OCT Announces 45th Season Lineup on Episode 61 of 'Up Front'
Jun 01, 2020 12:47PM
By Jason Huddle
Episode 61: OCT Announces its 45th Season
Jason Huddle 00:00
Welcome to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine a presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus, I'm your host Jason Huddle. Welcome my friends to Episode 61 of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I am so thrilled you are here today. I'm very excited about today's show because for the first time in about two months, really two and a half months, ever since we had Beth Troutman Whaley on the show. We are doing a show that doesn't have to do with COVID-19 directly now of course, it comes up because it affects everything about our lives right now, but the show is not about COVID-19 it's not about how to stay safe four precautions you need to take are opening up businesses. Well, it's kind of about opening up at least one business. This week we are talking about Old Courthouse Theater, as I teased at the end of last week's episode. Old Courthouse Theater is a community theater in Concord that is run completely by volunteers. They put on great shows every year, and they are coming up this fall on their 45th season. Now, let me give you a little bit of history about Old Courthouse Theater. It was started in 1976 by a lovely lady, the late Mary Snead Boger who I had the privilege of being in a production with her as director when I was very young. She was an awesome lady. She had a love for the theater and wanted to bring it to Concord. The theater was started in what is now the Davis theatre. In the historic courthouse building, back then it wasn't as in greatest shape as it is now. But they call it the old courthouse theater. Unfortunately, one night during a final dress rehearsal, the roof caved in on the stage and rendered the theater useless. For many years, the theater kind of roved around and used school theaters and other venues to put on productions but didn't have a permanent home until the mid 80s when they purchased the First Baptist church building on Spring Street, which is their current home to this day. Ever since then, they put on such shows as Peter Pan, Anything Goes, The Wizard of Oz, and classics like The Music Man. this upcoming season is something to be excited about, and I'm thrilled to have with me on the show today, Will Basinger with the theater and he is going to take us through the entire season and what is coming up plus some other things that are happening with a theater. So you lovers of the arts, you want to stay tuned and listen to this one, it's going to be a great show. I know the thought of just going out to a show, or to dinner right now that's someting that gets me really excited. So I can't wait to bring this show to you today. Before we go any further today, however, we must do shameless plug time. Also, for the first time in two months, we are producing a print edition of Cabarrus Magazine. And it is hitting streets on Monday as well as online at Cabarrus Magazine. com. You've heard me talk about it. If you've listened to previous episodes of the podcast. We are excited to bring you open for business facing our new normal. That is the theme of this month's issue. And there is something for everybody. Whether you're talking about having to deal with the anguish and mental fatigue, that the shutdown has brought on too many people all the way to hearing inspirational stories, like the folks from Johnny Rogers who led a campaign to alleviate school lunch debt in Cabarru County and then no sooner have they written the check than the shutdown happened, which devastated their business but their story is truly inspiring. So I encourage you to read that and then as I mentioned previously, for the first time and Cabarrus Magazine history, we're releasing an opinion piece. We've never done that before but we feel like there are some questions that many people frankly in the media are not asking. And so we're asking them, we don't expect an answer. We're just putting them out there for you to read and consider. So this is exciting time for us that compares magazine and I hope you will join us in celebrating our June issue, again, coming out on June 1 and that is this week's shameless plug time. All right, when we get back we will have well Basinger from Old Courthouse Theater to walk us through the exciting 45th season. That's coming up after the break.
Jason Huddle 05:42
All right, Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. I am pleased to have on the line today. Will Basinger, he is the president of the board of directors for Old Courthouse Theater. Will thank you very much for coming on the program today.
Will Baysinger 06:55
Jason is always a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Jason Huddle 06:57
Well and I go back a long way, we have done several productions together, including two runs of a Broadway Christmas Carol. Which to date is still my most favorite list. Production ever.
Will Baysinger 07:12
Yeah, I, I still find myself saying things from the show and then just dropping them at moments. Usually that line I do whenever I have to say I do for something that's, that's it just comes out of Scrooge.
