Creative Differences

Fostering community through the arts.

by Maribeth Ling, box office lead at Raue Center For The Arts

Patrons have flocked to the Theater since as early as the fifth century, looking for a supportive and immersive experience. To be transported out of their own lives and into those on stage. It’s one of the things I love about the Theater: a passion my family helped instill in me.

One of the first live performances that I can recall seeing was my Uncle performing in 1776 at the Shady Lane Theater in Marengo. That performance steered me to want to try acting for myself. so my twin sister and I joined a production of Oliver Twist shortly after. It was an experience that led me to realize that I didn’t like being on stage. I enjoyed being behind the scenes much more than being in the spotlight. My sister, on the other hand, loved being onstage.

David M. Rubenstein once said that “The Performing Arts tend to unify people in a way nothing else does.” That is the beauty of the Theater. No matter who you are, there will be something that speaks to you—Introverts versus Extroverts, Music people versus Orators, Dramas versus Comedies. There is room for everyone at the Theater, whether they want to be in the spotlight or behind the scenes. My sister and I are a lot alike in many ways, but the theater gave us a place to express our differences and still share in a common experience.

I first came to Raue Center For The Arts in High School. My choir performed on its stage every year during the second semester. When we arrived, the first thing we took note of was its beauty. You can’t help but look around in awe at the Spanish-style décor. The lobby’s tile flooring and ironwork are not found in many areas. We couldn’t wait to perform on the stage, under the starlit sky. It’s a beautiful but relaxed environment.

Later on, I came to see the Whirling Dervishes, movie screenings, several WSR shows, and even a comedian or two. It wasn’t until I started to work here, however, that I understood what Raue Center for the Arts means to the Community. The Theater has a part in community events such as the Bob Blazier Run, the Johnny Appleseed Festival, and the 6×6 project. They provide space to different Dance studios and host their educational programs and shows. Marshall McLuhan once said, “Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” Through Education, they allow students to come into their own, developing their interests and help create their sense of community that will carry on for years to come.

I have never seen a more peer encouraged, supportive group of children than the students at Raue Center School For The Arts. The variety that is offered allows everyone to get involved in the Arts.

One of the best parts of my job is hearing about how the Raue has affected its patrons. We have had patrons come in with their families to share their memories in the building. Recently, a patron talked with me about how they used to work in the building when it was a movie theater. It was fun to listen to his memories of what the building looked like. I’ve overheard patrons talking about how they lived in the upstairs apartments, currently our 26N Lounge space. Another patron talked about how participating in the 6×6 project reignited their passion for art. Raue Center for the Arts is enriching lives for the best through the power of Performing Arts; I had no idea how much it was needed until I became a part of it.

Photo by Todd Heintz Photography.

Prairie Ridge Presents “Into the Woods”

Prairie Ridge Presents “Into the Woods”
KARI FIRAK JAN 21 2022 8:36 AM
Prairie Ridge Theatre presents “Into the Woods” for this year’s spring musical. Tickets are $10, get them while they last!


Performance Dates & Times:

Feb 25 – 7 p.m.
Feb 26 – 7 p.m.
March 3 – 7 p.m.
March 4 – 7 p.m.
March 5 – 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The Brothers Grimm hit the stage with an epic fairytale about wishes, family, and the choices we make. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony-winning show’s story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

More info at

CLS Theatre Presents: Mamma Mia!

Crystal Lake South Theatre presents “Mamma Mia!” for this year’s spring musical. Tickets are $10, and go on sale Friday, February 4, at 6:00 p.m.


Performance Dates & Times:

February 18, 19, 25 – 7:00 p.m.
February 26 – 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A large cast of non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers combine to make Mamma Mia! a guaranteed smash hit for any theatre. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!

