Cast Announcement – How I Became a Pirate

Ahoy, thar, land-lubbers!  We suspect ye’ll be wantin’ ter meet the robust crew of our next Kids on Stage show, HOW I BECAME A PIRATE!  This fearsome group auditioned Tuesday last, and be gettin’ ready for a spectacular opening night just four weeks from now!

Jeremy Jacob: Truman Nash
Captain Braid Beard: Noah Edwards
Swill: Abbey Kate Daugherty
Seymour: James Wirick
Sharktooth: Dawson Cooper
Max: Kalie Swann
Scurvy Dog: Dylan Roberds
Pierre: Madalynn Learman
Dad: Dylan Willis
Pirate Crew: Brennan Bishop, Nathan Cochrane, Lauren Groover, Sophia Hashemi, Jordan McGarity, Reaghan Neal, Paris Prager, Braidyn Rigsbee

How I Became a Pirate Cast

Now, don’t let those nice faces trick you; they’re some o’ the fiercest pirates to ever sail the seven seas!  (Well, except fer that Jeremy Jacob fellow.)  We hope you’ll get yer boardin’ passes and join us for our voyage September 23 – October 2!

Be a Camp Counselor!

You guys, I don’t know how to break this to you, but this school year is almost over.  I know this is devastating news.  What are you going to do with all of that extra time that you normally spend conjugating foreign verbs and creating PowerPoint presentations?

For SCT, the end of school means the beginning of summer camp, which is our all-time favoritest-favorite thing to do.  For eight glorious weeks, kids and teens get to focus on simply being here and enjoying a fully-immersive theatre experience without the added pressure of homework assignments, test prep, or matching socks.  We adore getting to watch our students relax and enjoy their summers, with an absolutely 0% chance of sunburn.

Junior Counselors     One of the best events we offer during the summer is our Junior Counselor program for rising 9th-12th graders.  High school students get to act as production assistants during camps, and in return, earn tuition to attend the teen camp.  Pretty sweet deal, right?  Junior Counselors work hard at each camp session, assisting younger students, facilitating theatre games, and providing production assistance; everything from sewing costumes to hot gluing props to building and painting scenery.  Oh, and they get to pick theme days and dress up to come to “work.”

Rising 9th-12th graders need to apply for the program by filling out a JC application form and having it signed by a parent or guardian.  If accepted into our program, JCs must attend a mandatory training session, and be available to work an entire session of camp, including the show weekend.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them!  Over the years, our JCs have repeatedly told us that they look forward to working summer camps more than almost anything else during the year.  So…what are you waiting for?

Juniors

What We Really Do

Everyone who has heard of Savannah Children’s Theatre knows that we produce plays.  With 22 shows this season alone, sometimes our little place on Victory Drive seems like a veritable theatre factory!  But what we really do is so much more than audiences and actors, costumes and glitter.  (Though, make no mistake, the glitter is vital.)alienportrait3

    If you take away the microphones and the amber-gelled lights,  the live orchestra and the hot popcorn, what is left?  If you peel away the layers of make-up and wigs, choreography and harmonies, and get down past the outward beauty of a musical, past the firm skeleton of a play, down to the very heart of our theatre, what is left?

     The children.

     SCT exists to provide all children with a safe and creative environment for character development by teaching appreciation for performing arts.  All children.  Not “talented” children (that’s a post for another day) or “dramatic” children (and another), but all children.  Sometimes the shyest kid in class turns out to have the biggest voice, or the loudest attention-seeker turns out to have the most stage fright.  Our teachers live for those moments of self-discovery!  They celebrate the class-clown finally being able to play a serious scene without cracking up, and they loudly cheer the child with a lisp or a stutter who finishes their speech without giving up.

     Our teachers empower young people every day to try new things and feel new sensations.  They help the pint-sized diva to learn humility, and they build up the confidence of the socially awkward.  We try every day to meet every child where they are and hold their hand until they are ready to move to the next step.  Whether they be theatrically gifted, academically challenged, living with a disability, or just plain stubborn, we recognize that each of our students learn in different ways, and we do our best to speak to their strengths.

     A word about students with special needs. We have them and we love them immeasurably.  This season we have had 552 students in our theatre program, and 12,274 students in our field trip program.  We cannot tell you how many special needs students we have because we do not “track” them.  We do not single them out, tally them, or publish their numbers so we can get extra grant money.  Our students with special needs are treated just like everyone else; we meet them where they are and embolden them to perform.  All of our teachers have seen their special needs students make great strides in challenging areas; but the same wonderful transformations can be seen in our neurotypical/non-disabled students as well.

