It’s easy to get the tunes of “The Hills are Alive,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-re-mi,” and “Edelweiss” stuck in your head, but few people know the history behind the beloved story and music. The Broadway musical – which inspired the 1965 film – was based on the memoir “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers” by the real Maria von Trapp (Kutschera). We hope you enjoy these interesting facts and perhaps use them as a conversation starter before you see the live production at SCCT!
1. The Sound of Music was based on a real family! Maria Kutschera was born in 1905. In 1926, she left her convent to live with the von Trapp family, where she was to tutor one of Captain von Trapp’s children, who was sick at the time. Contrary to the story we all know and love, she wasn’t originally hired as a governess for the family! (The Washington Post)
2. There were actually 10 von Trapp children – not 7! There were 10 children, not 7, in the von Trapp family. Their names were changed, as well. The real von Trapp children were named Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, Martina, Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes. (Biography)
3. No “do-re-mi” lessons for the real von Trapp siblings Maria didn’t have to teach the von Trapp siblings how to sing. In fact, they were already accomplished singers and musicians before she arrived! Maria, however, did encourage them to share their talents by touring and performing in competitions. They won first place in the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936! (National Archives)
4. “Edelweiss” isn’t Austrian “Edelweiss” is one of the most recognizable and beloved songs from The Sound of Music. However, it wasn’t an Austrian standard. It was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical. (Insider)
5. The von Trapps didn’t actually escape to Switzerland via mountain pass In fact, they took a train to Italy! It would have been unsafe for them to cross over the Austrian mountains, as it would have landed them in Hitler’s Germany. (Broadway.com)
6. The Singing Heart According to Broadway.comThe Sound of Music, originally went by a totally different name: The Singing Heart.
7. A Broadway Flop The Sound of Music first opened on Broadway in 1959 and was slammed by critics for being too “saccharine.” The producers had already invested $2 million in advance ticket sales so it was able to stay open! It ran on Broadway for three years with 1,443 performances. (The Sound of Music)
8. Hammerstein’s final hurrah Sadly, The Sound of Music was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s last collaboration. Shortly after the first Broadway premiere, Hammerstein passed away. This was his 8th and final musical. (Broadway.com)
9. 6 Tony Awards and 5 Oscars The Sound of Music on Broadway won six Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress for Mary Martin, who played Maria. The movie adaptation won five Oscars in 1965, including Best Picture. (Broadway.com)
10. The original cast recording was number one on Billboard charts for 16 weeks The original cast recording was recorded a week after the show’s premiere in 1959. It was released by Columbia Records and quickly rose to the top of the Billboard album charts, where it was number one for 16 weeks! (Broadway.com)
With your Sound of Music trivia now in hand, we hope you join us at SCCT to enjoy this classic story. Directed by SCCT Artistic Director Matt Giles and featuring performances by local actors, choreographers, and designers, this production of Sound of Music will be one to remember!
The Sound of Music runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from May 6th – 22nd with showtimes at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Tickets are $22. Get your tickets here.
Two islands. One moon. That’s the setting for our next guests. Matt Giles and Kerry Ferguson with the South Carolina Children’s Theatre are here to tell us all about the Spartanburg-based playwright of The Missing Moon.
South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) announced today that after 34 years of service, Debbie Bell, Executive Director, has decided to retire. The Board of Directors of South Carolina Children’s Theatre has organized a search committee to find Ms. Bell’s replacement, who will serve in the role of Managing Director. The organization will adopt a new management structure, with a Managing Director co-leading SCCT with Artistic Director, Matt Giles. Ms. Bell will stay on as Executive Director until Fall 2022, when the new Managing Director is expected to be in place.
