OAT’s 29th Summer Season Artistic Staff
Can I tell you I am busting at the seams with pride about this summer’s artistic staff? We are set to rock and roll on three great shows! Spoiler Alert: I may be gushing a bit in this blog post.
Annie Get Your Gun
Let’s start with our director, Grace Austin, who is Head of the Theatre Dept. at East Central College in Union, MO. Her submission concept for AGYG bowled me over and she comes to OAT with tons of experience doing large cast musicals. Right by her side will be Music Director, Titus Kautz, who you may remember from last season’s Lucky Stiff. Titus is an amazing musician who JUST got his Master of Music Degree – congratulations! Plus, Titus is about the nicest person ever. New to OAT audiences will be Choreographer Laura Ackerman. Laura has done lots of choreography in the St. Louis area and I can’t wait to see what she has in store! Jack Golden, who is coming back to OAT as a Scenic Designer after being here as a production intern several years ago, has created an awesome museum-like set for Buffalo Bill’s travelling Wild West Show. Becky Keightly Scott is the Costume Designer for the season, and coincidentally, someone I went to graduate school with at Western Illinois University in a previous century. Becky ran off and joined the circus a while back – seriously, she worked for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus – and she’s a pro all the way. Kevin Shaw is also hanging out and focusing for OAT’s entire summer season as Lighting Designer. Kevin’s up to his elbows in instruments and projections and color schemes. So happy to have Blake Hardin as Sound Designer back for another season. He’s pretty much a master mixer who finds or creates sounds needed and mixes those microphones. (He is also an awesome pianist who, when he couldn’t find a “bad enough” recording of a piece of music for The Importance of Being Earnest last year, went and recorded it himself!) Angela Duggins joins OAT as Props Master this summer. Angela come from Drury University and has a great approach to working with directors and designers to get props that are just right for each show.
The 39 Steps
I’m slightly jazzed about this show because I am directing it!!! I was the dialect coach for a production in St. Louis last year and during that rehearsal process, I kept picturing how it was going to play on the OAT stage. Well, it’s going to feature a lot of the King of Pop, whose music fits so wonderfully with the suspense of an Alfred Hitchcock inspired comedy. Sylvia Sellers, who did props for last year’s production of The Story of Velveteen Rabbit at OAT, comes on board as Scenic Designer for 39. She’s got LOTS of moving parts and locations to handle and her ingenuity is on display during this show. I got Becky for costumes, Kevin for lights, and Angela for props and am stoked to see how they all pull off a color scheme I’ve asked for. Blake will be spinning those MJ tunes and who knows? People might be walking on walls!!
Baseball is serious business and sometimes, a moral dilemma. Hailing from Maryland, Andy Scott will be directing Damn Yankees this summer at OAT. As soon as I read Andy’s approach for directing, I knew I wanted him to be a part of our season. Let’s just say, we’re very artistically aligned. Choreographing this show with a tango, a softshoe and numerous big group numbers is one of my very favorite people, Ellen Isom. I’ve known Ellen for nearly 20 years – I call her my summer friend because we usually only see each other in the summer when we’re doing theatre! – and I’m humbled by her talent. She’s a great teacher and dance and choreographer and she’s coming to OAT!!! Laurie Lewis will be heading to Rolla to Music Direct. Laurie is Assistant Professor of Vocal Music at Lincoln College and I’m thrilled to welcome her to our theatre. Once again, Becky will be there with baseball uniforms, Kevin is going to light it up, Angela is going to figure out the appearing cigarette trick (she can use my fake cigarette from Lucky Stiff last year) and Blake will be cueing up the sounds of the crowd and the crack of the bat!
CAN YOU TELL I’M STOKED??!!?? I’M COMPUTER YELLING IN ALL CAPS!
Really, I cannot say enough about how exciting this is and I haven’t even talked about our casts yet! You can find out info about them on the Meet The Stars page. See you at the theatre!
Pamela Reckamp, Artistic Director