Thompson Theater Holding Reside ‘Star Trek’ Efficiency Nov. 12

Calling all Trekkies — fans of the classic science fiction series will have the opportunity to watch a live onstage performance of a “Star Trek” episode at the Thompson Square Community Theater Nov. 12.

Calling all Trekkies — fans of the classic science fiction series will have the opportunity to watch a live onstage performance of a “Star Trek” episode at the Thompson Square Community Theater Nov. 12.

The theater will be performing an episode of “Star Trek: The Empath” after completing licensing conversations with CBS, which first began in 2020, according to an Oct. 20 press release.

“I’ve been a ‘Star Trek’ fan since I was a teen, so this performance is practically a lifelong dream come true for me as a director,” said theater Director Nadia Wheeler. “Our stage manager, Sheryl Roessner, is also a huge ‘Star Trek’ fan and was part of the discussions that led to our theater being able to perform this show.”

Wheeler said their amazing cast is made up of actors who were already big fans of the show and some who were introduced to the franchise through being a part of the theatrical performance.

“It’s been so rewarding to see some actors being able to fulfill their dreams of becoming these iconic characters and others becoming new fans of ‘Star Trek’ through their participation in this show,” Wheeler said, adding she could not get the idea of performing the original series episode out of her head after taking a pandemic-enforced break from theater in 2020.

“I rewatched the original series episode, ‘The Empath,’ a personal favorite of mine, and was struck by how its simplicity in setting and the gripping story would make a wonderful stage play. The story provides a ton of absolutely iconic character moments for Spock, Kirk and Dr. McCoy in particular, and I loved that the central message is one of self-sacrifice and care for others,” said Wheeler. “I made an inquiry via e-mail in early 2021 to CBS asking if they ever license episodes to be performed and if they would consider licensing ‘The Empath.’ No one was more surprised than I was when I received a reply, and after many conversations with them, our theater group and more pandemic-related rescheduling, we were able to sign a contract to license the episode to be performed this November.”

Located on the square in Thompson, the theater company has been entertaining audiences for 18 years with a repertoire of plays, including literary adaptations, original scripts, variety shows, Shakespeare and more.

Wheeler said everyone involved in the show has been putting incredible amounts of effort into creating their characters and realizing the world of “Star Trek” onstage.

“Every single rehearsal, I find something new to appreciate in their performances and how much they have grown into these characters since we began. We are very thankful for Thompson United Methodist church for being a place where we can bring all these shows to life, and their support has been extremely key in making this happen,” said Wheeler.

While finding props for the show has been challenging, the theater has been utilizing 3D printing technology to bring some of the scientific gadgets into the hands of the crew, she said.

“Finding a match for the iconic captain’s chair was a daring mission in itself. We found a seller in Solon who had a chair that was a good match for the original series, but it did not come apart, so driving it home in a tiny trunk was a bit of a challenge,” said Wheeler. “The cast and crew have a huge love for ‘Star Trek’ and we are all taking such joy in being able to bring it to life as best we can.”

The performance will be one night only and performances are free and open to the public with a donate-what-you-will policy.

Audience members are encouraged to arrive on time as seating is first come, first served.

“This is a unique experience for our community and to anyone who loves ‘Star Trek,’ we are performing the episode exactly as written, with a ton of love for the story and the characters,” said Wheeler. “I hope that fans and non-fans alike will really enjoy seeing the show with our talented group of actors. The story and characters are so well realized, that even if you are not familiar with the episode, it will be fun and easy to follow.”