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Ryan Bradburn – Scenic & Puppet Designer Extraordinaire – Brings His Talents Back to Greenville

By: Margaret Butler

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
Theatre.
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

Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The Musical is based on the book “The Legend of Spookley the
Square Pumpkin” written by Joe Troiano, the film “Spookley the Spookley the Square Pumpkin”
written by Joe Troiano and Tom Hughes, and the stage production directed and conceived by
Jeff Frank and First Stage. Spookley the Square Pumpkin and all related elements © and TM/®
under license to Holiday Hill Enterprises, LLC. Spookley is the “Official Spokes-Pumpkin” for
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Month in October. PACER.org/Bullying Spookley

Cast of SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE MUSICAL to open for Denver Down’s Pumpkin Princess Pageant

The cast of South Carolina Children’s Theatre’s production of SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE
MUSICAL will be presenting an opening number for Denver Down’s Pumpkin Princess Pageant, on
October 2nd at 11:50 AM. Denver Downs is one of the MainStage sponsors for the musical, along with
Seamon Whiteside, Primrose School of Greenville, Greenville Journal, and United Community Bank.

SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE MUSICAL, with Book and Lyrics by Joe Troiano and Music
Composed and Arranged by Jeffrey Zahn, is about a square pumpkin in a round pumpkin world. He has
hilarious spider friends, Edgar, Allan, and Poe. He’s the star of a popular book series and famous
animated feature. Maybe that’s why SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE MUSICAL is on its way to
becoming a family tradition itself. Does Spookley have what it takes to be the Pick of the Patch? Will he
realize being different makes him special? Sing along as you find out, and enjoy one of the best
Halloween musicals you will see for a long time! South Carolina Children’s Theatre will presenting the
musical October 22nd through October 31st in their new facility at 153 Augusta Street (across the street
from Gather GVL.)

The cast, led by director, Lauren Imhoff, consists of Sarah Greene, Kate Kitchens, Sanjay Govindarajan,
Becca Payne, Ashley Smith, Bella Majarais, Sidney Park, Harper Page, Ayla Apple, Marcy Roseveare, Julia
Orr, and Allison Dewberry. Choreography is by Mary Evan Giles and Lauren Imhoff and Music Direction is
by Julie Florin.

About SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE MUSICAL
SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN: THE MUSICAL is based on the book “The Legend of Spookley the
Square Pumpkin” written by Joe Troiano, the film “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” written by Joe Troiano
and Tom Hughes, and the stage production directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin and all related elements © and TM/® under license to Holiday Hill
Enterprises, LLC. Spookley is the “Official Spokes-Pumpkin” for PACER’s National Bullying Prevention
Month in October. PACER.org/Bullying Spookley.

SCCT Artistic Director Named Forty Under 40!

GSA Business Report has selected Matt Giles, Artistic Director at South Carolina Children’s Theatre, for the 2021 Class of Forty Under 40.

The Forty Under 40 program honors the top 40 business professionals across the Upstate who have excelled in their chosen profession and in service to their community. Please join us in congratulating Matt Giles for this distinguished honor.

Matt Giles joined South Carolina Children’s Theatre in March 2020 and his responsibilities include setting the artistic direction for the theatre; hiring, managing and evaluating artistic personnel including directors, performers and designers; serving as spokespersons for the organization’s artistic purpose; fostering the continued development of good relations with other cultural and community organizations; along with the executive director, setting the strategic and financial objectives of SCCT; and maintaining the artistic and educational integrity of SCCT’s programs.

A native of Upstate South Carolina and a Wofford College alumnus, Giles joined SCCT from Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis—the nation’s largest theatre for multigenerational audiences, where he served as General Manager. Prior to his time at CTC, Giles was the Associate Producing Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre. He is also an accomplished director, with more than 30 directorial credits to his name.  Throughout his career, Giles has worked with SCCT as an actor, director and teaching artist, most recently playing ‘Snail’ in SCCT’s production of A Year With Frog & Toad, in Spring 2019. In SCCT’s 2021-2022 Season, Matt will direct Robin Hood and The Sound of Music and co-direct Annie with Education Director, Betsy Bisson.

GSA Business Report is proud to recognize 40 elite individuals who start companies, lead community efforts for positive change and who have made an impact that reaches far beyond the Forty Under 40 honor.

GSA Business Report’s panel of judges had a difficult challenge in determining who would be named to the 2021 Class of Forty Under 40. Not only did they have to consider the personal, professional dedication and commitment of service each nominee provides in the Upstate but to have done so in the shadow of a global pandemic indicates this class has been tempered like no other and destined for great things in the future.

