of her singles each sold 750,000 copies.
She is one of the first women to record music that became known as rockabilly, and to crossover from country to rock. She is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Bonnie Lou performed on multiple occasions at the original Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Bonnie Lou’s records remain popular today, available as CD collections and digital downloads, and through online music streaming services. The influential music rating site,, gives her collection, Doin’ the Tennessee Wig Walk 4.5 stars (out of 5), and calls her “a prime mover in the first days of rockabilly.”
Towanda is proud to honor our home town girl, now 90, who achieved greatness and always conducted herself with dignity, generosity, and kindness.

April 7th ‘Farmland’ documentary connects our Food to the Farm
McLean County Farm Bureau® in partnership with Illinois State University (ISU) Collegiate Farm Bureau®, invite you to learn more about the farmers who produce our food with a screening of the documentary “Farmland.”
“Farmland” will be shown on Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Braden Auditorium located in the Bone Student Center on the ISU campus. This free event showcases the documentary by Oscar and two-time Emmy winning filmmaker, James Moll.
“Following the movie, a panel of local farmers has been invited to take the stage to answer any questions the audience may have about agricultural practices,” says Cori Harrison, President of ISU Collegiate Farm Bureau. “In addition to the farmer’s panel, there will also be an Information Station, where members of the audience can go to get more information on the agricultural issues that concern them the most.”
The film takes an in-depth look into the lives of several of the young farmers and ranchers, all in their twenties, who grow and raise the food we consume daily. Highlighted are some of the latest farming practices and technologies and the changes happening within today’s agriculture.
“Most Americans have never set foot on a farm or ranch. As an organization that exists to promote agriculture in the community, ISU Collegiate Farm Bureau feels it is important for people to know where their food comes from. “Farmland” does a great job of bringing the consumer closer to the producer,” says Harrison.
Financial support was provided by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) for the making of the film.
USFRA hopes that the documentary will continue to spark conversations about modern agriculture by giving an honest and unbiased depiction of the story of today’s American farmers and ranchers.
McLean County Farm Bureau and Illinois State University Collegiate Farm Bureau are excited to bring the community a firsthand look into American agriculture by sponsoring the event.

Alan Look Photography Logo Alan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography
Images from recent games are available for viewing and purchase

Normal Community Ironmen, Normal Community West Wildcats, Ridgeview Mustangs, University High School Pioneers, Central Catholic Saints, Lexington Minutemen, ElPaso Gridley Titans, Illinois State University Redbird, Illinois Wesleyan Titan, State Farm Holiday Classic, McLean County Tournament, HOI Conference, Heart of Illinois

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Historic North Street

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coming next to the Historic

Normal Theater

All seats $7• Refreshments $1
Doors open 6:30 pm • Showtime 7:00 pm
Prize drawing every night
Great cartoons before classic movies
Hotline: 454-9722

A Beyond Normal Films Choice
Thurs. - Sun. • March 26 - 29
A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. (R/2014/107 min.)


issue of Best Look Magazine  Available
Best Look Magazine is a quarterly sports and leisure magazine featuring sports, events, and people primarily from McLean County.  Every story has a photo and every photo has a story. The magazine is published by Alan Look Photography.  Please check it out at your convenience at
Single issues availble.

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Creative Entries Sought for Renewable Fashion Challenge
The Ecology Action Center is looking for creative shoppers to participate in this year’s Renewable Fashion Challenge which will take place at the Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo on April 11 at the Illinois Wesleyan Shirk Center.
This event encourages consumers to extend the life of existing textiles, and spread out that environmental cost by re-using clothing which is already here. Each year in the U.S., 25 billion pounds of textiles are produced and over 21 billion pounds of textiles are sent to landfills. Getting a garment from design to retail store requires a mind-boggling amount of environmental resources – water, pesticides, chemicals, energy and more. Making a conscious choice to reduce our impacts through creative re-use can have significant environmental benefits.
Participants will find a fashion “look” from a magazine or online source. They will then scour area thrift stores, consignment shops and even their own closets to replicate that look, by using only pre-owned garments. The challenge will culminate with a fashion show at the April event.
The Ecology Action Center and RFC Co-sponsor Home Sweet Home Mission Mart will launch the 2015 Renewable Fashion Challenge at a Kick-Off event on Thursday, March 19, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mission Mart at 301 E Oakland in Bloomington. At this event, designers will receive discounts at the Mission Mart, have opportunities to win prizes and learn more about the challenge. Pre-registration is not required for the Kick-Off event, and attendance at the event is not required to participate in the challenge. The deadline for submitting final entries is April 2.
For a complete list of the rules for the Renewable Fashion Challenge, please visit Please contact Kris Hall at the Ecology Action Center with any questions at 309-454-3169 x.12 or

