Lt. James McMillan (Stephen Stough) questions the butler, Hollister (Wayne Otto), and the victim’s sister, Beatrice (Debbie Scourtes), while the victim’s bitter wife, Allegra (Jennifer Groff) and the cook, Ina (Julia Catlin), look on and try to look innocent.

We have a new community theater in the area. The Missing Piece Theatre Company was founded in late 2022 by several veteran actors and directors who have served other community theater groups, including the Village Players and Plant City Entertainment. The new group enjoys a supporting relationship with both theater groups.

Steve Bucko of Lithia said, “The Missing Piece Theatre was founded by myself, Kristen Bucko (Lithia), April Golombek (Lakeland) and Jennifer Porter (Lithia).”

Bucko added, “The Missing Piece Theatre Company was formed to create immersive arts experiences to stimulate curiosity and challenge audiences to join us in telling the next story. We exist to prioritize the audience as the essential component of theater. They are ‘The Missing Piece.’”

The Missing Piece Theatre is an all-volunteer community theater with professional quality that creates opportunities for professionals and beginners to come together to tell amazing stories.

Bucko said, “To visit the Gem Theater is to fall in love with it. Historic, yet newly renovated, it combines the look and feel of timeless vaudeville stages with superior acoustics, new technology and comfortable seating.”

The Missing Piece Theatre’s first production was The Plot, Like Gravy, Thickens by Billy St. John. Bucko said, “This show is an interactive, comedic murder mystery where the playwright himself takes the audience through the entire zany evening, including becoming both the murder victim and the detective. Add 13 other crazy characters, all with motive and opportunity, and you have a recipe for a hilarious night of theater.”

Bucko added, “Because we exist to serve the audience, it was important to us that the audience play a big role in our first production.”

Their next show is Seussical the Musical, based on the works of Dr. Seuss. This will be performed from Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 23.

Bucko said, “The Missing Piece Theatre Company is ready for you to get involved. Onstage, backstage and in our audience, we want to show you what theater feels like to put the audience front and center in the starring role. Whether it is our next production, Seussical, or a future show, we cannot wait to meet you. You are ‘The Missing Piece.’”

For more information on auditions and productions, you can visit To get tickets, please visit

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