“The impact of Debbie’s leadership and her legacy at SCCT cannot be overstated,” says Kathryn Freedman, Board Chair of SCCT. “She has spent her career ensuring all children of the Upstate are exposed to the benefits the dramatic and musical arts provide, and she has created a culture of empowerment and belonging. While saddened by Debbie’s retirement, the SCCT Board of Directors and supporting staff are confident that our new management structure, with Matt Giles continuing as co-leader of the organization, will facilitate a smooth transition. Thanks to the strong foundation Debbie has built, SCCT will continue to thrive as we look toward our future.”
Before joining the team at South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Ms. Bell worked in the banking industry, at IBM, and at Coldwell Banker Caine. Her first interactions with SCCT were as a parent volunteer. “My children were performing in productions and I simply fell in love with it. I started volunteering and realized my heart was here,” says Bell. By 1989, Ms. Bell was promoted from volunteer to Business Manager of SCCT. In 1999, she was promoted to Executive Director, and thus began a career that has now impacted generations of children and families in the Upstate of South Carolina.
While SCCT has been forced to limit capacity and/or put certain programs on hold over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-COVID, the theatre consistently served more than 50,000 children and families per year through its theatrical productions, year-round education classes, and community outreach programs. “We have grown to be so much more than a performance theatre,” says Ms. Bell. “Through our Conservatory for Theatre Arts, we provide professional educational programs for children ages 3-18. In these classes, we teach and help students develop performance, communication, cooperation, self-discipline, and critical thinking skills. Simultaneously, our community outreach programs help us make sure that even our most vulnerable neighbors can enjoy, and benefit, from our theatrical and educational programming as well.”
While the average tenure of an Executive Director is 6 years, Ms. Bell’s 23-year tenure as Executive Director (and 34 years of total service) at SCCT has made her an icon of the Greenville arts community, where she has built hundreds of partnerships that have helped mold the theatre into what it is today. Her close friend and colleague, Alan Ethridge, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Arts Council, says of Ms. Bell’s legacy: “For the last 23 years, Debbie Bell has been an amazing leader and trailblazer in Greenville’s arts community. Debbie has played a significant role in ensuring that the next generation of actors, theatre technicians, donors, volunteers, and supporters are being cultivated to take our thriving Greenville arts community to new heights in the future.”
Under Ms. Bell’s leadership, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has won numerous awards and distinctions for its high standards of artistic leadership and excellence, including the SC Secretary of State Angel Award (2003), the SCTA Founder’s Award (2010), the SCTA Theatre of Distinction Award (2018), and the Community Foundation of Greenville’s Leadership in Arts Award (2020).
While Ms. Bell’s work at SCCT has made an indelible and positive impact on hundreds of thousands of children and parents, she has also made an indelible and positive impact on the City of Greenville, as she leaves behind a brand new, state-of-the-art theatre facility that will allow South Carolina Children’s Theatre to flourish for generations to come. After many years of operating out of warehouses, government buildings, and eventually the Gunter Theatre at the Peace Center, in 2010, the theatre was given an unexpected and remarkable gift. Local arts patron and friend of Ms. Bell, Ms. Josephine Cureton, bequeathed her home and plot of land in downtown Greenville to South Carolina Children’s Theatre, under one condition: the organization would need to raise funding to erect a theatre of its own. Never one to shy from a challenge, between 2014-2020, Ms. Bell worked with a team of community volunteers on a capital campaign that raised over $14 million for the new building from private and corporate donors, foundations, the City, the County, and the State. “Debbie was the driving force at the helm of the capital campaign,” says Minor Shaw, co-chair of SCCT’s capital campaign. “Her vision, passion, and commitment to SCCT were essential in making the campaign a success and ensuring a strong future for South Carolina Children’s Theatre!”
In collaboration with local architects Craig Gaulden Davis, and the team at Triangle Construction, the new South Carolina Children’s Theatre was completed April 2020 and stands at 153 Augusta Street, across from Gather GVL. And while the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted plans for a grand opening, SCCT plans to have a 35-year anniversary “homecoming celebration” this fall 2022, in conjunction with Ms. Bell’s retirement. “As conditions become safer, we are excited to fling open our doors and welcome the community into our theatre in a big way this fall. It is important to us that the community feels at home at SCCT now, and into the future,” says Bell.
