WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Small Theatre Group Taking On a Big Production

Feb 19, 2020

Scott Rasso said he got hooked on the rock opera Tommy when he was in high school.  Now he will direct a version of the classic story for the Prairie Players Civic Theatre in Galesburg.

TSPR asked Rasso if that’s a rather ambitious undertaking for a small community theatre.

“Yes, definitely,” Rasso replied with a laugh. “That’s putting it very lightly.”

Rasso said he pitched the show to the Prairie Players board a year ago and the group accepted his proposal in March of last year.

Now, it’s show time.

Prairie Players will present Tommy this weekend and next:

  • Friday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 23 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 29 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for students, and tickets are available online.

Rasso cautioned the story contains mature themes and is not for young children.  

“This isn’t just an artistic venture for me. This is me making a statement to the community saying these are issues and things that happen to children, and what we’re depicting on stage is completely real for somebody out there in this community,” Rasso said.

“This show is so much more than just entertainment. I hope people learn something from it. I hope that if nothing else they see something new that they’ve not seen before.”

Tommy is normally a big stage production. Rasso said he had to scale it down and make it more abstract for the intimate theatre at Prairie Players, which seats around 100.

Rasso said a four piece band will perform the music live and he said the cast includes some amazing singers.

“I hope we blow the roof off the place with live music and a full house. But I want it to be a spiritual experience. I hope that (the audience) can see themselves somewhere in the show and that the show will forever be a part of them,” he said.