   The contents of the lives changed within SCT’s purple walls could fill a book, one that I hope is written and displayed in our lobby some day.  This book would tell stories of children with blindness learning to do choreography, students with Downs Syndrome learning monologues, teenagers with ukuleles writing their own music, and kids with broken homes learning how to be part of a family unit again; our theatre family.

     We don’t only make theatre. We make connections.  We teach children to look up from their screens and look into each other’s eyes. We teach them to look beyond their limitations and find themselves.  We strive daily to fulfill our mission statement; to inspire, to educate, and to entertain.  That is what we really do.

Spam a Little, SpamALOT!

sct_brand_poster_spamalot (2)

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

We know.  We love Monty Python, too.

Since our auditions back in October, SCT’s halls have been filled with belly laughs, John Cleese imitations, and not a little bit of flatulence.  We’re happy to say that we’ve enjoyed every second of it!  When choosing our season, we quite literally “look on the bright side of life” to determine the reasons why we should produce a show.  Does it fulfill our mission to inspire, educate and entertain?  Does it provide new performance opportunities to artists in our community?  Does it have an inspiring message?

While “what happens in Camelot stays in Camelot” may not be the most inspirational quote you’ll see in your news feed this year, we believe that the over-arcing goal of Monty Python’s Spamalot is to bring joy and laughter to it’s audience.  From the French Taunter (“your mother was a hamster!”) to the Artists Formerly Known as the Knights Who Say “Ni!,” we hope you enjoy this farcical journey through the Middle Ages with King Arthur, and his Knights of the Very, Very Round Table.

connectcoverspamalot

Play While You Wait! by Jenn Doubleday

   As the parent of a three-year-old and as someone who does children’s theatre for a living, it’s no surprise that I adore taking my little one to the theatre!  I love every part of bringing our daughter to SCT; the buttery popcorn at the concession stand, the booster seats for little bottoms, the joy on her face as the red velvet curtain opens to reveal…anything!  Yes, my girl and I enjoy everything about theatre-going…

   …except…

   …waiting for it to start.

   The build-up of excitement is almost unbearable.  The purple seats in this theatre have been her gateway to everyone from Shrek to Pinkalicious, from princess castles to flying cars, so she knows that something amazing is going to happen.

   Eventually. jamiecurtain

   As anyone who has taken their kids to a restaurant or on a road trip can attest, waiting for the grand event can be a challenge.  Which is why we at SCT have decided to try a few new things for this month’s ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S WE ARE IN A PLAY, playing weekends September 25 – October 4.  While you wait for our perfect-for-preschool musical to begin, you can enjoy the sounds of kid-friendly dance music in our oh-so-colorful lobby.  (Is there a kid in Savannah who hasn’t made up a game jumping from one colored carpet square to another?)  After you purchase your tickets, you’ll receive two playbills; one for grownups filled with theatre information, upcoming events, and ads from our amazing sponsors, and another one just for kids!

   The kid’s program comes complete with crayons, coloring scenes, a make-your-own-comic-strip page for our budding authors, as well as Mad Lib’s for some pre-show giggles.  You can also get some great photos with our Elephant & Piggie cutouts in the lobby, or wait to have your photo with the cast at the end of the performance.  Just make sure you hashtag those photos with a big #iheartsct.

   If you’re the parent of a toddler or preschool student, and you’ve wondered if your kid is ready for their first visit to the theatre, the answer is YES.  Children are the main event at SCT, and we can’t wait for your kids to experience the joy of live theatre that is for kids and by kids.  So…

   …what are you waiting for?  Get those tickets today! 

piggieposter2

Save the Date!

masquerade

     Mark your calendars for this year’s Annual Masquerade Gala & Auction, on Friday, October 30, at the Johnny Harris Banquet Center on Victory Drive.  Doors to our biggest fundraiser of the year will open at 6:30 p.m. For this year’s Masquerade theme, we encourage you to be mysterious, creative, adventurous, and of course, glamorous!  It will be an evening of entertainment, food, and fun for a very worthwhile cause!

     In addition to attending our gala, there are many ways you can support Savannah’s premier youth theatre.  We are in need of volunteers in a variety of areas, including soliciting donations from local businesses, securing sponsors, publicizing our event, and setting up prior to the Gala.

