It Won't Play In Peoria

But the Cornerstone Theater Company will play anywhere else, as it attempts to make dramatic changes in Tinytown, U.S.A.

In those teeny-weeny towns, Cornerstone has been lifting its curtain to less-than-capacity houses - you try filling 400-person bleachers in a town of 280. Although the financial losses have been cushioned by the sponsorship of AT&T: OnStage, an "event-marketing" subdivision of the corporate giant, Rauch says he's looking forward to the kind of audience a larger city can provide. With each additional performance, though, he admits he's somewhat wistful.

The Winter's Tale tour is the consummate summary of Cornerstone's young life - a play about the similarities between communities of different sizes, acted by performers from those very communities. But the closure is not only thematic. In the fall, the company will move to Los Angeles to begin a two-and-a-half-year urban residency. "I'd say that this definitely marks the end of this phase for the company," says Rauch.

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