Two Charleston Stage Alumni are making their Broadway debuts this summer. Matt Shingledecker who was Joseph in our Summerstage production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat six years ago is in the ensemble of the hit Broadway musical, Spring Awakening. Matt, who also appeared as Pan in Charleston Stage’s Bat Boy, the Musical went on to Elon College where he played a number of leads before his Broadway debut this season. (Matt Shingledecker, center, Joseph 2002) Also, next month Barry Anderson, last season’s dazzling George Gershwin in Gershwin at Folly, joins the cast of Broadway’s mega-hit Legally Blonde. Barry will be playing Harvard Law student Aaron Schultz and understudying the lead role of Emmett Forest. This time Barry only has to sing and act, no piano playing! Barry has performed around the country including the national tour of My Fair Lady.
If you are in New York this summer catch these great actors in these two great shows and tell them “Hi” from us!
(Barry Anderson in Gershwin at Folly 2007)
While Marybeth is off in Upstate New York, I’m spending my vacation in Saluda, NC with friends and family. While there’s plenty of time for hikes and picnics, I’m also working on an all new version of Frankenstein! which will have its world premiere at the newly renovated Memminger Auditorium next October. Though I’ve spent part of my vacation reading Mary Shelley’s original novel, watching all the old Frankenstein movies and reading five other adaptations, this isn’t really work or at least it’s the fun part of work. Doing adaptations is how I got started in playwrighting and its still great fun. Seeing what so many others have done with this classic tale of terror and finding new ways to illuminate Mary Shelley’s original story is challenging but rewarding too. Best with my own adaptation I can tailor our production to the exciting new performance space we will have in Memminger Auditorium next season. Fortified by lots of picnic food and cool mountain air, I’ve already finished draft one. Now the fun begins, rewriting and rewriting, and sharing drafts with our technical staff who are already dreaming up some exciting new special effects for this production. I have no doubt we’ll have a wonderful new take on the Frankenstein myth to present to Charleston audiences this Fall and I’ll have something to talk about when people ask “What did you do on your summer vacation.”
Julian Wiles, Playwright
“So you get to take it easy for the summer, right?” or “Must be nice to have some time off now, right?” These questions ring in my ears countless times after we close the last show of the season. If only I could answer “Why yes, we get to take a break for the summer until the first show in the fall.” But alas, the answer is a resounding, “No, we have too much to do.” As I write this blog entry, my desk is piled high with projects to complete, files to put away or go through for the next show, scripts to read for shows that need a set or a lighting design, applications for the TheatreWings Program that need to have interviews, a new version of the computer drafting program that needs to be installed, a list of furniture we still need for the new Resident Actors apartments and much much more. The scene and costumes shops stay very busy over the summer but most of the work we do has none of the glitz or glamour that the rest of our year shows. Starting in July with the SummerStage Production of High School Musical, we will be building everything for all 8 shows this season which is about a show each month as well as moving into a space we have not worked in before. With that kind of schedule, we have to do a lot of the planning during the summer. As soon as one show opens another one starts rehearsal and another is ready to start right after that one so there is not a lot of time to work out what the set will look like or how the costume changes will work during the season. We are doing all that work in the summer months so we can hit the ground running come the first show in the fall.
So although we will each be taking some vacation time during the summer months, our work does not slow down. Come on out to the shop in July when we have Volunteer night each Tuesday and find out what we have been working on.
Tech Director and Resident Designer
I am trying something new this summer. I will be guest directing for the Chenango River Theatre outside Binghamton NY. “Don’t you do enough of that around here?” you might ask and several have and the answer is”yes, but…..”I couldn’t quite pass up the opportunity to work with a new company in a new setting. Actually it won’t be all new people, the Producing Artistic Director, Bill Lelbach cast me in one of my first Equity shows twenty years ago. That is pretty common in theatre, finding old friends. It is one reason why I am able to say goodbye to our resident actors every season, I know it is just a matter of time until I work with them again. So I am spending my ‘vacation’ doing theatre, but am very excited. I will even manage a stop at Hershey Park to visit Autumn Seavey (last season’s Belle) along the way. I will be back in time to welcome our Resident Actors for season 31 and, of course, to direct HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL for SummerStage. Hope your summer is off to a great start. See you in July Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director