Quincy Community Theatre welcomes VanCleave as guest director for ‘The Hobbit’


David VanCleave | Photo courtesy of Quincy Community Theatre

QUINCY — David A. VanCleave will serve as the guest director for Quincy Community Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Hobbit” from Oct. 19-22.

A two-time Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theatre Arts Award nominee for his direction of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” and “RENT,” VanCleave has directed “Cabaret,” “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” “James and the Giant Peach JR.,” “School of Rock,” “13,” “Little Women,” “Girls’ Weekend” and more.

VanCleave spent six years as executive artistic director at Des Moines Young Artists’ Theatre and has worked as an educator with community theatres, elementary, middle and high schools, colleges and more.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in theatre arts/directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University. VanCleave is the education coordinator and NewPlayFest dramaturg for AACT-American Association of Community Theatre, co-director of HOPE! Drama Troupe, and freelance director, dramaturg, and educator.

In a press release, VanCleave said, “I’m so excited to be working with Quincy Community Theatre for the first time. The majority of my directing career has been with young actors, and I’m honored to bring that experience to Quincy, where there’s a clear dedication to education and the imagination.”

Auditions for the show are August 27-28. Students, grades 5 and up, and adults can sign up to audition at 1qct.org/auditions.

“The Hobbit” tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield on their legendary quest to reclaim the dwarves’ ancestral home from the sinister dragon Smaug. From the Shire to the Battle of the Five Armies to deep underground — where a twisted creature guards his “precious” ring — Bilbo’s journey through Middle-earth abounds with peril, unparalleled adventure and a healthy helping of Hobbit humor.

“This will be my fourth journey to Middle-earth,” VanCleave said. “I made my theatre debut as a Goblin when I was 11 years old, played Tom the Troll when I was in high school and produced an award-winning production in 2015. I love revisiting this story with student artists because Bilbo’s character journey is so inspiring. Nobody expects him to be this brave and noble hero, but he rises to the occasion and proves he is capable of far more than people expect. I think the same is true with young people. They are mighty, fierce and capable of anything.”

Ticket price for “The Hobbit” is $13. Flex season ticket holders may reserve their tickets starting Wednesday, Sept. 13. Tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Monday, Sept. 25.

For more information, visit 1qct.org or call the QCT box office at 217-222-3209.

“The Hobbit” is sponsored by Refreshment Services Pepsi. QCT’s 2023 season is sponsored by Gardner Denver.

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