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    Posted December 1, 2010

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St. Louis Theatre Update

By Peter Mayer, St Louis Area Liaison Committee

St. Louis Liaison Chair Kari Ely and fellow Equity member and Artistic Director for the New Jewish Theatre Kathleen Sitzer in their new performance space, the Marvin & Harlene Wool Studio Theatre. New Jewish Theatre joins Equity as a Small Professional Theatre.

The St. Louis theater scene has had some ups and downs in the past year but has continued to keep busy and offer a wide variety of theatrical experiences to St. Louisains.

On the upside we are proud to announce that The New Jewish Theatre joins the Equity Family of Small Professional Theatres. Under the Artistic leadership fellow Equity member Kathleen Sitzer the theatre successfully used the Special Appearance Contract as a stepping stone to become an SPT Theatre. The New Jewish Theatre will also enjoy it's innagural Equity year in a brand new, fully functional black box space: The Marvin & Harlene Wool Studio Theater that includes a scene shop, male and female dressing rooms, wardrobe and green room. (photo included) NJT is currently in production for the world premier of THE LAST OF THE REDHOT MOMMA'S written and directed by NewYorker and St. Louis born Tony Parise.

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis adds two new staffers to the Rep. Family. New Public Relations Director Becky Hadley replaces the late Brad Grahm who passed away suddenly over the 2010 New Year weekend. And New Associate Artistic Director Seth Gordon replaces long time Associate Director Susan Gregg who passed away suddenly just 6 months earlier. The double lose was an especially difficult blow to the close-knit staff at the Rep. Mr. Gordon also immediately launched into the direction of NEXT FALL which reopened the Off Ramp Series for the Rep. allowing them to offer more cutting edge theatre to their main-stage & studio theatre offerings.

Stages St. Louis held it's ninth annual Applause Gala Fund Raiser at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Gala raised over $280,000 for the Education & Outreach Programs, giving scholarships to students at their year round academy and for their in school programs, and also raises money to hire local Equity actors. Broadway & Stages alums helped to make the evening a success: Corinne Melancon along with musical director Lisa Campbell-Albert provided an evening of musical entertainment and Holly Howard co-hosted with Executive Producer Jack Lane.

The Muny welcomes Mike Isaacson to replace out going Executive Producer Paul Blake who will step down in August after the closing of the 2011 season. Isaacson will spend the summer learning the ropes and assisting Blake in his final season. No stranger to St. Louis or the theatre Isaacson previously worked at the Fox Theatre booking their seasons and has produced shows on Broadway ranging from LEGALLY BLONDE and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE to the revival of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and RED.

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