Scottville native to direct one-night performance at arts center

June 2, 2014
Jeff Croff

Jeff Croff

LUDINGTON — Lansing resident and Scottville native Jeff Croff will present a one-night performance of “The Four Disgracers” on Saturday, June 14 at Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

Croff is a 1988 graduate of Mason County Central High School and received his degree from Michigan State University. He has written, acted and directed for theatre in nearly 50 productions. He has won awards for directing and been nominated for acting.

The name of the troupe was inspired by a trip to the Detroit Institute of Art and the engravings of Hendrick Goltzius called The Four Disgracers. Croff then recruited four local playwrights to develop short plays. each derived from a different Greek myth. After months of writing and rewriting, The Four Disgracers took shape with “Distance from the Son”; “Tantalizing Menu”; “Empty” and “Icarus Flying”.

“Distance from the Son” by O.G. Ueberoth transforms Phaeton into Pate, a manchild struggling to find himself and deal with his daddy issues. Helios has become a cantankerous old soldier, who is helping out with conflicts as well as his usual duties.

“Tantalizing Menu” by Sarah Hauck takes us front and center with a family dinner filled with backbiting, acrimony and new menu items. Tantalus becomes a nervous and edgy host hoping that everyone appreciates his time in the kitchen.

“Empty” by Brad Rutledge transforms the tet a tet between Zeus and Ixion into a meeting of a mafia don with his lieutenant. Tough guys talk and get a little nervous as truths come out.

“Icarus Flying” by A. S. Freeman offers a fresh perspective on the myth. We enter a totalitarian world and learn Icarus’s mom’s perspective.

The Four Disgracers was conceived by Croff. who is also director. “It struck me that the inspiration for our name could also inspire our first production,” said Croff. The name of the troupe was inspired by a trip to the Detroit Institute of Art and the engravings of Hendrick Goltzius called “The Four Disgracers”. Croff then recruited four playwrights to develop short plays. each derived from a different Greek myth. After months of writing and rewriting, “The Four Disgracers” took shape with “Distance from the Son”; “Tantalizing Menu”; “Empty” and “Icarus Flying”.

“The Four Disgracers” features actors Joseph Mull, Rico Bruce Wade, Angharad McGauhey, Michael Stornant, Cassie Little, Rikki Perez and Croff. Joining these original members of the cast will be Scottville resident Ann Genson, manager of the Ludington Center for the Arts, performing the monologue “Icarus Flying”.

“It’s exciting and a little nerve-wracking,” Croff said. “I’m excited to bring this new work to a new audience, but also a little nervous. You wonder if a former teacher from high school will show up and point out where the grammar isn’t quite right or the liberties we’ve taken with the original myths. I am very proud to contribute to Ludington’s ongoing focus to grow the arts in the community.”

The arts center is located at 107 S. Harrison St. Tickets will be $10 at the door. Tickets can also be purchased online via eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ixion-presents-the-four-disgracers-tickets-11826558555.

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