Aug 24, 25, 26, 30, 31, Sept 1, 2018

Spoon River Anthology
by Charles Aidman, Edgar Lee Masters, Naomi Caryl Hirshhorn
Directed by Phil Funkenbusch


Spoon River Anthology is a stage adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters’ classic book of poems that took the poetry world by storm when it was published in 1916.  Masters’ based the characters in the book (who all speak from the grave) on people he knew during his time living in Petersburg & Lewistown, Illinois.


The last Theatre in the park production of Spoon River Anthology was staged in 1999 and 2000. The production will have an Ensemble of 12-18 actors, with music by Mark Mathewson. Among the poems in the play: Fiddler Jones, Margaret Fuller Slack, Doc Meyers,  Lucius Atherton, Hannah Armstrong, Hod Putt, Ida Frickey, Daisy Fraser, Benjamin Pantier,Lucinda Matlock, Alexander Throckmorton and Anne Rutledge. There will be some singing, as well as a square-dance performed.



Director's Bio:


Phil Funkenbusch (Director) of Petersburg is happy revisit Spoon River Anthology at New Salem. A few years ago, Phil took a sabbatical in Springfield, and traveled down to Georgia and directed Tom Poland’s, SWAMP GRAVY: Solid Ground in 2012. Phil has directed numerous productions, such as The Last of Mrs. Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. He has directed many productions at New Salem over the years including To Kill A Mockingbird, Our Town, Spoon River Anthology, Steel Magnolias, Between Daylight and Boonville, The World of Carl Sandburg, and Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years. Phil’s hometowns are Carrollton, Missouri and Havana, Illinois.


Cast and Rehearsal Information:

Theatre in the Park Auditions                                 SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY  

Sat., March 24, 2018                                                        Perf.:  Aug. 24-26 & Aug. 30 –Sept. 1

                                                                                                                (Fri.-Sun. & Thurs.-Sat.)


Sign up for an audition time here. Auditions are every 15 minutes.


For Spoon River Anthology, rehearsals will be held in the evenings, Monday – Thursday until adding Fridays prior to show week. There could be one or two daytime weekend rehearsals but would be cleared with the cast before scheduling. All rehearsals take place in Petersburg (at New Salem or the Wagon Wheel Building, which is at the entrance to the park off the highway).

Rehearsals begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Since the play is made up of poems, individual work with Phil could also take place in Springfield. Poetry memorization must take place prior to rehearsals beginning. Mark Mathewson is Music Director.


7 weeks commitment, which includes rehearsals & performances.

Phil works diligently to create a workable rehearsal schedule for all. It is important that no performer miss his/her scheduled rehearsal. This is an Ensemble production; all actors

are onstage the entire time. Looking for an ensemble of 12-14 actors, male & female, age: late teens to senior citizen.


Tentative Rehearsal Schedule (a finalized schedule will be sent out after casting).


Mon. July 16             

Tues. July 17            

Wed. July 18             

Thurs. July 19          


Mon. July 23            

Tues. July 24            

Wed. July 25             

Thurs. July 26         


Mon. July 30

Tues. July 31             

Wed. Aug. 1                

Thurs. Aug. 2


Mon. Aug. 6  

Tues. Aug. 7

Wed. Aug. 8

Thurs. Aug. 9


Mon. Aug. 13

Tues. Aug. 14

Wed. Aug. 15  

Thurs. Aug. 16

Fri. Aug. 17 


Sun. Aug. 19

Mon. Aug. 20  

Tues. Aug. 21     

Wed. Aug. 22   

Thurs. Aug. 23

FRI. Aug. 24   Perf. #1             

SAT. AUG. 25   Perf. #2

 SUN. AUG. 26  Perf. #3


THURS. AUG. 30  Perf. #4

 FRI. AUG. 31           Perf. #5

 SAT. SEPT. 1          Perf. #6 (final & strike)