Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 1:52 pm

McBain's 'Altar Call' opens at District Theatre

Comment on this story

By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Photo:
Angela Rathman stars as Maggie in the District Theatre production of 'Altar Call,' opening this weekend.
Seven years after debuting in Moline, former Quad-Cities playwright Melissa McBain's drama "Altar Call" will open Friday at The District Theatre, 1611 2nd Ave., Rock Island.

The work was produced by Playcrafters Barn Theatre in 2005, and a Dispatch/Argus review called it "a well-considered, complex show," resulting in "a striking, resonant, must-see production."

Maggie Stone (Angela Rathman), a 40-year-old minister's daughter, is trapped between the needs of her gay son, the demands of her Baptist father's church, and the desires of her physician husband. As the action shifts between the sacred and the secular, the church and Maggie's home, we experience a volatile mix of sexuality and religion, and faith and family explode, according to a District Theatre synopsis.

In addition to Ms. Rathman, the cast features Jerry Wolking, Bobby Duncalf, Patrick Gimm, Nicholas Waldbusser, Liz Blackwell, Dana Moss Peterson, Michael Carron, Jeff Blackwell, Melissa Scott and Martha Davenport -- all of whom are making their District debuts.

"They're very excited to be doing a show out here," said director Bryan Woods of Colona, who recently recently seen in the District play, "The Best Man," and directed Playcrafters' "Moving" this past July.

"It's just a great message; I thought it was a very powerful show," he said of "Altar Call." "Itdeals with homosexuality in the church, the mother's acceptance of choice, questions of faith and family -- the choices we make in our lives."

Ms. McBain -- who lives in Philadelphia,where she works as a professional playwright and teaching artist -- was last seen in the Quad Cities in May when The District Theatre presented her one-woman show, "Going Back Naked."

"Altar Call" will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (plus Dec. 6-8), and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 9. Ticketsare $15, available at (309) 235-1654 or by sending an email to tristan@districttheatre.com.