SCT fundraiser offers free cheese, lots of laughs

SALEM – For a $10 admission price, ticket holders can expect some free wine and cheese, use of the restrooms and lots of laughs as the Salem Community Theatre presents “The Great American Comedy Roast” at 8 p.m. June 6 and 7.

Live from 490 E. State St. in Salem, the show features past and present SCT Board members, actors and actresses performing comedy sketches in the mature-audiences-only vein of the long-running Saturday Night Live.

“This is our big fundraiser for the year,” board president Dan Haueter said.

Written and directed by Haueter, the show dubbed the third and final installment of the sketch comedy series will focus on infomercials, movies and anything else cast members choose to roast. Past installments have lampooned Hollywood and Halloween.

“From colon cleansing infomercials, after life death benefits, retirement homes, Christian Children’s Adoption Network and dating sites, this show brings an evening packed full of laughter and ‘did they just go there’ moments,” a written release said.

Musical guest hosts for the night will include Scandinavia, described as “the hottest pop/disco/country/crossover band to ever come out of Greenland. A two-man band, they’re also part-time magicians.

Haueter said people will be on stage who have never been on stage before. The cast includes board members (some who have acted and some who have not) intermixed with regulars from the SCT stage. Past board members are returning to take part in the show.

The cast includes board members Carolyn Slaven, Dave Wack, Barry Hinchliffe, Marsha Wilson, Ed Butch, Angie Johnson and Charity Mondak, along with Dick and Kathy Fawcett, Ava Haueter, Karen Losito, Abby Cull, Scott Wickersham, Ally Oyster and D.J. DePanicis.

Theatre Manager Gary Kekel said money raised will help pay for anything and everything associated with SCT operations. Some of those costs can include set building, lights, utilities, microphones, replacement and upgrading of the sound system, licensing royalties, directors and musicians. The more popular the show, the more the rights cost to stage a production of that show.

“All that adds up,” Kekel said.

Haueter said they’re hoping to raise at least $3,000 from the two nights of comedy. As a nonprofit, he said that money is sometimes crucial in keeping SCT above water so they can put on quality productions.

“This is one of the few continuous cultural venues in town,” Kekel said.

In trying to drum up support for the theatre, he said there’s value in not only what goes on at SCT but also the spin-off economy from visitors going to dinner both before and after the show or patronizing other Salem businesses while in town.

The theatre is also attracting people from surrounding areas, which has been a goal of SCT to widen its net and offer visitors “quality entertainment and show them what a nice town Salem is,” he said.

To secure tickets ahead of time, call the box office at 330-332-9688 or purchase them the night of the show. Doors will open at 7 p.m. for the pre-show wine and cheese offering.

The final show of the 2013-2014 season is “The Producers,” set for the first two weekends in August, beginning Aug. 1. The list of productions for the 2014-2015 season will be announced soon, but Kekel said that list includes the comedy “Unnecessary Farce” starting Sept. 12, along with “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” “Nuncracker” from the Nunsense series, the drama “A Few Good Men,” a Neil Simon comedy, and the musical “Oliver.”

To learn more about SCT, visit the website at