About GSA Business Report

GSA Business Report is the source of business news for high-level executive across the Upstate and beyond.  As part of the SC Biz News team with several publications, including the Charleston Regional Business Journal, Columbia Regional Business Report, SCBIZ magazine and many others online and in print, GSA Business Report’s team of content providers partner with businesses and economic development leaders across the state.

SCCT Announces 2021-2022 Season

 

South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) is ecstatic to announce the lineup for their 2021-2022 MainStage Season—the first season to be produced in its entirety at SCCT’s brand new Theatre Arts and Education Center for Children.

The five-show season will open in October with the heartwarming story of SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN- THE MUSICAL (October 22-31, 2021). Your family will be treated to the kindness-counts tale of a non-traditionally-shaped pumpkin who comes to terms with his square-ness. This will mark the first time SCCT has produced this show, with book and lyrics by Joe Troiano and music by Jeffrey Zahn. SPOOKLEY will be directed by long-time SCCT collaborator, Lauren Imhoff. Imhoff is no stranger to the SCCT stage. She has directed several shows for SCCT—most recently, KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL on SCCT’s 2nd Stage. She is also a gifted choreographer, creating the dance numbers for 2019’s ELLA ENCHANTED, A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD, and SCCT’s first ever, CHARACTERS IN CONCERT.

Following SPOOKLEY, the beloved musical, ANNIE (November 26-December 19, 2021), will take stage on the Bell Mainstage. With a book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, this will mark the sixth mounting of the orphan-finds-a-home tale by SCCT, most recently produced by the theatre in 2013. SCCT is also excited to welcome back nationally-syndicated radio show host, Mike Gallagher, who will be reprising his role as Daddy Warbucks. It will be co-directed by SCCT’s Artistic Director, Matt Giles, and Education Director, Betsy Bisson. Bisson previously played the role of Ms. Hannigan, opposite Giles’ Rooster, and has also directed the show. Her most recent SCCT directorial credits include ELLA ENCHANTED, A YEAR WITH FROG & TOAD, and SHREK THE MUSICAL. Giles, who assumed artistic leadership of SCCT in March 2020, recently directed GO, DOG. GO! and led the restaging of Kim Granner’s production, GLOW TALES- A BLACKLIGHT PUPPETRY EXTRAVAGANZA!

“It has long been our dream to bring ANNIE back to our stage once we opened our new facility,” says Giles. “This show has such a storied history at SCCT and we cannot wait to produce this piece in the new theatre. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with Annie and Daddy Warbucks?”

January, 2022 will mark Giles’ return to the director’s chair for the 2021-2022 season with ROBIN HOOD (January 28-February 6, 2022), by British playwright Greg Banks. Another first-time production for SCCT, this classic tale of good vs. evil will be a treat for children and adults alike. Our fresh take on the beloved classic combines daring fights and iconic characters with a healthy dose of quick-witted, slapstick comedy. This adaptation is sure to keep every audience member at the edge of their seat.

“I can’t wait to bring this show to SCCT,” says Giles. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing this show come to life on stages in New York and Seattle and I can say with confidence that SCCT audiences are in for a real treat. We have some wonderfully creative plans for this show and I can’t wait to share it with our community.”

In March, SCCT is thrilled to bring Dr. Seuss’s story of THE CAT IN THE HAT (March 4-13, 2022) to the stage. Education Principal Teaching Artist, Traysie Amick, will headline the cast as ‘Cat’ and will have audience members bouncing out of their seats with her jubilant performance. DR. SEUSS’S THE CAT IN THE HAT was adapted for the stage by Katie Mitchell and will be directed by Betsy Bisson. The creativity of this fantastic duo is sure to make this performance a season favorite.

The season will wrap up in May with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (May 6-22, 2022). The final show of the season will also be directed by Giles. This legendary musical is coming to the SCCT stage for the 5th time and was most recently produced in 2012. Audiences will, once again, fall in love with the melodies and characters of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpiece during SCCT’s production.

“I can’t fathom a more fitting way to end our season,” says Giles. “We’re going to be producing a fresh take on this piece, while staying true to the musical we’ve all grown to know and love.”

Tickets for our 2021-2022 season can be purchased individually, starting on September 1st, 2021. Please subscribe to our email here or check our website regularly for reminders. Due to ongoing COVID precautions, season subscriptions will not be offered this year.

South Carolina Children’s Theatre is committed to providing a safe space for all of our program participants. The health and well-being of our students, patrons, and staff remain our top priority. We are continuing to evaluate all health data and CDC recommendations to make informed, intentional decisions about capacity and masking. Click here to see our current precautions.

