LOVE THEATRE? Get ready: Savannah Stage Company is ready to announce their 2015 third season.
Indifferent or intimidated by performing arts? You best get ready too, because Savannah Stage Company is ready to change your mind with their accessible, community-focused, innovative approach to theatre.
That’s why everyone is invited to the Andaz Savannah to hear, firsthand, what the Company’s up to in the new year. With cocktails, hors d’oeuvres provided by 22 Square, live entertainment from The Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque Revue, a peek at exciting new partnerships and sponsorships, and, of course, upcoming Savannah Stage Company performances, the free event is sure to get you in the spirit of the season.
“We’ll have three little segments of the three shows we are announcing,” divulges Savannah Stage Company Creative Director Evan Goetz. “We’ve been in rehearsals, and have a great cast for the season announcement party. We’re going to give a little taste of what to expect next year.”
While specifics are still under wraps, the new season’s shows will all be based on literary classics.
“Something with substantial plots, very relatable,” Goetz explains. “They’ve all been adapted by a living playwright to make it a little more condensed.”
Because the Company tours their shows, they need to keep them under an hour so they can perform in schools, libraries, nursing homes, and the third floor of Ampersand, their new main stage.
“It’s obviously not a traditional theatre space,” says Goetz of Ampersand. “But that’s who we are—we aren’t very traditional!”
They closed last season with Oedipus in the downtown restaurant, bar and venue’s top floor, selling out each 70-seater performance. The Company is looking forward to imagining new ways to utilize the unusual location.
Savannah Stage Company is all about being accessible and bringing theatre to those who otherwise might not make it to the main stage. Last year, they toured 12 libraries in one week with their production of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, showing local kids a new way of understanding both theatre and literature.
“A lot of kids had read some version of it,” Goetz explains, “so it was great that they could experience a live version of it, to see that in front of them.”
In addition to taking the show to new audiences, Savannah Stage Company provides a new kind of accessibility in their rehearsals and main stage performances.
“One of our values is demystifying theatre and humanizing the process,” says Goetz. “Allowing people to know that it’s not just, all of the sudden, there’s a performance! We want to show them that we are human, and it does take time and work.”
A large part of transparency is the Company’s open rehearsal policy. Anyone can come in, observe the action behind the scenes, and perhaps even be inspired to get into theatre themselves.
Goetz has found that their openness and sense of fun has brought in entirely new audiences; their admission policy is a key factor in giving back to the community.
“We have a pay-what-you-can policy,” Goetz explains, “which means that, even if you have a penny, you can come see our show. It’s $15 general admission, but if you don’t have that, that’s okay.”
“Last year for Oedipus,” he remembers, “we had a family of five that paid $25 total. We’ll accept that. We just want people to experience this—everyone deserves that opportunity. Theatre’s not just for a certain group of people.”
Allowing any and everyone to be a part of the season announcement celebration just goes to show that Savannah Stage Company is in this for everyone, and they’re thrilled to let us know what they’re up to next. Goetz praises the Andaz, which hosts the monthly Andaz Salon. The hotel welcomes local artists, non-profits, and entrepreneurs, allowing them to mingle, share their vision and educate the community on their projects.
“It’s going to be a great time,” Goetz says. “It’s going to be a really fun, great networking opportunity, and a way to get to know who we are.”