COLUMBIA, S.C. – In Trustus Theatre’s 34th Season, Trustus Artistic Director Chad Henderson is looking beyond the Midlands to create the outstanding programs housed within the theatre’s walls. In 2019, Trustus Theatre is collaborating with four professional theatre artists from Charleston, SC: Sharon Graci (Artistic Director of Pure Theatre), Janine McCabe (College of Charleston Department of Theatre Chair), Erin Wilson (Pure Theatre Core Ensemble Member), and Scott Pattinson (Actors’ Equity Association Member, Pure Theatre Core Ensemble Member). The theatre is also bringing back past Trustus Company Member Baxter Engle and Trustus Company Emeritus Steve Harley. Engle is a professional designer who now lives in New York City working with Production Glue, a live event company. Harley is a professional actor who is based out of Myrtle Beach and is a Company Member at Atlantic Stage.
Baxter Engle will be creating the scenic and projection designs for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time running on Trustus Theatre’s Main Stage January 18—February 9, 2019. Janine McCabe will be creating the costume design for the highly-anticipated production of The Great Gatsby, showing on Trustus Theatre’s Main Stage April 5-27, 2019. Erin Wilson, who directed last season’s A Bright Room Called Day, will be returning this season to direct the Pulitzer Prize Winning script Sweat by Lynn Nottage. Sweat runs May 17—June 1, 2019. Steve Harley will also be returning to Trustus Theatre from Myrtle Beach to play Stan in this production of Sweat. Sharon Graci, who directed the 2012 production of Next Fall, returns this season to direct the winner of the 2018 Trustus Playwrights’ Festival: Montgomery by Stephen Brown. Montgomery is a world premiere, and runs August 23-31, 2019.
Finally, Scott Pattison will be making his Trustus debut as he plays the role of Ed in Trustus Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Pattison is originally from Coventry, England, and he is a member of Actors’ Equity Association (the union for professional actors and stage managers). Scott’s work is presented through support from a Presenting and Performing Arts (PPA) Initiative Grant provided by the South Carolina Arts Commission. This play focuses on the story of an autistic teenager, and this production is also a partnership with Autism Speaks and SC Autism Academy.
Trustus Theatre Artistic Director Chad Henderson is eager to continue bringing artists from other markets to work at Trustus Theatre, and hopes that through these collaborations he will be able to find opportunities for Columbia artists to work elsewhere in the state.
“There’s absolutely no shortage of talented performers in Columbia,” Henderson said. “That’s not the reason for reaching beyond community lines to work with artists from other cities. Our goal is to create mor opportunities for artistic synergy within the statewide theatre community.”
Trustus Theatre was host to South Carolina Theatre Assocation’s gala in Spring 2018, where theatre artists and educators from all over the state convened.
“In my conversations with fellow theatre-makers in the state, I keep finding that so many artists are hoping for more professional collaborations beyond our communities,” said Henderson. “So why not try to make some meaningful opportunities for that to happen here at Trustus?”
Henderson acknowledges that many of the incoming guest artists this season at Trustus are Charleston-based due to his being the guest director of Fun Home at Pure Theatre last season. He asserted that there were conversations about Trustus Theatre collaborations with professional artists from Greenville and Hilton Head as well, but schedules were not able to line up to make that a possibility this season.
“This cross-pollination will have benefits for our resident company and our audiences as well,” Henderson said. “In our community, as with most markets, our artists work together constantly. Audiences come to know these artists and create expectations of their work, and artists come to have expectations of the collaborations they’re about to set off on. When someone new walks into the theatre, we get a chance to experience a new perspective—to work with a new set of tools that they’re bringing to work. They share their artistic culture with us, and we share ours with them. Audiences will bear witness to the work that is derived from the collaboration, which will hopefully provide unique experiences in our theatre.”
For more information on these visiting guests, please read artist profiles provided below. Writers interested in speaking to any of these artists may arrange interviews through Chad Henderson by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in donating to support fees, lodging, and travel for these guest artists, please contact Trustus Theatre Development Director, Brad Martin, at email@example.com.