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Shelby County Community Theatre next month will debut its 37th season when South Pacific is staged starting July 19th at the facility at 801 Main St. in Shelbyville. The theater features a lineup of five main-stage shows and three more productions in its more intimate dining room upstairs at the theater. Jamie Swindler, recently installed as president of the theater’s board, spoke with The Sentinel-News about the upcoming season and her role.
THE SENTINEL-NEWS: How do you like the lineup for this season at SCCT?
JAMIE SWINDLER: I think the lineup for the 2013-2014 season is fabulous! The plays this season are well-known plays that will have no problem drawing audiences. The theater holds nothing back with Rodgers and Hammerstein's award-winning Broadway musical South Pacific as our opening play for the season. The youth production, always a major success, is Jack and the Giant this year. The theater is so fortunate to have such talented and gifted children who continue to grow year by year with each performance. Then, what a great holiday play for the family, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Nunsense will put a smile on anyone's face! Followed by a comedy The Foreigner, which will provide the audience a lesson in the art of listening! And last but not least, the classic, heart-warming drama Steel Magnolias.
S-N: Can patrons expect anything new out of the theater this year?
SWINDLER: New faces will abound the theater, not only on stage but behind the scenes and in the seats for the show.
S-N: As president, what's your primary goal for the season?
SWINDLER: My goal is to have a very successful season by filling as many seats as possible for each show. Of course the theater's annual fundraiser is at the forefront, too. The theater is celebrating its 37th season. We are like any other non-profit...we run on a shoestring budget. So, we rely heavily on sponsors, donations, ticket sales and friends of the theater to keep us going. Our annual fundraiser, which is set for Oct. 5, an evening at Science Hill Inn, includes cocktails, dinner, live and silent auction. We are already asking businesses and friends for donations for our auctions. All proceeds from this event benefits the theater. So my main goal for the fundraiser is to raise as much proceeds for the theater as possible.
S-N: What are key factors in choosing the shows you stage?
SWINDLER: The theater has an Artistic Committee that meets and reviews play-scripts for future plays. Believe it or not, we are already meeting and discussing options for next year's season. We look for plays that will draw audiences as well as plays that can be produced successfully on our main-stage. But, since we are a theater, we, too, like to do some cutting-edge plays and most of those are done as part of our "Upstairs at 801" series. These plays are held in our upstairs dining room with a more intimate setting.
S-N: What elements or types of shows have proven the most successful for the theater?
SWINDLER: Musicals and comedies seem to be very successful. And, of course, the youth production is always a big hit. Anytime you have children involved, the audience is much more diverse. You not only have the parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles but teachers and coaches. So, these plays tend to sell out quickly.
S-N: Why should someone buy a ticket to see South Pacific?
SWINDLER: The question should not only be "Why should someone buy a ticket to see South Pacific?", but "Why should someone buy season tickets for the 2013-2014 season?" The answer would be...how fortunate we are in Shelby County to have such a wonderful theater that puts on phenomenal plays right here in our backyard. And what a great bargain it is at $68 a person for a total of five shows. That comes to $13.60 a show! It is a great date night, girls night out, entertaining clients, family night or just getting together with friends. And, all here right in our community. No need to travel a far distance, just come on downtown and enjoy one if not all of our shows!
S-N: Is there anything else that potential ticket buyers should know?
SWINDLER: When a season ticket is purchased, the ticketholder has the option of choosing one of six dates (two weekends in a row, Friday/Saturday: 7:30 p.m. and Sunday: 2:30 p.m.) for each show to attend. So ticketholders are not locked into one date and have flexibility in planning on attending each show. Also, the theater is excited to announce that Bell House will be serving dinner on the opening night of each main-stage show. The cost for this fabulous dinner is $20 per person.
SCCT’s 2013-14 schedule
Upstairs at 801
Tickets and more info: 633-0222 or 633-9690; 633-3214