Here’s to 2012!

As this year ends so does our fourth season! I can hardly believe where we started and where we have come.

Some wonderful memories of this past year: Cinderella’s Prince and the Steward spontaneously switching parts in Woods, the teens’ awesome execution of Thriller, all those talented children (over 300 participated this year!), a bloody nose in Captain Louie and a witty cast covering the blood, a hysterical birthday serenade by seven talented Little Mermaid cast members, the sweet rallying around mourning cast members, strikes (oh the strikes… let’s build a theatre! Come on… just 3 milllion!), the thousands of laughs shared with our charismatic iMPROVINATORS, and who can forget the teens’ brilliant execution of Les Miserables?!

Our community of theatre is just amazing! Constantly giving, loving, working, and laughing. The art of theatre is more than a production: it builds life skills, it unites communities, it gives one a sense of home and a sense of self, it is a gift that we carefully package for months and lovingly hand to our audiences, it is what is being tenderly grown at SJCT. I am so proud of this theatre company; of its optimism, its energy, its integrity, and most of all its people (always growing, always welcoming)!

What a wonderful year! Thank you to all who made it another marvelous memory! Here’s to Season 4 at SJCT and looking forward to Season 5 in 2013!

Meet the “Woods” Director!

I started my career in the performing arts at the age of 12 as a professional actor. I really enjoyed the creative process and found I wanted to be involved in the performing arts even when I wasn’t on stage or in front of a camera. I found ways to get involved in all of my high school productions and took this love of theatre to the University of Utah. In 2008, I co-founded South Jordan Community Theatre with Toni Butler. We have been dedicated to bringing audiences quality theatrical productions ever since.

My first introduction to Steven Sondheim was through the musical West Side Story. In my early college days I discovered Sweeny Todd, which ranks as one of my all time favorite musicals. I love the way Sondheim takes stereotypes and imbues them with complex character traits. Into the Woods is a fine example of Sondheim’s genius. He asks his audiences to look at their perceptions of life and in the case of Into the Woods, the pursuit of “happily ever after.” This incredibly fun and poignant musical allows us examine our dreams through nearly every fairytale we were familiar with as children. However, in the often-misunderstood second act, also lets us play with the notion, ‘what happens after our dreams come true.’

South Jordan Community Theatre audiences and performers alike have asked us to produce this musical. I was incredibly excited when we added it to our season and ecstatic when I was asked to direct. We have seated an incredible production team for this production including the return of Michelle Willis to the orchestra pit and as the musical director. It has been fun to hear the buzz around Into the Woods in our theatre community. I am so excited to get this production off the ground. It has been a dream come true… and I am ready for what comes next.

See you at auditions!

~Kevin Dudley, Director of Into the Woods at SJCT

Cinderella Director’s Vision

I am so excited to begin another excited journey with youth in Disney’s Cinderella Kids!

Each production begins with a Director’s Vision… and mine is magical and unexpected! Couple a magical Disney classic with the most magical time the year…and I expect the journey to be tremendously enjoyable! I can’t wait to meet all the kids who registered to be a part of this production. I hope to cast this in a very unexpected way… so I want to read all the kids in several different ways. If you are auditioning, get ready to open your mind to fun possibilities and a magical and maybe even unexpected delight! I hope even I am surprised with the casting! Break-a-leg!

Old Dog, New Tricks!

Richard Thomas is playing our MC Dog in the upcoming production of Go, Dog. Go! I have been gathering bios and his made me smile, I wanted to share it with you! Hope it makes you smile too:

Richard is excited to be back on the boards in South Jordan’s production of Go Dogs Go! Having played everything from Sindbad to Curly in Oklahoma, Richard is anxious to take on the canine challenge. With all the time he’s spent in the doghouse, the role has actually come quite naturally. Richard would like to thank his wife, Myrna, for her love and support; his son, Grant, for inviting him to this dog party; and Toni Butler for giving an old dog a chance to learn and perform new tricks.

Come see Richard shine October 8th at our public performances for Go, Dog. Go!

Orphans R Us

I was recently enlightened to a new name proposal for our theatre.  One of our teenage actresses joked that we should change our name to Orphans R Us since the vast majority of our productions have been about orphans.  She was absolutely right and made me laugh- we’ve had  Dorothy, Peter Pan, Annie (along with 80+ orphans!), Aladdin, Mary Lennox, and now Oliver & Fagin’s band as our resident orphans. I’m not so sure the name change will be approved by our board of directors, but it was a clever idea nonetheless.

The current orphans are filling the shoes well!  They seem to be enjoying themselves and are certainly working hard.  Watch out, though…  I fear we’ve sent 50 new pickpockets into the world.

Auditions are over… now we can breathe!

You know that awkward moment when the directors says, “Talk amongst yourselves” and the production team whispers and collaborates in front of you?  You pretend you don’t care at all about what they are saying, but you really do.  That is just one of the joys of auditioning along with filling out audition forms, song preparation, cold readings, dancing, games, standing up to compare heights, etc.

But this time I was in charge of checking everyone in for auditions and I got to see a different side to the whole picture.  It was really fun.  Auditioners commented that they felt as if they were on a movie set with the director, Steve, sitting there wearing his french scarf.  I noticed the MANY reunions that went on as past actors reunited and chatted or played a little to pass the time.  I enjoyed the impromptu songs of the production team while there was a break in auditions.  I loved getting to know the boys at call backs while we danced and played theater games together.  What a fun group!  There really was fun to be found amidst the pressures of an audition.

Now that the auditions are over and the cast list is posted, here are a few fun moments caught on camera.  Congrats to the whole cast.  It will be a fun couple of months!

Meet Oliver’s Director!

“I am thrilled to be returning to SJCT. This time not just as the fictional captain of the “Jolly Rodger” (playing the iconic Captain James Hook) but truly captain-ing the upcoming production of OLIVER. I have followed the successes and triumphs of SJCT and have cheered their progress and purpose. I have a deep affection for children’s theatre: theater by children and for children. Theatre helped me at a very early age to find my voice, and like Oliver to demand “more”; More of life, more of those around me and most significantly, more of myself. Oliver may seem like a “dark” choice for this company to produce, but I sincerely believe that there is light struggling and yearning to burst out. We all know that it is always darkest just before the dawn.”

South Jordan Community Theatre Peter Pan Hook Sings

Steve Schmid (AKA “Hook”)
Director, Oliver!

Let it Snow!

We had planned to go sledding for our cast party and kept waiting and waiting for the snow to come.  Our cast party motto was “Let it Snow!” and we thought lots of snowy thoughts.  Magically, it worked!  The snow came too late for Christmas, but not too late for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever cast party. 

It was a riot watching the hill filled with cast members sledding, laughing, conversing, and even “surf sledding” as I call it.  I loved seeing our own Reverand Hopkins in his Russian ushanka hat and catching random moments of a father hugging his daughter, a sister pulling her brother down the hill, a group of cast members giggling at the bottom of the hill, and friends racing against each other.  It was fun for all! 

We finished up afterwards watching the 1986 version of the story, drinking hot chocolate, eating a crazy amount of goodies, visiting, and playing some fun drama games.  Great party, fun group, yummy food = mission accomplished!