Meet the cast of CTH’s “Love Machine”: Erin Ellis loves this show’s “quirky, crazy, hilarious characters”

The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting “Love Machine: An Evening of One Acts” on April 30-May 2, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. All performances take place at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell.

“Love Machine: An Evening of One-Acts” features five highly entertaining one-act plays, with a heavy emphasis on comedy.

The show is directed by Rick Spangler and produced by Linda Peasley and Kim Carnahan. Technical director is Chris Eldred and stage manager is Madison LeMieux.

Masks must be worn in the audience and social distancing will be observed. Tickets are $10, available by clicking here.

Leading up to this weekend’s shows, the Livingston Post will be introducing you to members of the cast.

IIn today’s story, we meet Erin Ellis of Milford. In addition to theater, she’s into swing dancing, spending time with family and friends, working out, and planning her wedding.

How did you first become involved with CTH? How many shows have you been involved with?

Erin Ellis

My mom’s friend knew I loved the theater and had suggested me to come audition for CTH’s radio play. I figured I would put myself out there and show off my different voices! Since then, I’ve been a part of at least five of WCTH’s radio shows in the past three years!! But this is the first non-radio show play that I’ve been a part of since high school! 

What are some favorite roles or theater experiences from the past, either with CTH or other groups?

This is a hard one as I have been blessed with many unique roles. Like an Oyster from “Alice in Wonderland,” or June from “Chicago,” and I’ll never forget being Bugsy in “The Defective Detective.”

Gracie Allen from WCTH Rasio Hour has been my most memorable part out of the three years I’ve been with CTH. My counterpart who played George Burns would make each other laugh and improv throughout all our rehearsals. It was a hoot!

Regina Musgrave from our recent WCTH Radio Hour, Sherlock Holmes series, is also a recent favorite (and where I got many ideas for the voice of The Interpreter in “Love Machine”). Though if I were to be honest, The Interpreter in “Arabian Nights” from “The Love Machine” is probably my favorite of all time. I don’t think I’ve ever been this over the top with a character before, or in real life – and that’s sayin’ something! 

What do you like most about being involved with CTH?

I don’t want to sound like everyone else and say they’re like family, but the truth of the matter is: they are! Need wedding venue advice? They got you. Want to go thrift shopping for golden sequenced plants? They’ll go!

We’re all supportive of each other no matter the role, front stage, back stage, tech, etc. As long as we can make each other laugh, we’re having a good time. I have yet to have a rehearsal where everyone is dead-serious. 

Tell us about “The Love Machine” and why you like this show.

This show is particularly different, as none of the acts have anything to do with each other. They’re mini “one acts” and it’s a lot to memorize when you’re in more than one. Each of us play a minimum of at least three different distinct characters, and I honestly forget that there’s only six of us in the cast!

I love it because all of us get to see each other’s talent, skills, and humor, and it’s been great getting to know them outside of the Radio Hour work. I’m going to miss it when this ends! 

What can the audience expect with this production?

Quirky, crazy, hilarious characters and some absurd acts! Some are like an oddball Twilight Zone episode with a romantic twist on them, others you might need to shut your brain off and enjoy the ridiculousness. But seriously, if you’re not laughing, we did something wrong!

Erin Ellis

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