by Marybeth Clark, Charleston Stage Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education
From West Side Story to The Producers, with Charlotte’s Web and Christmas Carol in the mix too, I have had a very diverse group of shows to direct this season. One of my favorite things about watching The Producers is seeing how much this years Professional Resident Actors have grown as performers. Each year we hire a group of young actors to come and work with us for ten months. They must have a degree in theatre and experience working outside a university setting. They spend the season performing and teaching. Each year I am amazed at all the talent these young professionals bring to Charleston Stage. This year in addition to teaching over 500 students, performing in eight shows (that means more than 60 shows) and working our box office, they have choreographed dances, choreographed fights, accompanied on piano and have even performed at 7:30 am for the Rotary club.
When I started the Charleston Stage Professional Resident Acting program 9 years ago, I was confident in the idea, but never imagined all we could accomplish. It is especially fun to see Brian Bogstad who plays Max Bialystock in The Producers. Brian was in the very first Resident Acting company. Now to see him lead the show with this years company, Sarah Claire (Ulla), Andy (Leo), Viveka (Usherette, Little Old Lady), Michael (Roger DeBris), Sonny (Carmen Ghia) and Brian (Franz) shining brightly along side him really makes me proud.
(Former Charleston Stage Resident Actor Brian Bogstad as Max Bialystock and Charleston Stage Resident Actor Andy McCain as Leo Bloom)
(Charleston Stage Resident Actors Sonny Kong as Carmen Ghia, Brian Zane as Franz Liebkind, Andy McCain as Leo Bloom, and Michael Lasris as Roger Debris)