     If you don’t have time to volunteer, but still want to help, consider submitting items or gift cards to be included in our Live and Silent Auctions.  Do you or your business want to make an even greater impact?  Become an event sponsor!  There are three levels of sponsorship; Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000), and Gold ($2,500).  Each level includes Gala Tickets, program advertisements, promotion on our website and social media pages, and other great perks!  Keep in mind, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so donations to our theatre and event are tax-deductible.

magicshow     What about our theatre’s greatest champions, the children?  While adults are enjoying an evening out, the children are having a scary good time of their own at our Halloween Party for kids! From 6 p.m.-11 p.m. at the Savannah Children’s Theatre, kids will enjoy pizza, fruit, goodies, face-painting and a magic show!  Look for more information to follow.

     For more information on how to get involved with volunteering, donations or sponsorships, please contact Gloria Rigsbee.  Let’s work together to make fairy tales come true!

Meet the Cast of…

…ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S: “WE ARE IN A PLAY!” 

   Based on the popular children’s books by Mo Willems (of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus fame), this fast-paced, super-silly musical was an instant favorite with SCT Staff and Kids.  Last night we had our first read-through of the script, and we had to wait for the cast to stop giggling before we could even move past page 5!  We laughed our way through the entire play as Elephant, Piggie, and their friends enjoyed the thrills of parties (Gerald knows parties), ping-pong, and pachyderm puns.  By far one of the silliest read-throughs we have ever seen!

So who are these silly people?  They are kids, ages 8-14, from all across Savannah, who enjoy sharing their talents with our community.  They also really want you to come see their show, playing September 25-October 4 at Savannah Children’s Theatre!

Raymond Olivia Noah Hez ReaganMolly Zoe TaylorSquirrelles       Come see these kids strut their stuff in just five weeks! (And don’t forget your party clothes!)

elephant and piggie cast

5, 6, 7, 8!

We hope you’ve had a wonderful summer, full of music and dancing!  If you caught one or more of our 7 shows this summer, you’ll know that our 2015 Summer Camp Series was a huge success!  Thank you for supporting performing arts in our community, and for doing it with such style!

As Savannah Children’s Theatre continues to grow, we are expanding our Dance for Musical Theatre program.  This year, we will be adding another level of Aerial Silks, as well as welcoming a new teacher into the SCT Family!  Please meet Elizabeth Brookman!

elizabeth   Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth began her training with Ann Brodie at the Carolina Ballet.  She had further training at the Atlanta Ballet SchoolAmerican Ballet Theater, and Joffrey Ballet, then graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts and joined the Morgan/Scott Ballet Company in NYC.  Falling in love with the performing and traveling, she performed on luxury cruise ships for five years and was able to visit over one hundred countries.   Shows included the classical ballets Swan Lake, Aida, and Carmen, as well as musicals Cats, Cabaret, Chicago and Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Elizabeth moved to China in 2007 to join the Suzhou Ballet Theater.  After one year with the company she moved to Shanghai to perform and teach for Jazz Du Funk until 2015.  Elizabeth looks forward to calling Savannah her home and sharing her experiences to inspire future performers.
jennsilks

We are thrilled to be able to give SCT students the opportunity to learn from theatre artists from all walks of life.  Elizabeth has already choreographed for this year’s Dance Camp, The Colors of My Life, and our Summer Camp production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is warm, kind, incredibly talented, and definitely a little on the goofy side!  Our resident choreographer, Jenn Doubleday, will continue to grow and develop our Aerial Silks program, as well as providing choreography for all Junior Company, Kids on Stage, and Main Stage productions.

Of course, dance is faaaaaar from the only thing SCT has to offer!  This year we have Creative Dramatics for PreK – 1st graders, Creative Dramatics I (The Emperor’s New Clothes) for 2nd-5th graders, Creative Dramatics II (Great Expectations the Musical) for middle schoolers, and Junior Company (A Servant of Two Masters) for high school students!

   To register for classes, click HERE! 

   Come on.  You know you want to.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about classes or scheduling, please feel free to write to us.  We hope to see all of you soon!

2nd Annual Fairy Tale Festival Fundraiser!

Where else in Savannah can you dance with pirates, sing with princesses and play in the snow in July?

fairyfest2014b

The Little Mermaid shares treasures with one of our Little Guests!

     Everyone at SCT is excited for another fabulous Fairytale Festival!
Last year was such a great success that this year we have created two sessions to allow more one-on-one interaction between the characters and the children.  We will have even more characters, including some storybook favorites like Alice in Wonderland and Jack, of Beanstalk fame.  There will be live theatre performances every 30 minutes, and a brand new Royal Boutique!

