Onto the Stage - July 17 - July 18, 2020

Greenville Family Theater

  Director's Notes  

Wow, what a wild ride this show has been! In a season of uncertainty, it has been such a joy to see this fantastic group of artists, authors, and performers all come together to create a story of hope in times of trial. So, let’s take you back before the lockdown happened. It was March and GFT had just finished auditions for our summer production of “Annie”. We had an incredible turnout of talented performers show up to audition, all excited at the prospect of participating in our summer show. The level of the talent of the cast just blew us away. After successfully casting the show we were able to distribute rehearsal materials but then sadly the lockdown began shortly thereafter. Causing us to have to postpone rehearsals until the restrictions lifted and it would be safe to rehearse together again. Well, April came and went, as did the month of May. It slowly became more and more apparent that no matter how we restructured, no matter what plans we came up with, we would not be able to do the show we had cast this year. I cannot tell you how much it broke my heart to have to cancel on these talented young people, who had all been diligently practicing their lines and songs during the lockdown in the hope that we would be able to perform as originally planned. But the pandemic changed all of our lives.


In the midst of it all, one thing became very clear, the cast and team needed a creative outlet in this challenging time. And likewise, the community needed a reason to come together in a positive and uplifting way. And thus, the idea for “Onto the Stage!” was born! Five weeks ago, I assembled a team of writers and we began feverishly writing new material for a quarantine themed parody show. As soon as we had a few scenes and songs ready to go, we began rehearsing over zoom with our incredible cast. These talented cast members have only had a short time to learn and perfect all of the materials you see today! Some of the songs were only written this week. Talk about fast memorizing!


And to top it all off, it has been absolutely inspiring just to watch this group of artists catch the creative spark and write material of their own. Scenes that reflect experiences in their own lives. Songs that are both humorous and touching. Moments that reach deep into your heart and connect us all. Many of these authors are young people, our youngest author is just ten years old. But you are never too young or too old to create! The true pure creative collaboration I have seen in this production is unlike any I have ever experienced in theater or film. The spirit of working together to create something powerful permeates every aspect of this show. To my amazing team; this would not be possible without each and every one of you! My incomparable music director, Laura Maxwell. The best AD ever, Audra Tibboel. Fantastic costume designer, Linda Ross. The brilliant choreography of Ariel Ross. The stunning set and props of Amy Shoemake. The breathtaking acro by Jennifer Snyder. And so many others who worked tirelessly to make this production possible. GFT is forever in your debt. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the community!


I hope this show blesses you the same way it has greatly blessed all who have participated in it. So, sit back, and enjoy Greenville Family Theater’s production of “Onto the Stage!”.


~Amy Hale


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