Jason Huddle 07:26
What am I for me, it's when somebody says, Oh, look at that face and I'll go look at that face. Just look at it. Look at that hideous freeze of yours. It wasn't even my song, it was yours. I know. I know. But the whole shows like that. could show solutions like that. A lot of fun. Okay, so now that we've scrolled down that memory lane. I have brought Will on the program today is because Old Courthouse is ready to announce their 45th season. Can you believe that's incredible 45 seasons?
Will Baysinger 08:02
It is it's a when you look back at it. I mean, I remember we were coming up on our 30th season. At one point when I when I first joined the organization was a couple of years before that, and just thinking about, about your position being 30 years old and what a milestone that was. And now we're coming up on 45. And it's just it's kind of mind boggling.
Jason Huddle 08:28
It is incredible. My first production with old courthouse was when I was 13 years old is Toodles in Peter Pan
Will Baysinger 08:35
Toodles? Very good.
Jason Huddle 08:37
Lost Boy still am.
Will Baysinger 08:41
Just as long as you dont spot fangs.
Jason Huddle 08:43
No, no fangs here. So anyway, so let's talk about it's a little bittersweet, because about a year ago, I had Mary Katherine Ewart in were having the same discussion about the 44th season and announcing the 44 seasons. Of course she's no longer with us. We certainly miss her presence in the theater and in her presence in the community for sure. Mary Katherine did did a lot for for the organization. She was a terrific administrator and post some really terrific structures, some terrific business structures on a bunch of really wildly creative and unstructured people. So we certainly miss her but now you get the privilege of being on the show with me. So you're welcome. And and we get to announce the new season so let's let's get right to it. Obviously, this year, Mamma Mia did not happen in the spring as we anticipated, because it didn't, no plays happen for anybody. So what's been what's going on with Mamma Mia?
Will Baysinger 09:52
Well, honestly, we have gotten so much, so much response to the the very idea of doing that show when we first announced it, our Twitter and Facebook feeds clots so much traffic revolving around Mamma Mia that we really didn't feel like we could not do it. So what we've done is we have tweaked our 45th season to slide Mamma Mia out of the special place that it was at the end of the 44th season as a non season program, and slid it into the opening slot of our 45th season. So we were hoping that it will open up in August but we're trying to play very close to our chest about dates because it was all very dependent on the governor's opening up of the state and and lifting restrictions for crowds and you know, audiences in a venue. So if everything goes well, we hope to kick it off at the end of August and then run the season as we had originally planned but, but again, all that kind of rides on how the opening. For the sake of if everything moves along, based on the schedule that we've been given, if we hit all of our benchmarks, then I don't see a problem with actually opening on schedule, right?
Jason Huddle 11:14
People need to remember that there's about six to eight weeks of rehearsal that happened before any production. I know when I did Wizard of Oz, we had actually had three months of we weren't we started rehearsing in the end of May, for a production that launched at the end of August. So it was a that was a long summer.
Will Baysinger 11:31
Yes, it is. Well, you know, we cast the show for May. It's funny, I've got I never took the reminders out of my phone. So I'm getting blips up about you know, opening night of Mamma mia here this past week or so ago, and then finally strike for Mamma Mia. Like, ah, yeah, now that's happening. Yeah. So you've got I mean, on top of the challenge of having to postpone the show, you've got people's schedules people who've cast and committed to doing the show in May. And now everybody's kind of checking their schedules to make sure that you can still do it in August. So now Fortunately, most people's everybody else's schedules are as disrupted as ours. So we're not running in too many conflicts from that standpoint. But yeah, it's, it's logistically, it has been a nightmare.
Jason Huddle 12:22
So if you're not familiar with the player, the movie, Mamma Mia centers around a young bride who lives on a Greek island and she's looking for her dad. And so apparently there are three is it right is my right three possible? (Inadiable) Yep.
Will Baysinger 12:40
And reads back and discovers that there are three potential biological fathers. And she really, really wants to have her father at her wedding. So she invites all three of them without her mother's knowledge. Yeah, and the chaos that ensues when all three guys accept the invitation and show up on the island.
Jason Huddle 12:59
What could possibly go wrong? And of course, you probably gathered from the name it's centered around the iconic music of ABA.
Will Baysinger 13:08
Jason Huddle 13:09
So it's always a great a great time I've seen the Broadway production It is incredible. And I look forward to, to seeing ocps production as well.