        Choose tickets for either 10am-12pm OR 2pm-4pm! 

     Upon arrival, guests will receive a Map of Storybook Kingdom, and will begin their journey through Mermaid Lagoon, the Enchanted Forest, Fairy Hollow and more!  They can stop by the Royal Boutique where boys and girls will make crowns and tiaras, or receive a royal makeover by palace artisans!  Along Storybook Lane they will meet Snow White, visit with Cinderella and her Prince in front of her golden carriage, and buy magic beans from Jack. On Wonderland Way they will visit with Alice to ‘pin the grin’ on the Cheshire Cat.  Look below to find the way to your favorite fairy tale spot!

Storybook Lane Map

A few of our 115 guests at Fairy Fest 2014!

A few of our 115 guests at Fairy Fest 2014!

     Last year’s most popular land was The Snow Castle where children played in the *snow,* created necklaces and keychains, made marshmallow snowmen, and visited with the Snow Queen and the Ice Princess. Snow Castle is back again this year with more snow and even more frozen magic!  Another favorite returning this year is Pirate’s Cove, where young buccaneers will join the pirate crew to swab the deck, load the cannon, and dig for buried treasure.  Better follow Captain’s orders, or you’ll have to walk the plank!

    FairyFest 2015 is sure to delight children of all ages but is designed for ages 2-10.  Tickets are available online or you can call our box office at 912-238-9015.  To insure that the children have a special and memorable experience, we are limiting the spaces.  We expect to sell out, so please purchase your tickets early!

FairyFest2015 Poster

We’re a Trip, by Tim Reynolds

     Even though a swan glides across the water, beneath the surface, it’s legs are pumping.  A lot of hard work and effort goes into each field trip that we host at Savannah Children’s Theatre because we want to ensure that our students have the best experience possible.  But it’s not just dancing and silly hat wearing, even though that’s important.  Here’s a quick peek into one of our field trips, from start to finish.

my office

My Office

     Schools usually book far in advance, scheduling their field trips months ahead of time to ensure that the musical they pick aligns perfectly with subjects they are teaching.  When we arrive for the day, we already know what show we’re doing, what props and costumes need to be pulled from storage, what roles need to be cast, how many scripts to grab…and this is with the first cup of coffee.  Roles and songs are divided up and assigned ahead of time so that each instructor has the chance to learn the material, devise their own choreography, and understand how it relates to the school curriculum.
we do what we can

Ms. Laura, Ms. Cheri, Ms. Lauren

     Ms Cheri, our Field Trip Coordinator, does a great job keeping everything on track!  We make sure that everything is set just the way each school requests, and we always accommodate any special needs that individual students may have.  While we try to cast the kids in as many speaking roles as we can, wordier parts are still performed by us, the *ahem* professionals.
     Of course, no musical is complete without costuming!  Hats are quite important to us, as they help our young actors to visualize the characters they are portraying.  We have a wide variety for nearly any occasion, including:
TimSillyHat– cowboy hats
– berets
– baseball caps
– compost hats
– disco hats
– skunk hats
– flower petal hats
– Jupiter hats…what’s that?  You’ll have to come to find out.
     When the kids arrive, it’s go time!  School groups range in size from 15 students to 125 students, depending on the day.  The children are quickly divided among the SCT Team so we can work with them in smaller groups.  Together, they learn to dance and to sing as loudly as they can about American History, Earth Science, Shakespeare or other subjects.  Sometimes there are so many kids, the classes are spread out all over the theatre; some are on the proscenium stage…
mainstage
others are in the smaller black box theatre…
blackbox
or on the dance floor…
dance floor
…really anywhere there is room!  When it’s almost show time, we gather in the proscenium theatre to rehearse one last time before the audience arrives.
     Once the teachers and chaperons assemble (parents, too!), we cue the maestro (that’s Ms. Renee) and the show begins!  We’re singing!  We’re dancing!  We’re learning!  We’re having a blast being silly!  After a performance well-done, the kids take a bow to their adoring fans.  Photos are taken, cheers are given!  Alas, all good things must come to an end.  Back to the buses they go, and we clean the theatre to get ready for our after-school classes.

conked out

     Or we pass out…  whichever comes first!
     (Only 3 of our 9 field trip staff are pictured here…because only 3 were present the day I took these photos! Our full staff includes Cheri Hester, Laura Keena, Lauren Baxter, Gloria Rigsbee, Evan Goetz, Cason Richter, Mary Caitlin McMahon, Justin Reynolds, and of course, Yours Truly.)