With the new building in place, SCCT is poised for its next stages of growth. Ms. Bell couldn’t be more excited about the vision of Artistic Director, Matt Giles. “Matt is a true visionary,” says Bell. “He is a skilled collaborator, bridge builder, and champion for the critical role SCCT plays in the Greenville arts community. It has been an honor to work alongside him. As the principal steward of SCCT’s mission and vision, Matt works tirelessly to create a culture that attracts talented artists and the resources necessary to produce work at an increasingly impressive level of artistic achievement. The organization is in good hands,” says Bell.
Working in partnership over the past 3 years, and navigating the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic together, Ms. Bell and Mr. Giles were a formidable team. “Debbie Bell is a force,” says Mr. Giles. “I have had the opportunity to work with theatre leaders from across the country and have rarely met a leader with her drive, compassion, and vision. She is an icon in this community and it has been an absolute joy collaborating with her for the past two years. Because of her tireless efforts, SCCT is set up for success for many years to come. I will dearly miss working alongside her, but I am so appreciative of all that she has done for this organization and this community.”
In addition to her role as Executive Director at SCCT, Ms. Bell has served on numerous community Boards throughout the years, including: PTAs of several Greenville County Schools, Converse College Alumni Board, Downtown Soccer Association, West End Association Board, Caine Halter YMCA Board, YMCA Metro Board, and the Non-profit Alliance Steering Committee. She was co-founder of the Caine Halter Lungs for Life 5K, the precursor to Run4Life, where she continues to be involved. She currently serves on the Metropolitan Arts Council Board as head of the Cultural Coalition. In recognition of her contributions to the Greenville community, Ms. Bell received the Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) Visionary Award (2013), and has also been named to Greenville Business Magazine’s “50 Most Influential 2019” and “Most Influential Hall of Fame 2020.”
On top of her many accolades, accomplishments, and contributions to the arts community of the City of Greenville, perhaps the most important part of Ms. Bell’s legacy remains in the lasting relationships she has built as a leader, a mentor, and a friend to so many – inspiring an entire generation of Greenvillians to appreciate and grow from the arts. Ms. Bell’s deep passion and loyalty to serving children and families will always be a part of South Carolina Children’s Theatre. “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this amazing organization, and I can’t wait to see how the theatre will grow, evolve, and continue to positively impact the community in the years to come. The future is bright for South Carolina Children’s Theatre.”
Founded in 1987 by Ric Standridge, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in the Upstate community through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, South Carolina Children’s Theatre produces and performs five high quality, live theatre performances featuring children and adults on its Bell MainStage. The theatre also produces three-four additional shows and other special events on its more intimate Younts 2nd Stage. Throughout the year, SCCT offers professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18, as well as educational outreach to low-income and special needs children. For more information about South Carolina Children’s Theatre, please visit: www.scchildrenstheatre.org
Director of Development & Marketing
South Carolina Children’s Theatre [email protected]
Address: 153 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Office Phone: (864) 203-1164
“Why do you sit there like that?” Cat asks. “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny!”
Playful, encouraging, and slightly mischievous, Traysie Amick exemplifies her starring role as the Cat in Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, which returns to the stage at South Carolina Children’s Theatre March 4-13. Amick has been playing Cat since 1999 when she first joined the team at SCCT. Since then, she has revived the role in 20 Character Breakfasts, the 1st Annual Characters in Concert, and SCCT’s 2015 production. It’s safe to say, Amick balances lots of hats, and not just the classic red-and-white-striped one! Simultaneously, Amick teaches and mentors hundreds of students per year through SCCT’s Theatre Conservatory and Outreach programs. She personifies the Cat’s best qualities onstage and off.
