Wednesday, February 24, 2021
St. Thomas Playhouse Unveils 2021 Season
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Sara Gorby played a witch in the St. Thomas Playhouse production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”
   
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

In 2005 a Sun Valley Community School senior named Kevin Wade took the stage as the biblical Joseph in a story come to life through catchy musical and dance styles ranging from country western to rock and roll and even 1920s flapper-type music.

St. Thomas Playhouse will revisit the musical, which was the first musical Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice collaborated on, as part of its 20th anniversary season.

St. Thomas Playhouse will present it next fall as the Playhouse plans to take the stage again a year after the coronavirus pandemic darkened theaters across the country.

In addition, the Playhouse will stage two Company B summer camps for children this summer.

  • The first will have children making props for and learning the songs to Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” in June. It revolves around a young man who is taken on an adventure by a magic peach after his conniving aunt asks him to chop down the peach tree.
  • The second, Disney’s “Frozen” will be held in August. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” it depicts a princess who sets off on a journey to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.
  • Disney’s “Newsies: The Musical” will headline the Summer Theater Project for older youth in June. Written by the same author who wrote “The Little Mermaid,” it follows a charismatic newsboy named Jack who rallies his fellow newsies to strike for their right to earn a buck in turn-of-the-century New York City.

St. Thomas Playhouse began in 2001, springing from a shared vision by then-Rector Brian Baker, Music Director Dick Brown and Actor Anna Senechal Johnson, who now heads up Richmond, Va.’s Cadence Theatre Company.

The church wanted to do something to bring the generations together, Baker said.  The early plays were staged in the sanctuary, and the congregation was changed because of the plays that happened there, he added.

By 2003 the Playhouse needed a bigger place to perform and moved to the nexStage Theatre, then to the Sun Valley Community School Theater.

Today the Playhouse is one of the largest community theaters in the state, according to Managing Director Brett Moellenberg

“I’ve appreciated the dedication to have the best product,” said Rebecca Waycott, whose daughter Louisa Waycott grew up in the theater before going on to perform in opera. “That professionalism I find amazing.”

“Our productions and programs are magical and healing. And they’re about young people finding their voices, triumphing over everything and finding new gifts,” said Sara Gorby.

 

 

 

 

 

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