Treats not tricks with Jacksonville’s arts

October is the month of midnight and strange visits and sound that go bump in the night as we prepare for the festivities of Halloween and All Saints Day and celebrate the season of fall with scary stories, masquerades, trick-or-treating, pumpkin spiced everything, football and bonfires. Jacksonville is going to inspire a little creativity within you this year!

The Imagine Foundation kicks off the second weekend of October on Thursday, the thirteenth, with their second annual performance poetry competition, held at the Asa Talcott House at 859 Grove Street. You are invited to come compete or just watch. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for mingling or for registering to compete. The competition begins at 7 p.m. There are cash prizes for first and second place winners. Playhouse On The Square premieres the work: “Farmscape: The Changing Rural Environment,” a staged reading about the world of farming … past, present and future, directed by Dorothy Hutchison-Gross. The cast will include: Sissy Brown, Barb Gatlin, Jim Hepworth, Kevin Klein, Rich McCoy, Katie Phelps, Christ Proffitt and John Woodruff. Performances will be October 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and October 16 at 2 p.m. Don’t forget about the annual Pumpkin Fest held downtown on Saturday, October 22, beginning at 8 a.m. This event gets larger and more colorful each year. Take advantage of the opportunity to create a festive atmosphere with the pumpkin playland, inflatables, pumpkin drops, costume parade, the pumpkin pie eating contest, an amazing pet costume contest and the fun trick-or-treating at the downtown businesses!

Playhouse On The Square gets the Halloween weekend started with their new play entirely cast with young adults. “Poe! Poe! Poe!” will be a celebration of the life and works of the master poet who brought us such macabre and eerie works like: “The Black Cat,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and the classic “The Raven.” This piece featuring our talented up-and-coming actors plays for only two performances, on October 29 and 30, each at 7:30 p.m. The Fine Arts Series at Illinois College will be welcoming Scott Montgomery, prizewinning organist. Acclaimed as a sensitive and rock solid performer, he is sought after for concert performances for the pipe organ in all venues. His performances have included new organ dedications, AGO and OHS National Conventions, and concerts in concert halls and churches throughout the United States. As a recording artist, he has debuted albums on the Pro Organo, Regent Records and Raven Records labels. The concert will be at Rammelkamp Chapel at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at the door. October 29 will also bring back Imagine’s annual Progressive Halloween Party, hosted at four locations in town. Clare Lynd-Porter told me, “This delicious event bounces from spooky home to haunted house. This year we’re offering a few different ticket options, but spots are limited, so get your tickets quickly. Single tickets are $25, two tickets for $40 and a one course pass of $10 gets you into one of your choice of courses/homes.” Tickets are available for purchase now at Soap Co. Coffee House. Addresses are provided to guests, but hosts include Allison Pratt, Deanna WarBonnet and Nicole Riley.

Getting “tricked” can truly be a drag, so please ensure that you take advantage of all these wonderful events and make sure your “treated” to all the Jacksonville arts has to offer you this October!

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