Family Science Day 2015 is Saturday, April 11
Family Science Day 2015 will encourage scientific discovery through hands-on activities, challenges and demonstrations from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in Redbird Arena at Illinois State University.
Family Science Day is a public-outreach event to educate and inspire K-8 students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “The event helps to raise awareness of the importance of STEM in our society,” said Sara McCubbins of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology, which organizes Family Science Day.
Family Science Day is the final day of the Spark! Festival, a week-long celebration of STEM as rich dimensions of everyday life and culture in central Illinois. Through a variety of events the Spark! Festival brings together several organizations to provide experiences that unite people in a spirit of exploration and that inspire minds—young and old—with the exhilaration of discovery. Some of the events include:
April 6 - Infinite HeArt Studios Art from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Infinite HeArt Studios – This event will explore mathematical angles, inertia, gravity and more to create pieces of art. This event is open to the public and costs $10.
April 7 - Challenger “SparkFest” Singles Mission from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Challenger Learning Center – This is a speed-dating event for people 18 and over. The evening will start with a pizza dinner and end with a simulated space mission. The event is open to the public and costs $20.
April 8 - Spark a 4-H Adventure from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension – This event is for children ages 6 to 12 and looks at how electricity can be made from everyday items.
April 9 - StickBombs with Andre Jefferson from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Metcalf Elementary School auditorium – Andre Jefferson is an 11-year-old boy with a passion for kinetics. Jefferson has a pending world record for the longest stick bomb. This is an ISU only event and requires an RSVP to Kara Pool at
The Chemistry of Food and Wine from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the White Oaks Vineyards – This event lets attendees experience a variety of flavors, and learn about the process of making wine. Wine and food samples will be provided throughout the evening. This event is open to adults that are 21-years-old and over and costs $25. RSVP by calling (309) 376-3027.
Youth Maker Night – Spark Your Curiosity, Ignite your Imagination from 5:30  to 7:30 p.m. at the Children’s Discovery Museum – Children ages 10 to 15 are welcome come use materials in the Maker Space, share ideas and work together to fabricate concepts.
April 10 - 14th Annual High School Research Symposium from 9 a.m. to  2 p.m. in Redbird Arena – High school students from around the state are invited to come showcase their research projects.  This event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Family Science Day or the Spark! Festival visit the website or contact the Center for Mathematics Science and Technology at (309) 438-3089 or

Heartland Theatre Company presents ‘The Glass Menagerie’
Opening April 9 with a Pay-What-You-Can Preview
Heartland Theatre Company opens the classic, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, on Thursday, April 9 with a Pay-What-You-Can Preview. Performances run through April 26. The play is sponsored by Drake Zimmerman and Jan Elfline.
Don LaCasse, Professor of Theatre and Head of the MFA Directing Program at Illinois State University, directs, featuring actors Connie de Veer, Joseph Faifer, Elsa Torner and Patrick Riley.
A classic of the American stage, The Glass Menagerie looks inside the suffocating St. Louis home of Amanda Wingfield, a former Southern belle whose life has left her marooned with two children she despairs of understanding. Tom, our narrator, wants only to be free, but his sister Laura, fragile and vulnerable, is tethered to their home through the small glass animals she has collected. (Mature Themes/Mature Language)
Performances will be April 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18, 19 and 23, 24, 25, 26 - 2015
 Sunday, April 19, Panel Discussion After The Matinee: The cast led by Connie de Veer, who is playing Amanda, will discuss why The Glass Menagerie still resonates so strongly in theatrical imaginations. De Veer is a professor in Illinois State University’s School of Theatre and Dance specializing in Acting, Voice/Speech/Dialects, Alexander Technique and Civic Engagement.
Ticket Prices: General Admission - $15, Senior Discount - $12, Student Discount - $5
Group Rates Available: Email for a rate quote.
Curtain Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees (No performance on Sunday, April 12.)
Location: 1110 Douglas St, One Normal Plaza, Community Activity Center .
For reservations call 309 452 8709 or email
Reservations recommended for all performances, except Pay-What-You-Can. No reservations taken on that night only for other than season ticket holders.
For more information check out our website:


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