The 2020 Summer Season A Lesson for Our Times
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The 2020 Summer Season A Lesson for Our Times
Don Gingold
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The 2020 Summer Season A Lesson for Our Times

3 Shows form a cautionary tale from history

Summer Place Theatre is using the 2020 season to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.  In the late 1930's, Nationalism, Xenophobia, Racism, power-hungry, corrupt leadership, and partisan politics were all issues that plagued the world. It's said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme! We've come so far since then, and yet these very issues are being raised today.

Our shows this year are specifically chosen to remind us in story, drama and song, the horrors these issues will release if left unchecked, but most importantly, the strength of the human spirit amidst the horrors, as well as a celebration of our freedoms sorely and valiantly won.

Our season reads like a 3-act cautionary tale. We start at the times before the second world war, when civil unrest and a care-free attitude crashed together. Then Act 2, our second production, shows the cruel effects of these attitudes and what they allowed to unleash, the fear and hatred, but also a glimmer of hope from an uncrushed spirit; then finally, in Act 3, the triumphant escape of a loving family from tyrannical clutches.

Cabaret! opens June 19. It's being directed by long-time friend of Summer Place, Craig Gustafson.  Craig correctly observes that in this play, the Nazis are not the villains; they are the monsters. The true villains are the common people who let the monsters rise. We are performing the original 1966 version and not the revival. Read more in the Cabaret! article.

The Diary of Anne Frank will be performed during one weekend, July 9-12, although we are discussing with some civic groups about holding another special showing or two.  We are very fortunate to have Steve Koek produce this show with his wife Andi.  Steve's father and aunts experienced a very similar situation to Anne Frank, her family, and the others hidden in Otto’s secret annex, so this production is very personal for the Koeks as their planning and promotion of the show already illustrates. Their first move was to secure our director, Jorge Bermudez, who returns to work with us after a very successful production of South Pacific last season, and we're very pleased to have him back. Read more in Steve's article and the show article.

The Sound of Music is a perennial favorite and is actually 2 stories in one. The first of course is Maria's and how she leaves the convent for a life as a governess and makes the Von Trapp family whole again. The second story is the important history lesson of escape from oppression and is brilliantly weaved throughout the first through the tragic love story of Liesl and Rolf. We are currently searching for a director for this production. Read more in the show article.

2020 is now upon us and so is our work. Meetings are beginning with the creative teams who will bring these shows to life, and we're actively seeking out participants in our journey. 

For Sound of Music, we are in immediate need of a:

  • Director 
  • Music Director
  • Choreographer

Our musical productions need a:

  • Set Designer
  • Stage Manager / Assistant Director

The Diary of Anne Frank is in need of a:

  • Sound Designer/Audio Tech

Each of these positions receive a stipend. Other positions, like set builders, stage crew, publicists and other roles are voluntary and needed soon.

Now is the time!  Use the contact page to reach out. Be a part of this very important theatre season.

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