Will Baysinger 13:19
Yeah, we're we're, we have a really really strong creative team that's, that's working on it and really looking forward to actually being able to put it up.
Jason Huddle 13:28
So right after Mamma Mia, just in time for Halloween, I assume Clue is coming.
Will Baysinger 13:34
Yes, Clue onstage that looks to be a lot of fun. If you're familiar with a movie, you'll, you'll know the story. If you've played the board game, you'll be familiar with the characters.
Jason Huddle 13:44
Well, if you haven't seen the movie, shame on you go watch thr movie. Shame on you. It's a great movie. The whole nine and so this play is similar in that respect, right with the alternate endings and and things like that.
Will Baysinger 14:00
I believe so. Yes, yeah, yeah, it should be a lot of fun a bit of slapdash humor and, and twists and turns and don't know exactly what's coming next.
Jason Huddle 14:13
That should be fun. Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Will Basinger. While we walk through the rest of the season and talk about new things happening at Old Courthouse Theater.
Jason Huddle 16:11
Next up is Elf.
Will Baysinger 16:15
Elf the musical yes there's this is one of those that that really kind of dropped in our laps and you know some people may wonder why we've got a couple of really large shows in the same season but Elf is one of those that came available and we were concerned that the the warnings were out there that they were getting ready to put it back on the shelf and we weren't sure when they were going to bring it back out again so
Jason Huddle 16:40
You can't put Elf on the Shelf.
Will Baysinger 16:42
Oh, yes right you can't put Elf on the Shelf.
Jason Huddle 16:44
Sorry, that was low hanging fruit. I had to take that one.
Will Baysinger 16:47
I tried to set those those up for a really nicely there. So yes, so we got it and, and we're very excited about about that's another one that some it's gonna be a lot of fun people who are You know for whom the movie is? Now there are some certain differences from from the movie in the play, but it really does for the most part follow along the very same lines Buddy the elf coming to New York to find his dad and marry mix ups that occur when human elf shows up in New York City.
Jason Huddle 17:22
And so the last official show of the season is sort of a dramatic stamp on it, right?
Will Baysinger 17:29
Jason Huddle 17:29
With the Miracle Worker.
Will Baysinger 17:31
Yes, everybody needs a laugh. And and, and I know I enjoy sticking to some of the lighter side stuff but, but it's important to provide a broad spectrum of entertainment and and Miracle Worker is more of a dramatic piece, still very uplifting story of Helen Keller and her teacher and really, really an inspiring piece touching and we expected that there'll be a lot of a lot of work. thing, but, but it'll be that good kind of weaving.
Jason Huddle 18:04
So the season though, isn't technically over with the Miracle Worker, because like the CDs of old, you guys have a bonus track.
Will Baysinger 18:13
I mean, I have a bonus. Yes, we have a bonus track this year sorry to talk over you, this year, kind of following along in the footsteps of last year where we had Mamma Mia as a special production at the end of that after the season, we're going with Godspell this year. We're bringing that one back. We've done it before. But there's always an audience favorites and good show to get a wide variety of people back involved from teenagers to, to young adults to, to even some older adults to who just enjoy the music and the story. And we're very excited to bring that one back in the spring.
Jason Huddle 18:53
Godspell for those of you that aren't as familiar with it follows the life of Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew right? It was released in 1971. So the music is accordingly appropriate for that time period. And, but it's a great show.
Will Baysinger 19:10
Yeah, yeah, it is. It really is. It's, um, it deals with a lot of the teachings and in a way that can be very, I mean, still, it's funny because, you know, it's the 70s. But it's still very, very approachable for today's today's audiences.
Jason Huddle 19:25
Well, the good shows, do they continue to be classics and they age well, so this one definitely has, like the story of Jesus. So
Will Baysinger 19:35
Well, yes it is an age old story.
Jason Huddle 19:38
I mean, you know,
Will Baysinger 19:38
It's still very relevant today.
Jason Huddle 19:41
So Will as we, we've talked about the season. I do want to make mention real quick. You guys typically every year do a 10 minute play series as a fundraiser. Yes. And obviously we couldn't you couldn't do that this year at the theater per normal, but you did do it online in in different in like several different installments. Right?
