Savannah Stage Company run toward their fears in their new show ‘Brave the Stage’

For one night only the Savannah Stage Company (SSC) will be presenting their production “Brave the Stage: an Evening of Running Towards the Fear.” This ties into the theme for the company’s tenth season, a “Milestone Season of Fearlessness.”

“This is something that we’re developing ourselves. It is a take on projects that we, the family members, started out at Barter Theatre and they do something similar for their intern company,” said SSC co-founder and artistic director Jayme Tinti.

“Brave the Stage” will be presented at 8 p.m. on July 23 at the First Baptist Church Courtyard at 102 W. McDonough St. This time audience members will pay one dollar to reserve their spot and will “pay what the show is worth” after the show. 

That’s right, audience members will pay after the performance what they felt it was worth.

“We’ve experimented with the ‘pay what it’s worth model’ one other time back in 2019. This method is about value. I don’t mind spending if what I’m getting is worth it. We are always listening and we feel like ‘pay what it’s worth’ tells us if we were to do something like this in the future, what is something like this worth to someone,” said Tinti.

In this show, company members will explore their fears on stage and how they can overcome and strengthen the onstage skills that scare them the most. Instead of relying on the things they do well, they will explore running towards the things they don’t.

“We’ve asked our artists to choose an on-stage skill that scares them the most. What is the scariest thing you can think of to do on stage? Once they tell us that fear we tell them that’s what you’re going to do on stage,” said Tinti.

click to enlarge Savannah Stage Company run toward their fears in their new show ‘Brave the Stage’
Savannah Stage Co.

For Luisa Nolasco her fear was overcoming body image and being able to use her body as a vessel to seduce on stage. Something she and others have dealt with because typically on stage and on film certain body types were portrayed as sexy and more desirable compared to others.

“My act is going to be a burlesque act because I want to liberate myself from the preconceived notions that my body can’t be a symbol or vessel for being sexy. I am glad that we are going to be able to show to the audience that we are taking a leap into the unknown,” said Nolasco.

For this production company members were matched with an artist in the community or another company that will serve as their mentor to strengthen those skills. Community partners include artists from Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque, Collective Face Theatre Ensemble, and local artist and musician Josephine Johnson.

Nolasco was mentored by Rita D’LaVane of Savannah Sweet Tease Burlesque for her act. Tinti is also stepping out of her comfort zone on the production side and is stepping on stage for the first time in over 15 years to overcome her fear of acting.

“I chose to do a classical Greek tragedy. I’m doing a monologue from Antigone. I have not been on the stage like that. My job as the artistic director at the company is getting everything else together so that the actors can do that one thing that I’m, quite frankly, too scared to do, which is the acting part,” said Tinti.

Tinti is working with director and Collective Face Theatre Ensemble founder David I. L. Poole on her piece. Local artist and musician 

Josephine Johnson is mentoring company member McKenna Lyons who wants to learn to play the guitar. Lyons is using this skill to help her be herself on stage and more vulnerable.

“Brave the Stage” features artists at all stages of their artistic careers. From brand new Teen Company members to Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Jayme Tinti, artists have spent the summer studying stage combat, burlesque, classical pieces, music, and everything in between.

“This experience and working with the mentors has been priceless. Recognizing that these skill sets don’t just lay within our company. to be able to get knowledge from people outside of our bubble, it’s just been really helpful,” said Tinti.

Bringing this one-night-only showcase of sweeping acts of bravery to the stage are company members Lexi Balaoing Ambrose, McKenna Lyons, Gary Zintar, Luisa Nolasco, Kat Pilkus, Artistic Director Jayme Tinti, and Teen Company Members Liv Dugas, Liam Padgett, and Madison Gamble.

click to enlarge Savannah Stage Company run toward their fears in their new show ‘Brave the Stage’
Savannah Stage Co.

“It is just a good time to give artists the space to fail and to struggle. It has been great just giving them that space to do something and those resources to grow. I’m really excited,” said Tinti.

The production takes place at First Baptist Church Courtyard at 102 W. McDonough St. Seats can be reserved for just $1 at savannahstagecompany.com

About The Author

Kareem McMichael

Kareem McMichael is a filmmaker, documentarian, writer, and multimedia content creator. The Macon native enjoys entertainment, and sharing with locals and visitors’ stories about Savannah’s art and culture scene. When he is not working, he enjoys relaxing at the beach, grabbing a drink, hitting a fun art event,...
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