A Meeting of Creative Minds

Summer’s not even half over—go step outside if you don’t believe me!—but plans are already in place for an exciting 2012-13 season at the Sumter Little Theatre.  The new season, recently announced, includes “two fantastic musicals, a heartwarming drama, a unique interpretation of Dickens’ classic Christmas tale, a revival of an SLT favorite, something fun for the kids, and Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’” (info from an official SLT press release).

Sounds pretty formidable, doesn’t it?  But with an award-winning cast and crew, each performance is guaranteed to rise to a level that would give a seasoned Broadway cast something to think about.  Led by Executive Director Eric Bultman, who holds degrees from Duke University and USC and has worked as an actor and director for more than 30 years, the community ensemble has won numerous prestigious awards at the state and regional levels.  In 2004, Mr. Bultman received the South Carolina Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Performing Arts.  He is a company member with The Pacific Performance Project/East and has appeared in two productions with them, Gravity and Flight.  (Rumor has it that he also once appeared in a video with Mick Jagger and Bette Midler, but I cannot get him to confess to that!)

Organized in 1941, the Sumter Little Theatre was chartered in April 1949 as the Community Theatre. The name was changed to The Sumter Little Theatre in 1966 and non-profit status was granted at that time. The theatre re-organized in 1987 and moved to the Sumter County Cultural Center, adjacent to Patriot Hall and the Sumter County Gallery of Art. 

For many participants, it’s much more than a hobby.  Some of Sumter’s actors, technical personnel and students have gone on to outstanding accomplishments.  One of the first SLT shows I attended (at the old theatre building behind USC Sumter) was “A Streetcar Named Desire,” starring O’Neal Compton as a thoroughly compelling Stanley…what an amazing experience!

The Sumter Little Theatre is located at 14 Mood Avenue in the Sumter County Cultural Center.  This “black-box” venue seats 125 and creates an intimacy between actors and audience that draws one into the onstage action.  This year, that action includes:

Some Enchanted Evening – Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein
August 9-12 & 16-18, 2012
The Foreigner
September 13-16 & 20-23, 2012
Visiting Mr. Green
October 18-21 & 25-28, 2012
A Christmas Carol
December 6-9 & 13-16, 2012
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
February 7-10 & 14-17, 2013
The Trial of Goldilocks and Once Upon a Shoe
March 21-24 & 28-31, 2013
Romeo & Juliet
April 18-21 & 25-28, 2013

Tickets may be purchased individually (reservations are strongly recommended), or season memberships offering various perks are available, including several sponsorship levels.  Check out the Sumter Little Theatre and its various program offerings (including a fantastic youth drama program) online, or call (803) 775-2150.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming events and auditions on the SLT’s Facebook page.  Or, if you get stage fright, but you love to swing a hammer or a paintbrush, the theatre loves to welcome volunteers.  This season could be your opportunity to shine!

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