Amick admits that she does her best work in this show. Her love for her students emanates throughout her performance. Years of photographs prove that. “I met so many of my now-students at the Character Breakfast as the Cat in the Hat. Parents today will bring cherished pictures of the tiny version of their child with me as Cat. Though the makeup looks a little different now over 20 years,” Amick quips.
Amick feels a deep level of responsibility for the upcoming production of The Cat in the Hat. Two key artistic creatives involved in the last 2015 production, SCCT Teaching Artist Jason Bryant and Prop and Set Designer Kim Granner, have since passed. These losses were profound for SCCT. Each creative brought a key component to crafting the magic of the show. Kim had a hand in every single prop or set piece and Jason’s talent brought the Fish to life. “Knowing that we had lost Jason and Kim, it was hard to say ‘yes’ to doing the show again, but I took it as an opportunity to light a candle for these brilliant artists,” says Amick.
Beyond the theatre’s great love and history with the production, audiences may wonder: can Dr. Seuss’s treasured illustrations, rhythm, and rhyme leap off the pages into reality? The answer is yes. With cartoon sound effects, magically appearing objects, pantomime, and sleight of hand, kids will be at the edge of their seats as they watch this beloved children’s book come to life.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from March 4th – 13th with showtimes at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20. Box office: 864-235-2885 or scchildrenstheatre.org
South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s beloved production of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat is returning to the Bell MainStage March 4th – 13th! Join us as we bring the magical story to life! Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat leaps off the page with dynamic sets, onstage stunts and tricks, and a mischievous cat who turns a rainy day into a day full of adventure! Our production is recommended for children ages, K3-5th Grade.
For a fun sneak peek of what you can expect at the show, we sat down with SCCT’s Principal Teaching Artist, and star of The Cat in the Hat, Traysie Amick:
How long have you been playing the Cat?
I started playing the Cat in 1999 before I started working full time at South Carolina Children’s Theatre. I was asked by Debbie Bell to wear the Cat in the Hat costume in the lobby to entertain kids before shows. After that, I continued as the Cat in the Character Breakfast for 20 years! Last year, I was the Cat in Characters in Concert and will revive that role in the 2nd Annual Event, too. I also played the Cat in SCCT’s 2015 production!
How does SCCT bring this classic story to life?
Looking at the book, you might never know that it would be possible for the magic to come to life on stage! How will the Cat pull off stunts on stage? How will the fish character translate into reality? In SCCT’s 2015 production the then-artistic team (Betsy Bisson, Kim Granner, and Jef Lambin) figured out how to conceive the magic here at SCCT. Seven years later, the magical moments are cleaner and tighter. Hopefully, it will be even more of an adventure in 2022!
What will kids love most about Cat in the Hat?
Kids are going to love the cartoon sound effects, the objects flying across the stage, and the fact that things magically appear and disappear. With pantomime and sleight of hand, audiences will see all kinds of cool magical things happen, especially things you should never do in a house that everyone wants to do in the house!
Why is this a good show for young children?
I think The Cat in the Hat encourages a sense of play and openness to ideas. Oftentimes, people are uncomfortable with vulnerability and making mistakes. The Cat often makes a mess but then takes responsibility for its actions. There’s a wonderful power and freedom in letting loose, playing, tearing things up, and allowing the house to be a mess – just to see if you can put it back together again. Who knows? Maybe you find better places the next time!
What’s your favorite moment in the show?
As an actor, my favorite moment is my entrance. It has a “jump off the diving board” sensation. The show starts so tense, tight, and almost quiet. It’s like when you pull a toy car back and it gets tight and then you let it go and it just goes and goes and goes! It’s a rainy day and the kids are moping in front of the window with nothing to do. Cat enters and asks the kids, “Why do you sit there like that?” It’s a beautiful rainy day. Immediately, the first question says ‘don’t limit yourself, you have options.’ It’s a great way to approach life!