About SCCT’s Headquarters

South Carolina Children’s Theatre recently opened their new Center for Theatre Arts and Education. Despite COVID, SCCT has been able to safely welcome students and patrons into the space with social-distancing precautions, a reduced seating capacity, and 5 newly installed Bipolar Ionization Units. The facility, located at 153 Augusta Street, serves as the headquarters for the organization. All SCCT MainStage and 2nd Stage performances, as well as education programs, will take place at the center, bringing all three pillars of SCCT’s mission—performance, outreach and education—under one roof for the first time in the organization’s history.

About South Carolina Children’s Theatre

Since 1987, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in South Carolina through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, SCCT produces and performs high-quality, live theatre, featuring children and adults. SCCT also offers additional shows for younger audiences and other special events on the theatre’s 2nd Stage.

In addition to performances, SCCT offers professional, year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18 and educational outreach to under-resourced, special needs, and hospitalized children.

The mission of South Carolina Children’s Theatre is to educate and stimulate the minds and imaginations of young people and their families through participation in high-quality theatre, year-round education, and accessible outreach.

SCCT moved to their permanent home at 153 Augusta Street in April 2020.

To learn more about South Carolina Children’s Theatre, visit www.scchildrenstheatre.org.

SCCT Announces First Season in New Home!

South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) is pleased to announce the lineup for their 2020-2021 MainStage Season—the first season to be produced in its entirety at SCCT’s brand new Theatre Arts and Education Center for Children.

The six-show season will open in September with the classic musical Annie. This will mark the sixth mounting of the orphan-finds-a-home tale by SCCT, most recently produced by the theatre in 2013. It will be co-directed by SCCT’s Co-Artistic Directors Betsy Bisson and Matt Giles. Bisson has previously played the role of Ms. Hannigan opposite Giles’ Rooster and has also directed the show. Her most recent SCCT directorial credits include Ella Enchanted, A Year With Frog & Toad and Shrek The Musical. Giles, the newest member of the SCCT team, is on deck to direct SCCT’s upcoming production of Curious George: The Golden Meatball—the organization’s final production as a resident company of the Peace Center.

“We’ve been holding this one in our back pocket, knowing we wanted to open our new theatre with this classic show,“ said Bisson. “The parallel between Annie the Orphan finding a home, and SCCT finally moving into our own home was just too perfect.”

Following Annie, in October, will be the kindness-counts story of Spookley The Square Pumpkin. This will mark the first time SCCT has produced this show and it will be directed by regular SCCT guest director Kim Granner. Granner most recently directed SCCT’s Winter 2020 production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and prior to that, Mr. Popper’s Penguins in Winter 2019. Granner is a multi-talented artist and an experienced puppet maker, which will certainly be an asset to a show in which the main character is a non-traditionally shaped pumpkin.

December’s holiday show is a remount of Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. Director Mia Phillips, who directed both previous productions of this fun-filled show, brings it back to life, this time on SCCT’s very own MainStage! Phillips is a regular guest director, most recently sharing her directorial talents with A Charlie Brown Christmas in December 2019 and with Elephant & Piggie’s: We Are In A Play! in June 2019.

February, 2020 will mark Giles’ return to the director’s chair for the 2020-2021 season with Robin Hood. Another first-time production for SCCT, this classic tale of good vs. evil will be a treat for children and adults alike and will feature the daring fights and classic characters that continue keep this story on children’s bookshelves all over the world.

“I can’t wait to bring this show to SCCT,” says Giles. “I’ve had the privilege of seeing this show come to life on the stage and I can say with confidence that SCCT audiences are in for a real treat.”

In April, SCCT’s Tour Manager and School Liaison Lauren Imhoff will direct Pete The Cat. A perfect show for younger audiences, Pete the Cat follows the popular James Dean book character as he helps a young boy harness the power of his imagination. Imhoff has directed several shows for SCCT—most recently, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical on SCCT’s 2nd Stage. She is also a gifted choreographer, creating the dance numbers for 2019’s Ella Enchanted, A Year With Frog & Toad and Curious George: The Golden Meatball, coming up in April 2020.

The season will wrap in July with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The final show of the season will be directed, once again, by Matt Giles. This magical underwater tale is coming to the SCCT stage for the third time and was most recently produced in 2004.

Season tickets for SCCT’s inaugural season in their brand new home on Augusta Street will go on sale on May 1, 2020. Individual show tickets will be available for purchase beginning in July.

