Join the stage

Last updated: January 08. 2014 1:49PM - 894 Views
Karen Kissiah Staff Writer

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The spring play for the On Stage theater group was nixed Monday evening when members of the group learned, due to scheduling conflicts, they could not reserve six consecutive weeks at the Theatre on the Green. So what did they do? They flipped the script!

Instead of producing a play, the group decided to plan a series of monologues to be performed during Spring Festival 2014. Festival dates this year are March 29-30.

The production of monologues will not only offer variety in the performance, it will also offer cast parts to a greater variety of people in the community.

“Hopefully, we will have some high school students interested in this,” said On Stage president Sherry Leviner.

Monologues are available through the Samuel French company for all ages and audiences, Leviner said, and usually require little or no background sets.

Monologues are relatively short, in comparison to a major role in a play. And that, said On Stage vice-president Mike Hunt, “makes them the perfect opportunity for students, or anyone, to gain confidence on the stage.”

Anyone interested in participating in this event is encouraged to attend the group’s next meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, at the Greater Cheraw Chamber of Commerce office. Casting calls will be announced at a later date.

The On Stage theater group has been actively producing plays and other events since the mid 80’s, before the theater was renovated.

Efforts for the town to purchase and renovate the historic building were initiated several years after the local community theatre group was formed.

Leviner, one of the founding members of the group, said she still remembers what the late Rep. Jean Laney Harris said about gathering political support for the purchase and renovation of the theater.

“Mrs. Jean Laney told us to form the group first, and prove there’s an interest and need in the community for it,” said Leviner. “And then she said, ‘some times you just have to rock the boat.’ “

Built in 1920, the Theatre on the Green had seen its better days by the 1980s. Take a close look at the front of the building and you’ll notice a door with a stairway that has long been closed to the public. The stairway, visible through the glass door leads the third floor that at one time was reserved for “colored only.” That floor is now used to house the lighting system for the stage, as well as sound equipment.

The project was well supported by local business, industry and individual patrons. Renovations were completed in 1991. Since then, the town has enjoyed live theater, music, dance, and more, in a building where many people saw their first big screen movie … in technicolor.

And since you asked … it was The Sound of Music, which On Stage has also performed there.

— Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at kkissiah@civitasmedia.com.

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