On Dec. 31, two local actors and brothers, Jay and Nate Torrence, will be performing live a Holmes County favorite, Corn Beef & Cabbage. The show was offered to help raise funds to support missionaries from Berlin Christian Fellowship and other mission groups supported by the church.
"We are so thankful that Jay and Nate Torrence would offer such a cool fundraiser for our missionaries. These missionaries do some amazing things in the nations they serve in and we love that this fundraiser will help them financially," said a spokesperson for the Missions Committee at BCF. "It is a win for everyone! Our community loves the Corn Beef & Cabbage show and we get to help some great causes, while laughing into 2013!"
The performance will start on New Year's Eve at 8 p.m. in the sanctuary at Berlin Christian Fellowship; doors will open at 7:30 p.m. sharp. Tickets are available at the Gospel Bookstore in Berlin or at Berlin Christian Fellowship. The cost of the tickets is $12 for advance purchases, $10 for groups of 15 or more, and $15 at the door (if not sold out). Seats are limited.
Corn Beef & Cabbage was originally formed out of the Berlin Christian Fellowship youth group in the summer of 1996. Members included Jay Torrence, Nate Torrence and Josh Ruth, with Ryan Torrence (then BCF's youth pastor) as the manager. Josh moved out of state to attend Bible school in 1998, while Jay and Nate continued performing in local coffee houses, youth groups and high schools. In 1999, BCF sent the comedy duo to the Christian Artists Competition in Estes Park, Colo. Corn Beef & Cabbage won first place in Best Drama Team and second place in Best Dramatic Writing. This earned them the privilege to open for Stephen Curtis Chapman in a live concert event also in Estes Park. In 2000, the group performed their last show at Hiland High School. Since then, both Jay and Nate have pursued careers in theater as well as television and film.
Today, performer/writer Jay Torrence is an ensemble member with Chicago's Neo-Futurist Theater Company where he has written and performed more than 400 short plays in Chicago's longest running late night show "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." Jay's full-length playwriting credits include Burning Bluebeard and Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck. Burning Bluebeard received critical acclaim and was listed best fringe, best ensemble and best of theater 2011 by The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun Times, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio and Time Out Chicago. Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck was awarded the John W. Schmid Award for Outstanding New Work and The After Dark Award for Outstanding Production. Roustabout received a second production as part of Chicago's Theatre on the Lake season. Jay has had the privilege of performing with Redmoon Theater, 500 Clown, and touring nationally to The New Victory Theater (New York), The Shakespeare Theater (Washington, D.C.) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Washington, D.C.) Torrence was listed in Chicago's Newcity Top 50 Influential People on Stage and was the recipient of the Prairie Fire Award for Creative Non Fiction, The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Non Fiction. He earned his MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and currently teaches theater and performance studies at The University of Chicago. His newest play script goes into production at Chicago's Hypocrites Theatre this May.
Actor Nate Torrence is a 1996 Hiland graduate who moved from Berlin to Los Angeles in the summer of 2000. Nate got his first big break and gained national recognition for his work in several commercial campaigns including Capital One, Enterprise and Volkswagen (for which he won the 2005 AICP Award for Best Actor in a commercial). These performances soon led to several guest-starring roles on various TV shows as well as recurring roles on the critically acclaimed Aaron Sorkin series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and the 2011 ABC laugher "Mr. Sunshine," starring Matthew Perry and Allison Janney. Nate's most recent feature film appearances include: "The Big Year," My Best Friend's Girl." Dreamwork's "She's Out of My League," and Warner Brothers' "Get Smart" which lead to a video spinoff with Torrence as a lead entitled, "Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control."
Currently, Nate is promoting a short film on the festival circuit in which he starred, wrote and directed entitled: "We Think Nate Torrence is Dead." He recently finished production voicing the character "Chuck" on the DisneyXD animated action series "Motorcity" and will begin a new television series for HBO entitled "Hellos Ladies," this spring.