Scarlet Cup Theatre has new leadership, New show “An Iliad” happening May 11

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

By Mimi Becker, Boyle County Arts Commission

Scarlet Cup Theater was founded in 2015 when local playwright Liz Orndorff and Linda Granacher of Lexington, a board member at the Actor’s Guild, met at the then-Community Arts Center in Danville.  The two exchanged ideas about local and creative theater possibilities.  Out of that conversation was born the Scarlet Cup Theater.  Liz and Linda along with Susan Shear provided the initial investment to get the show going.

The goal of the theater was to produce plays new to Danville audiences.  New works and American premiers of international playwrights were among the pieces selected through the years.  To enhance the artistic experience for the audiences, performances were set in unusual venues which were chosen to complement the theme of the play.  Audiences enjoyed performances at the airport, a repurposed church, a historic home, a distillery and a restaurant, among others.

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Early in the history of the theater, a partnership was formed with the Community Arts Center under the direction of center Executive Director, Mary Beth Touchstone.  This relationship provided the all-volunteer run theater with convenient management services.  Those services are now provided by the Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County.

In 2023, founder Liz Orndorff decided to retire along with long time board members Robert Orndorff and Nancy Martindale who had served in multiple roles over the years.

Waiting in the wings were Erika Sengstack and Daniel Bird Tobin who shifted seamlessly into the positions of Artistic Directors.  Both are experienced theater professionals.  Erika is not new to the theater scene of Danville.  She had starred in the successful Scarlet Cup production of “The Crossword Play” as well as performing for several summers at Pioneer Playhouse.  Daniel came to Danville to join the Theater faculty at Centre College.  Both have now made Danville their home.

From the first Scarlet Cup production of “Aidan’s Gift,” a play written by Liz Orndorff, in 2016, to “A Doll’s House” in 2023, the first show under the leadership of Daniel and Erika, Scarlet Cup has brought quality, innovative and entertaining theater to the local area.  A new feature was the introduction of “salons evenings” this past spring.  The evenings were an opportunity to perform short, small cast plays in individual home settings.  Each piece was selected to encourage audience interaction and discussion following the performance.

The next event, “An Iliad,” is a one-man show starring Daniel Bird Tobin in a role with which he is very familiar.  There is one performance on May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Boyle County Public Library.

As of press time, the show has sold out.  The performance is a benefit for the Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County.  Additional performances will be at Northpoint and in Chicago later in the summer.

For information and announcements on future productions of Scarlet Cup, follow the theatre on Facebook.