More info at


original script Rob Fearn & Leo Appleton, and (obviously) adapted from the short story by Charles Dickens 

directed by Sheri Warren
music direction by Kyle Schneider
choreography & asst. direction by Billy Seger
musical arrangement by Evan Swanson & Kyle Schneider 

Adult Cast

Tony Calkins • Rachel Carreras • Christopher Davis Joe Lewis • Mark Mahallak • Erin O’Brien • Mary Rose

Youth Cast

Addison Ambrosia • Josh Annen • Piper Azzarello • Caleigh Banks • Carter Bergman • Liam Burke Mia Clifford • Hannah Covalt • David Daskalov • Kayleigh DeGeorge • Lorelai Dickson • Kennedy Farmer Charlotte Farmer • Annalee Fisher • Charlie Fisher • Addie Hartzheim • Kendra Heidtke • Elin Kaye Jonathan Kinkade • Reagan Kottke • Hazel Krotser • Makynli Kusch • Colin Lossman • Tara Maguire Emma McBreen • Fiona Miceli • Paige Montanye • Brooklyn Morey • Isabelle Mudra • Maddie Olszewski Easton Paulson • Olivia Price • Faye Radeni • Noah Rea • Brennan Reinhard • Meadow Roth • Courtney Schaal Tatum Schultz • Sydney Sullivan • Lucy Thome • Abigail Thompson • Charlotte Thompson • Brooke Ulen Blakely Voight • Katie Witt • Faith Zabielski • Olivia Zak • Audrey Zimmerman • Caroline Zimmerman Maggie Zimmerman • Natalie Zimmerman

RCSA Backstage Crew: Stella Thome, Mia Guerrieri, and Campbell Krausen 

Orchestra: Keyboard – Kyle Schneider | Guitar – Patrick Jansen Bass – Adam Huckeby
Drums – Aldren Briones | Reed – Barb Schotanus 

Photos courtesy of Todd Heintz Photography.


Stage Manager: Dan Mitchell
Assistant Stage Manager: Jaclyn Mitchell
Costume Designer: Patty Halajian
Lighting Designer/Props Master: Jarrod Bainter
Sound Designer: Commedore Clark
Scenic Designer/Charge Ar5st: William Schmiel
Teaching Assistant: Erin O’Brien
Founding Artistic Director: Richard Kuranda
Producer: Kyle Schneider
Associate Producer: Amanda Flahive

This amateur production is by arrangement with NODA Limited. RA Christmas Carol Script 


Improv Comedy for the whole family Finds a home at Raue Center!

Now in its 20th year, GreenRoom Improv joins Raue Center as one of its resident companies, performing its unique blend of clean, high-energy, multi-faceted improv comedy. Raue Center is the place to see GreenRoom Improv!

GreenRoom members include Dave Hunter, Matthew Aldis, Kerry Cox, Sam Barbaro, Christian Zierke, Miriam Naponelli, Jess Smith, Paul Gunsul (piano), & Erik Scheele (piano). For more information, visit

Recommended Audience: All Ages


GreenRoom Improv is an ensemble-based theatre company that specializes in improvisation. GreenRoom was founded by a group of Judson University (Elgin, IL) students in 1999 as a result of the cancellation of the school’s Theatre program. Since then GreenRoom has performed nationally for a wide range of audiences and events. They currently have residencies in two theaters: The Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, IL, and Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake, IL where they perform monthly. In addition to these residencies, GreenRoom plays multiple bookings throughout the year with their unique blend of clean, high-energy, multi-faceted improv comedy.

About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 

For additional information, visit or call the Box Office at 815.356.9212.


Don’t miss the first live theatrical production of Cary Grove High School’s 2021-2022 season!

Tickets are on sale now online and will be available at the door. Our CG Drama cast and crew are excited to welcome back our audiences for Failure: A Love Story!

By the end of 1928, all three Fail sisters will be dead – expiring in reverse order, youngest to oldest, from a blunt object to the head, disappearance, and finally, consumption. Tuneful songs and a whimsical chorus follow the story of Nelly, Jenny June, and Gerty as they live out their lives above the family clock repair shop near the Chicago River before their time unexpectedly runs out.

Cary Grove High School is excited to welcome back our CG Drama audience for this magical, musical fable where, in the end, the power of love is far greater than any individual’s successes or failures. Click on the button below to buy tickets.