Director excited to tackle 'Come Blow Your Horn' for Parkland's student production

Director excited to tackle 'Come Blow Your Horn' for Parkland's student production

CHAMPAIGN — Neil Simon's comedy "Come Blow Your Horn" comes to Parkland's theater starting tonight as the 28th annual student production.

The story of totally different brothers Alan and Buddy Baker launched the career of America's most famous comic playwright.

And now it's launching student careers.

Melissa Goldman directs a cast that includes David Katz, Thom Billam, Celia Mueller, Lizz Morris, David Laker and HeatherAnn Layman.

Goldman, a Paxton native, first saw "Come Blow Your Horn" at Cissna Park's Country Theatre Workshop in 2013.

"I found the play hilarious and just a feel-good show. I left the theater with a sense of joy and want people to experience the same joy I had when seeing this show for the first time," she said.

Because her high school didn't have a theater program, she joined the band.

"After that, I made sure to be a part of a community theater production every summer. I decided then to major in theater performance, which I am currently doing at Parkland," she said.

For a student production, "I had to think about the budget and costs, and what we could put on within the space of the black box (second stage) theatre," Goldman said.

She chose "Come Blow Your Horn" for its smaller cast because it was a six-person cast and simpler set construction. And because people love comedies, she added.

Goldman "set the show the best I could in 1967, because I love the fashion and colorfulness of the time period in which the characters' mannerisms show."

She said working with all student designers was interesting.

"I was able to choose all my designers from my peers. Since our students were volunteers, it was making sure the students' hearts were in the project and that they truly enjoyed what they were doing," Goldman said.

The limited resources made her grateful the designers were able to be fully creative.

Goldman is a Parkland Theatre Performance Scholarship student.

If you go

What: "Come Blow You Horn"

Where: Harold & Jean Miner Theatre's Second Stage, Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday, Sunday and Feb. 15-16; 3 p.m. Feb. 17. Talkback after tonight's show.

Tickets: $10

Reservations: 217-351-2528

Topics (2):Education, Theater