For The Republic

SEYMOUR — Seymour’s only performing arts theater started after a meeting at Steak ’n Shake.

Betty Baute and her daughter, Kathleen Baute of Brownstown and Michelle and Mich Callahan of Seymour met in July 2013 at the Seymour restaurant to get the Actors Community Theater of Seymour up and running.

The group’s first show, “Leading Ladies,” was presented eight months later in March 2014. Its sixth show wraps up this weekend.

“I Bet Your Life,” a suspense-comedy production, will be the first full-length production at the organization’s new location in Suite 208 at Shops at Seymour.

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Memberships, ranging from $5 to $200 or more, helped the organization acquire the new venue. That funding also allows the group to pay for production costs, including royalties, costumes, set materials, lighting and sound equipment.

“The beauty of this is it is all volunteer,” Betty said. “We have no paid employees.”

Following “Leading Ladies,” ACTS did a Neil Simon play, “Fools,” in August 2014. The other shows since then have been “A Greater Tuna,” “Kitchen Witches,” “Run for Your Wife” and “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues.”

Several of those productions were dinner theaters, and ACTS hopes to do at least one of those a year at the new location once tables are added.

Once “I Bet Your Life” ends, auditions are scheduled Sunday and Monday for the organization’s next show in June, and then ACTS plans to do a Christmas show in late November or early December.

If someone isn’t interested in acting onstage, Betty said each show has opportunities for directing, assistant directing, stage manager, props, backstage and lights.

With costuming, cast members typically bring items from home or buy something based on their character.

Betty said the board has discussed ways to grow and branch out. That includes doing different genres of shows, with a big goal being a Spanish-language performance, or offering workshops to help people learn more about the different aspects of theater.

“You have so many opportunities now because you have JCCT (Jackson County Community Theatre), you have ACTS, you have North Vernon, you have Hope,” McGill said of area theaters. “They are all fairly close, within about the same amount of driving distance, so it really gives us a bigger opportunity to put our talents to use.”

If you go

What: Actors Community Theater of Seymour’s production of “I Bet Your Life”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; doors open at 7 p.m. with seating limited to 50 patrons per night

Where: Shops at Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 208, Seymour

Cost: $12; may be purchased by credit or debit card online at or reserved by texting or calling 812-498-2127; concessions will be available preshow and during intermission

Cast: Jeremy Hendrix as literary agent Greg Larson; Zach Thompson as Matt Stoddard, Larson’s friend and soap opera writer; Kathleen Baute as Stacy Kingsley, Larson’s secretary; Elyse McGill as the cook; Brett Hays as the plumber; Ashley Browning and Tim Gordon as the folksy neighbors; and Sherrie Wittenbring as the strange, otherworldly authoress

At a glance

Actors Community Theater of Seymour is a not-for-profit organization of volunteer actors, directors, producers, set builders and others who support live theater productions.

ACTS recently moved into its new location in Suite 208 at Shops at Seymour, 357 Tanger Blvd., Seymour.

Its funding largely depends on an annual membership drive. Membership prices range from $5 for students to $200 or more for a goal membership.

Information: visit or