As a teacher, my favorite moment is when Cat tells Thing 1 and Thing 2 that they no longer can play. It feels like the end of acting class! Cat’s responsible side shines through at this moment and the very young will deeply empathize with this feeling of having to clean up and stop the fun.
Why is The Cat in the Hat a perfect introduction for young ones to get involved in theatre?
First of all, it is very well-timed! The show happens right before our summer camp session. If a child sees the show and says, “I want to do that!” then they have week after week of opportunity to start where they’re comfortable. We host a variety of themed summer camps that allow kids to find a theme that feels safe – maybe it’s Hogwarts or Sing Disney? Then they can edge into new classes and experiences beyond their comfort zone. Although a new experience may be overwhelming or challenging, kids will walk away feeling braver than they were before!
Don’t wait! Grab your tickets today!
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from March 4th – 13th with showtimes at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm, Tickets are $20. Box office: 864-235-2885 or scchildrenstheatre.org. SCCT will require all patrons ages 2 and up to wear masks while indoors at any SCCT performance.
Artistic Director and Director, Matt Giles and Clare Ruble (playing Little John) join Megan Heidlberg and Damarcus Gaston on Your Carolina to talk about the upcoming production of Robin Hood.
It is the classic tale of good and bad and we are so lucky to have such talented kids here in the Upstate. We are talking about the South Carolina Children’s Theatre and their production of Robin Hood and we have some of the performers here with us today to tell us about the show.
Guest Fight Choreographer, Thomas Azar, brings life to a reimagined telling of Robin Hood
by: Margaret Butler
SCCT’s modern adaptation of Robin Hood features all of the classic characters that you know
and love and sets them right in our backyard: the Appalachian mountains. The themes of
adventure, bravery, honor, family, and justice matched with fast-paced wit, professional local actors, and riveting stage combat raise the bar for children’s theatre in the Upstate.
Thomas Azar brings the Stage Combat up a notch
Thomas Azar, a local Upstate actor, joins SCCT for his artistic debut with the company. With an MFA in Classical Acting at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, DC, Azar is no stranger to combat. His resume is chock-full of experience in unarmed combat, single sword, rapier and dagger, broadsword, quarterstaff, knife, and whip.
Robin Hood’s combat ranges from traditional “good vs evil” fights to lighthearted one-upmanship skirmishes. To Azar, it’s less about highly technical moves and more about fitting into the world of the show. “The characters in this telling of Robin Hood may not have extensive fight training, so how can we reflect that in the choreography?” Instead of using highly precise attacks and parries, anger might come through repeated motions and back and forth jabs,” Azar says. The characters exude an air of “I don’t need formal training to whoop you.”
Safety in Combat
The first rule of combat is safety. Azar works with Artistic Director Matt Giles to ensure that
safety takes priority in rehearsals. Azar says “every fight needs to be repeatable 8 times per
week. Actors need to know the moves and feel them in their body.” During combat, the fighters communicate through eye contact to ensure that each participant is ready and feels safe. “There is a line between ensuring safety and telling a convincing story. Walking that line for fight direction is where the artistry comes in.”
To make a fight “absolutely safe and totally gripping for the audience takes time.”
From the conceptualization to rehearsal time, choreographing each fight takes upward of 12-15 hours. “Each character has a different skill level and repertoire of moves. The choreography needs to reflect this.” In rehearsals, Azar worked closely with the cast of Robin Hood to develop genuine moments to define each character and relationship. Azar’s collaboration with the cast gives the actors ownership of their movements and helps the story come alive. “When actors suggest something that works, I exclaim, ‘Yes, of course – I love it.’ It puts a big smile on my face when actors help complete the puzzle.”
Professional from the Word ‘Go’
Before stepping in the building, Azar was already impressed with SCCT’s strong reputation for safety, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Azar commends SCCT for “meeting the bar of professional theatre and far exceeding it in all aspects.”
