Baby It’s Cold Outside, But It’s Warm In Playcrafters: Barn Theatre!

My friends and I (all retired from Black Hawk College) like to support local theatre so our most recent visit was to see Arsenic and Old Lace at Playcrafters Barn Theatre in Moline, Ill. Located in the middle of an upscale neighborhood , the theatre was established in 1929 and provides live entertainment throughout the year.

arsenicWondering about the history of this venue, I went to their website and learned that “Playcrafters’ history traces its roots back to the office of Mel Hodges, Municipal Recreation Commission Superintendent Rock Island, Illinois, in the 1920’s, and a group known as Marshall Dramatics.  Several theatre enthusiasts in the Quad Cities area of Western Illinois (Rock Island, Moline) and Eastern Iowa (Davenport, Bettendorf) had formed groups to quench their thirst for theatre by meeting to read plays.  In 1929 these enthusiasts banded together to stage their own shows under the name conceived by Hodges – Playcrafters.”

The barn itself was purchased for a nominal fee in 1958 with the first stage production, Born Yesterday, at the site in October of 1960. Over the years the barn has been renovated into the theatre that it is today.

On the day that we attended, it was very cold and blustery so the Sunday matinee performance was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. We bundled up and upon arrival were immediately warmed by the casual and comfortable interior of the theatre. (We had not reserved tickets but I would suggest it.) We enjoyed the refreshment area for intermission that serves snacks, drinks and plenty of comfortable seating for conversation. It may have been cold outside, but Playcrafters made us feel warm and welcome.

Before The Performance
Before The Performance

The stage is surrounded by intimate seating on three sides so that we could choose the perspective of the stage that we preferred. Most of us were familiar with the movie version of the play which starred Cary Grant, so it was fun to see how the director chose to interpret the play.

FullSizeRenderReading the program and brochure at intermission, we decided that we will attend the next productions. They are an interesting mix of comedy and drama.

mamawontflyMarch 11-12-13 & 18-19-10

womancalledtruthMay 13-14-15 & 20-21-22

ongoldenpondJuly 8-9-10 & 15-16-17

deathtrapSeptember 9-10-11 & 16-17-18

stockingstuffersNovember 11-12-13 & 18-19-20

Playcrafters Barn Theatre

4950 35th Avenue, Moline, IL

309-762-0330 box office or www.playcrafters.com

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About the author

Deborah Doehler As a life-time resident of the Quad Cities, Deborah is a multi-media artist who works in jewelry, painting, pottery, drawing, collage, and design. Deborah is retired from Black Hawk College after working for 35 years in Marketing as an award-winning graphic designer, writer, supervisor and graphics coordinator. Since 1975, she has had her own design company and studio. You’ll find Deborah serving on the Visual and Public Arts Committee for Quad City Arts where she was a board member for 8 years. She supports art and cultural events in the Quad Cities area including volunteering for events at MidCoast Fine Arts Bucktown Center for the Arts where she leases a gallery space. She served as Marketing Director for Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts for 15 years.

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