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Indian Valley Theatre Grows From Its Humble Beginnings

Next month, the theater group will perform The Sound of Music at the Sandwich Opera House.

After years of waiting in the wings, Dan Rosier decided to step into the spotlight.

Four years ago, at the suggestion of his wife, the resident auditioned with his children for a role in Seussical at the Sandwich Opera House.

He was 41 at the time.

“This was one of those things where I’d threatened for years and years that I’d love to get into acting,” Rosier said. “My wife said, ‘Why don’t you and the kids go and see if you make it?' So I went to the audition completely thinking the kids are going to get in and I won’t do anything.”

To his surprise, they were all cast.

“I wasn’t given a major role, but one that was still fun and exciting,” Rosier said. “And I haven’t stopped since.”

These days, he is president of Indian Valley Theatre, an Illinois not-for-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation and development of the performing arts in the Fox Valley area.

Indian Valley Theatre was founded in 1983, originally hosting children’s workshops.

“That was the only thing we did,” Rosier said. “Which we still do today. Then we grew from doing workshops to scripted plays. Now we’re doing a little bit of everything.”

Indian Valley Theatre's debut in the historic Opera House was April 12, 1986, with The Showcase, a review of all their previous shows, Rosier said. Since then, Indian Valley Theatre has put on more that 100 performances, including Sugar, The Music Man, The Mousetrap, Hello Dolly!, Steel Magnolias, Accommodations, Oklahoma!, The Odd Couple, Fiddler on the Roof, Neil Simon’s Rumors, Cheaper by the Dozen, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and what has become a bi-annual holiday tradition, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Next month, the group will perform The Sound of Music at the Sandwich Opera House.

Show dates and times for the performance are 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14; 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 20; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. Tickets, which are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students, are now on sale at www.indianvalleytheatre.com. Seating is general admission.

The group also puts on shows at the River's Edge Theatre, which just opened in downtown Yorkville.

Members of Indian Valley Theatre come from all over the area, Rosier said.

“We get people from Yorkville, Oswego, Plano and Sandwich, and from as far as West Chicago, Wheaton, and Glen Ellyn, and sometimes even farther depending on the show,” he said. “The Sound of Music is a one that brought a lot of people from all over the place. And we get folks we’ve never seen before at our auditions, folks we see all the time. It’s a total melting pot of folks that came out.”

Rosier enjoys being a part of the theater company.

“For me, it’s two-fold,” he said. “The mission of Indian Valley Theatre is to further the arts in the community. We want to make sure we’re giving people an opportunity to get exposed to theater at any age. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kid in first grade or somebody like myself who was 41 when this started.”

The other perk to his involvement?

“I get a kick out of performing on stage,” he said.

For questions about the upcoming performance of The Sound of Music, call 815-793-2310. Tickets will also be available for sale one hour before shows at the Opera House box office.

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