Robin Hood runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from January 28th – February 6th with show times at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm, Tickets are $20. Box office: 864-235-2885 or scchildrenstheatre.org/robinhood
What do the holidays, the Tony Award-winning musical, Annie, and South Carolina Children’s
Theatre have in common? Coming home.And three upstate actors are doing just that. Mike Gallagher, reviving his role as Daddy Warbucks, Kenzie Wynne, playing Grace Farrell, and Ayden Woo, headlining as Annie, have all found a home at South Carolina Children’s Theatre. Even sweeter yet, they get to celebrate
their claimed home at SCCT’s newly constructed venue at 153 Augusta Street, in the West End
of downtown Greenville.
Mike Gallagher, nationally acclaimed radio talk-show host and former member of the Upstate
Theatre community, is thrilled to revive his role as Daddy Warbucks. This is his third time playing
the uptight yet warm-hearted billionaire at SCCT (previously seen in the 1994 and 2013
productions) and he was eager to return.
Gallagher, broadcasted on 300 radio stations across the country with 10 million listeners daily,
recognizes Greenville as the place he “cut his teeth in talk radio.” He thinks fondly of the years
he spent in Greenville with his late wife, Denise, and the years they spent raising their children
here. Gallagher sees the “parallel of the Children’s Theatre growing while we were just
blossoming as a family.”
“Flying in the other day from NY and landing here in GSP, is like all those wonderful feelings
come flooding back. And the South Carolina Children’s Theatre is integral for me in that.”
For Gallagher, coming back to SCCT is a choice. With “radio shows in the morning and
rehearsals at night” plus a variety of other time-consuming projects, Gallagher chooses again
and again to return to SCCT. “I love this place so much. I’m so blown away by how it is growing
and it is such a joy for it to be a part of my life again.”
Upon his return, Gallagher said: “It seems like there are hundreds of kids coming and going. I
was involved with conversations when this [building] was just a dream. And then to see this
dream become a reality – this theatre is a huge reason I’m here.”
Ayden Woo (Annie), a freshman at Greenville Senior High, has been active at the Children’s
Theatre since she was 4 years old. She’s been studying theatre and voice since “before she
could make understandable sentences” and remembers her first class at SCCT over 10 years
ago. “After a class or show, I always feel that I have learned something. Whether it be a new
skill set for a role or learning about a different style of theatre for class. I always feel that I am
gaining something new.”
SCCT empowers students, like Ayden, to express themselves. Even simply being inspired by
the magic of theatre is a noteworthy moment in Ayden’s childhood.
“I got to see Annie when my sister, Eryn, played Pepper. I was too young at the time but it
looked like so much fun! The show allows me to understand that you can find love beyond just
family. From the directors and teachers to the fellow students and cast members – SCCT is like
a second home to me.”
Kenzie Wynne, played Annie in SCCT’s 2008 production, and is now back to play the loveable assistant to Warbucks, Grace Farrell. She highlights the similarities between Annie and Grace as “tenacious women during a time when tenacity in women was frowned upon. I love that this musical shows women and girls being themselves, and it gets them places.” Kenzie began taking classes at SCCT when she was 11 years old. At the time, she hadn’t really found her niche but remembers “every detail of her first experience” performing at SCCT. “I was completely hooked. I’d finally found my niche and my people!” After growing up at SCCT, Kenzie majored in Theatre Arts at Furman University and went on to receive her MFA in Acting in London. Since returning to Greenville, Kenzie has recently signed with an agent and gotten engaged.
“SCCT is a special place because it values kids. It gives children autonomy, their own voices,
and a safe space to express themselves. Kids don’t always get to feel their own power, but in
that special building, they do. In that same way, adults get to let go a little bit and just play!”
SCCT’s new home is more than just a building, its heart radiates through every person who has
been involved, making it a place Kenzie, and many others, will “always return home.”