About SCCT’s Headquarters

 South Carolina Children’s Theatre will officially open their new Center for Theatre Arts and Education to the public in June, 2020. The facility, located at 153 Augusta Street, will serve as the headquarters for the organization. All SCCT MainStage and 2nd Stage performances as well as education programs will take place at the center, bringing all three pillars of SCCT’s mission—performance, outreach and education—under one roof for the first time in the organization’s history.

About South Carolina Children’s Theatre

Since 1987, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in South Carolina through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, SCCT produces and performs high-quality, live theatre MainStage performances featuring children and adults, as well as additional shows and other special events on the theatre’s 2nd Stage.

SCCT offers professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18 and educational outreach to low-income, special needs and hospitalized children.

The mission of South Carolina Children’s Theatre is to educate and stimulate the minds and imaginations of young people and their families through participation in high-quality theatre, year-round education and accessible outreach.

Until their upcoming move to a permanent home at 153 Augusta Street, SCCT is temporarily located at 1200 Pendleton Street in Greenville.

South Carolina Children’s Theatre Names Co-Artistic Director

GREENVILLE, January 21, 2020 – Thanks to grant funding from Hollingsworth Funds, South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT) announced today that they have named Matt Giles as Co-Artistic Director of the organization. Giles will officially join SCCT in March 2020 and will serve alongside SCCT’s current Artistic and Education Director, Betsy Bisson, for a period of one year before becoming sole Artistic Director. At that time, Bisson will remain as the organization’s Education Director, narrowing her focus on growing and enhancing SCCT’s robust education programming.

As Co-Artistic Directors, Giles and Bisson will share responsibilities for setting the artistic direction for the theatre; hiring, managing and evaluating artistic personnel including directors, performers and designers; serving as spokespersons for the organization’s artistic purpose; fostering the continued development of good relations with other cultural and community organizations; along with the executive director, setting the strategic and financial objectives of SCCT; and maintaining the artistic and educational integrity of SCCT’s programs.

A native of Upstate South Carolina and a Wofford College alumnus, Giles joins SCCT from Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis—the nation’s largest theatre for multigenerational audiences, where he currently serves as General Manager. Prior to his time at CTC, Giles was the Associate Producing Director at Seattle Repertory Theatre. He is also an accomplished director, with more than 30 directorial credits to his name.

Giles will direct on SCCT’s MainStage as well, beginning with Curious George: The Golden Meatball in April 2020—SCCT’s final production as a resident company of the Peace Center.

“It has been a dream of mine to return to the South, and to have the opportunity to do so at South Carolina Children’s Theatre is almost too good to be true. I have such a passion for the work they do on their stages, in their classrooms and throughout the community. I’m excited to partner with the staff as we move into our new home on Augusta Street and continue to grow an organization that means so much to me and to the Upstate of South Carolina.”

Throughout his career, Giles has worked with SCCT as an actor, director and teaching artist, most recently playing ‘Snail’ in SCCT’s production of A Year With Frog & Toad, in Spring 2019.

“We are thrilled for Matt to become an official part of the SCCT family,” said SCCT Artistic and Education Director Betsy Bisson. “Through his time spent with us over the years, he has gained an understanding and appreciation of the organization and stands ready to leverage the experience and relationships he has built throughout his career, to help SCCT fulfill our vision of becoming a model for children’s theatres across the Southeast.”

“Matt’s impressive management and artistic experience as well as his strong track record of creating successful community partnerships offer SCCT the solid leadership needed to sustain us into our next 30 years and beyond,” said SCCT Executive Director Debbie Bell. “As we look to the future, I find myself reflecting on the work Betsy Bisson has done as Artistic Director of the theatre. Her dedication has been invaluable to us, and her leadership and vision for the theatre remain an important asset. I am so excited to see these two come together and to see the things I know they’ll do for this theatre and this community!”

 

About South Carolina Children’s Theatre

Since 1987, South Carolina Children’s Theatre has impacted the lives of children and families in South Carolina through theatre, educational classes and workshops, and accessible outreach initiatives. Each year, SCCT produces and performs five high-quality, live theatre MainStage performances featuring children and adults, as well as four additional shows and other special events on the theatre’s 2nd Stage.

SCCT offers professional year-round education in the dramatic arts for children ages 3 to 18 and provides educational outreach to low-income, special needs and hospitalized children.

The mission of South Carolina Children’s Theatre is to educate and stimulate the minds and imaginations of young people and their families through participation in high-quality theatre, year-round education and accessible outreach.

SCCT is temporarily located at 1200 Pendleton Street in Greenville. In May 2020, the organization will move into its permanent home at 153 Augusta Street.

To learn more about South Carolina Children’s Theatre, visit www.scchildrenstheatre.org.