Artists’ Ensemble’s ‘Arty-Joke’ benefit at Maddox Theatre Feb. 4

Arty-Joke performers include top row, from left: Erin Koroll, Stephen F. Vrtol and Patte Armato-Lund; middle row, from left: Richard Raether, Jodi Beach and David Gingerich; and bottom row, from left: Linda Abronski, Gary Wingert and Katie Maringer. (Image provided)

Staff Report

When a group of artists bands together to put on a show with music and plenty of laughs, it’s, well, kind of an arty joke.

Arty-Joke, Artists’ Ensemble (AE) Theater’s annual benefit, takes place at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4, in the Maddox Theatre at Rockford College.

The tremendous line-up of performers, all donating their time and talent, includes Jodi Beach, Patte Armato-Lund, Tim Anderson, Steve Vrtol, David Gingerich, Timm Adams, Scott Chachula, Linda Abronski, Dennis Johnson, Carolyn Cadigan, Rachel Handlin, Jim McDowell, Erin Koroll, Gary Wingert, Richard and Margaret Raether, Katie Maringer, John Chase and more.

In addition, AE will announce their 2012-2013 season at Arty-Joke.

We have BIG surprises in store for the ’12-’13 season,” said AE Artistic Director Richard Raether. “During the evening, as each play is announced, the audience will see a short scene from each show performed by Ensemble members.”

This year’s Arty-Joke theme is “Better Together: Artists’ Ensemble & You,” and the show highlights the community outreach of AE. Friends of AE such as One Less Tenor, the Vocal Collective of Rockford College, and string players from the Music Academy will also perform.

Tickets are $30 and all proceeds benefit AE. To purchase tickets, call the AE box office at (815) 904-2277 or purchase tickets online at

AE is the professional theater in residence at Rockford College.

From the Feb. 1-7, 2012, issue

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