Annie opens Nov. 26th for 13 performances through Dec. 19th, ringing in the holiday season
with plenty of cheer. With memorable classics including “Maybe,” “Hard-Knock Life,” “Tomorrow,”
and “N.Y.C.,” you’ll be tapping your toes and humming along, even after the curtain descends.
The story of Little Orphan Annie began as a comic strip in 1924 and the rest was history for this
uplifting story of a Depression-era orphan filled with spunk, boundless hope and gleeful
optimism. The Tony Award-winning Annie took to Broadway in 1977 and quickly captured the
hearts of audiences everywhere. Today, Annie is one of the most often-produced musicals in the
It is only fitting that SCCT chose to bring Annie to life at their new home. Annie was originally
scheduled for the 2019-2020 Season. But when COVID temporarily closed the theatre’s doors
back in March, it was no easy street for SCCT. Luckily, overcoming hardships with creative
solutions is SCCT’s bread and butter. SCCT is filled to the brim with educational programming,
outreach initiatives, and a full season of Mainstage and 2nd stage productions.
“At SCCT, we endeavor to be a place where young people and their families are empowered,
encouraged, and at home. These values are at the core of the story in Annie, and we are so
proud to invite our audiences into our new home as we tell this story.” -Matt Giles, Artistic
In the season of Pumpkin-themed everything, it’s only telling that “Spookley the Square
Pumpkin: The Musical” is headed to Greenville this fall. Produced by South Carolina Children’s
Theatre, this heartwarming tale of a square pumpkin finding his place in a round pumpkin world,
will delight audience members of all ages.
The production is led by an impressive team of artistic professionals and a talented cast of
young actors. But perhaps, most noteworthy is the addition of prestiged guest scenic and
puppet designer, Ryan Bradbrun. Matt Giles, Artistic Director at South Carolina Children’s
Theatre says he feels “very fortunate to have Bradburn as a part of the SCCT family. His
boundless creativity and work with puppets is unrivaled.”
A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design and Atlanta-based artist, Ryan Bradburn
boasts an impressive work portfolio of props, sets, creative styling, and illustrations. For
Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical, Bradburn designed 8 unique, interactive puppets.
These puppets aren’t your traditional hand puppets though, they have the capability to move
and talk. Bradburn spent an average of 7 to 8 hours per puppet, most of which was spent on
their functionality and ease of use. He transforms craft foam, rubber, fleece, jewels, and other
materials to help the puppets come alive under the lights.
Bradburn is no stranger to unusual requests in the design industry. Once he was dealt with the
task of advertising a pharmaceutical drug for cows. Another time – designing safe dynamite.
Nothing is beyond Bradburn. His creativity, resourcefulness, and can-do attitude is reflected in
his extensive resume. When you look at Bradburn’s clients, ranging from CNN and Maker’s
Mark to McDonald’s and Boy Scouts of America, you’d wonder what keeps Bradburn coming
back to the upstate.
In fact, Bradburn got his start in theatre in the area. From performing in shows to painting
backdrops, Bradburn fostered his creativity right here in the Upstate. At South Carolina
Children’s Theatre, Bradburn’s credits include “BFG,” “Rapunzel,” “Pinkalicious,” and “How I
Became a Pirate”. His talent has also been seen at the Warehouse Theatre and Greenville
Bradburn’s scenic design and puppetry work on Spookley is truly spectacular but he humbly
claims that his work alone isn’t what delivers magic. “The magic is from all of the parts coming
together. Watching the actors and audience see the puppets for the first time – that’s the magic.”
South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s production of “Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical”,
runs October 22nd-October 31st at the Bell Mainstage at 153 Augusta Street, across the street
from Gather GVL.
To learn more about Ryan Bradburn, visit: http://www.ryanbradburn.com/home.html
South Carolina Children's Theatre's mission is to empower and inspire a new generation of changemakers through theatre.
As a nonprofit organization, SCCT relies on the support of our community to help provide us with the opportunity to bring transformative theatre experiences to young people and families of the Upstate and beyond!