Mary Gould is the founder and producer of South of Broadway Theatre Company, located in North Charleston. In addition to producing fantastic shows year-round, SOBTC also has a youth component that is sending kids to the Broadway to the north. Now in its 11th year, “Summer in NYC” is a four-week theater immersion program done in connection with The Juilliard School. During their residency, students receive hands-on training and direction from world-class theater experts. Auditions of the 2016 Summer in NYC are Dec. 5, Jan. 9, Jan. 10 and Feb. 9. For more information on Summer in NYC, visit: http://summerinnyc.org/. To learn more about South of Broadway, visit http://southofbroadway.com/.
We sat down with Mary for this week’s Friday Fiver.
Summer in NYC is an intensive month-long engagement, focusing on at least four basic categories: Classical Vocal, Musical Theatre, Theatre, and Dance. Additionally, special curricula has been done for Musical Theatre Coaching, Sound and Lighting Design and Instruments (Piano, Viola, Violin). How has Summer in NYC changed since the first one 11 years ago?
We started off offering the best teachers and performing artists as mentors available in NYC, and we are still doing that. A long list of those names is available on our website: SummerInNYC.org If anything, we are even more intense now than when the program started. It is a relentless schedule that rivals college level courses.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a career in theater?
Get your training from the best people in the business. Find a way to afford the best. You get what you pay for.
South of Broadway produces a broad range of shows. What is one show that you haven’t done that you would most like to produce?
There are too many shows to name that I would like to produce, and most are well beyond the production values of our modest black box venue. Talk to me in a few years
What is your all-time favorite Broadway show?
“Black and Blue” a song and dance variety show that was on Broadway in 1989. As an ‘opera chick’ schooled in the classics, this piece rocked my world.
If you could wave a magic wand and have one thing happen immediately in Charleston, what would it be?
Charleston has the reputation as a “Great Arts Town.” That being the case, I would like to see the evidence of more respect for the local Performing Arts organizations in terms of a dramatic increase in press coverage and reviews and also improved Theatre Etiquette for Live performances. The near disintegration of press reviews puts all the performing arts organizations at a disadvantage when writing grants for funders who request them. It also makes for an awkward answer to patrons who ask “why wasn’t your show reviewed” to respond that most things ARE NOT reviewed anymore. As for “Theatre Etiquette” — Live artists know when your cell phone goes off. Live artists know when you get up in the middle of an act and go to the bathroom. Live artists know when you come in late or leave early. Live artists know when you’re texting. We are not a movie house. We are LIVE. Quality is of performance and enjoyment and respect for fellow patrons suffers when theatre etiquette is no longer observed.