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Patrons of the new season at the Flagler Playhouse will enjoy the comfort of 152 new chairs which have replaced the old pews. The new seating provides six new seats in the audience and improves the overall sightline to the audience.
“This is something that has been on our wish list for a few years; there is something really quant and cute about the pews, but I think the time had come,” said Kathy McArdle, secretary of the playhouse. “We think that our patrons are really going to be excited about this change.”
The new seats come to the playhouse from Flagler College and were picked up, refurbished and installed by a large volunteer effort, led by Exective Director Stephen Pigman and Rick Bowman.
But the seats aren’t the only improvement that has been made in the off-season. The lighting was also bumped up and the entire inside was painted, including the ceiling by St. Augustine artist Jackie Rock.
In addition to the main theater, a smaller theater in the school building has been renovated, painted and has chairs that match those in the main theater. The playhouse hopes to utilize this space for kids' programs, instructional classes, poetry readings and more intimate performances.
When the season opens, the playhouse hopes to launch a fundraising campaign to allow people to name a seat in honor or in memory of someone. The front two rows will be $500 apiece, and the rest will weigh in at $200.
“The idea is to build up enough of a reserve to maintain the older buildings,” said President Pat Love.
They will host an open house 5-8 p.m. Oct. 13 to introduce the community to the new facilities. The season will open Sept. 14 with the comedy, “Once Upon a Matress,” a farcical retelling of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale, directed by a director new to the playhouse, Lorraine Portman. Portman is the advanced screenwriting and playwriting adjunct professor at Flagler College.
Two more new directors will join the playhouse this year. Chelsye Ginn, a Florida State University theater graduate, will direct “A Christmas Carol,” which, for the first time in playhouse history, will be an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic written by a local guest playwright. And Scott Abrams, founder of Shipwreck Theater, in St. Augustine, will direct “Picasso at the Lapine Agile.”
Also new to the playhouse season this year will be a Thursday night performance the second week of each run. Season tickets are now on sale. Call 586-0773 or visit www.flaglerplayhouse.com.
Auditions for the melodrama thriller, “The Uninvited,” will be 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, and Monday, Sept. 3, at the Flagler Playhouse, 301 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell. Ages 17 and up are welcome to audition for this show. There will be male and female roles, and actors are strongly encouraged to come prepared with a short melodramatic monologue utilizing British or Irish accent. There will also be a cold reading. Call 586-0773.
Once Upon a Mattress Sept. 14-30
The Uninvited Oct. 26-Nov. 11
A Christmas Carol Dec. 7-16
Shout! The Mod Musical Jan. 18-Feb. 3
Picasso at the Lapine Agile Feb. 22-March 10
The Producers April 2-28
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