Will Baysinger 20:09
Jason Huddle 20:09
This is still a fundraising opportunity for people to be able to give to the theater. Right once you tell us about that.
Will Baysinger 20:15
Yes actually, as a point of clarification, we will be doing a 10 minute play festival in the fall.
Jason Huddle 20:22
Will Baysinger 20:23
September, they'll they'll they're where they're working towards, towards doing another one on stage. But in an effort to to still provide some entertainment for folks who are finding themselves locked in we we ran around to our local playwrights and actors and actresses and created a an online festival to provide some of that. Some of that uplifting laughter entertainment value in this time when everybody's kind of locked in their own living rooms and looking for something to do so yes, on our YouTube channel, we did. We've posted seven shows, each 10 minutes or so. And they're basically they're kind of set up there. For people who are familiar with zoom meetings you're going to see the actors are each in their own little window and being socially distanced and and making sure we stay within the the CDC guidelines but but with all of those restrictions upon us, you know, a lot of times they say art really comes out of what you're not able to do and how you work around your limitations. And Annie wrestler, I have to say, once again, who kind of handles our 10 minute play festivals managed to put together quite a little slate of, of productions, that are they say they're out on our on our YouTube channel, and that they're still up and available and please avail yourselves of thumb there are a lot of fun. And again, we are a nonprofit, Oregon. that lives on ticket sales. And as you can imagine, in these last two months, we haven't had any of that. So, but that doesn't stop the bills from coming. So anybody who's who's out there with, with a little extra cash stashed away somewhere that they're looking to do some good with, and donate on our website, on our Facebook, we have opportunities to give and we would really appreciate any help.
Jason Huddle 22:26
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you could also the 10 minute plays are also on the Facebook page, and there's a direct link to donate to the theater associated with each post of each play. Is that correct?
Will Baysinger 22:39
Yes, I believe it is. Yeah.
Jason Huddle 22:41
All right. So that's another way another avenue for you guys to donate. Will Basinger with Old Courthouse Theater. Thank you so much for being on the program today. And walking us through the 45th season. I cannot wait for it. It's gonna be awesome.
Will Baysinger 22:55
It is going to be a lot of fun. A lot of fun. Come on out and see us.
Jason Huddle 23:00
Yes go out and if you have not been to a show at Old Courthouse Theater, shame on you. This is a community theater that is made up completely of volunteers, all the actors, all the stage hands, the directors, everybody is just doing this for the love of theater. And they put on a great every production is incredible In my opinion, in my completely unbiased opinion. It is incredible. So go out see a show and you know, you can obviously we can all go down to Charlotte and go to Blumenthal and they know these are great productions, but this is a theater made up of your neighbors and they put on great productions every single year. That's why they've been able to keep going for 45 flippin years.
Will Baysinger 23:53
Jason Huddle 23:56
So go out and see a show. Season tickets go on sale when?
Will Baysinger 23:59
We hope to have the the season set up in our online box office by June 8.
Jason Huddle 24:06
All right, and Will give them that website too.
Will Baysinger 24:09
That is the website is OCT Concord dot com.
Jason Huddle 24:14
All right, very good. We've got to pay a few bills ourselves. We will be back to wrap up the program in just a moment. Stay tuned.
Jason Huddle 25:12
And once again, thanks to Will Basinger, for coming on to the show. His wife's name is Kim, by the way. That's right, Kim Basinger. Incredible coincidence. She is a lovely lady. I've also had the privilege of being in some shows with her as well and I am thrilled that oh courthouse theater continues to produce shows for this community. It's not to knock any other theater groups or performing arts that is available in this county is simply to say that they have been there a long time. I've frankly, don't think that they get the recognition that they deserve. And professional shows are great and shows with a lot of money behind them are great. They always are they're impressive. There's something about going to community theater, where you know that everybody there is there for simply the love of doing it. There's an authenticity that lacks sometimes when you go to more professional shows. That's just my opinion. You can take it or leave it just like anything else I say on this program. It has been refreshing today to not talk about COVID-19 in such depth, if you're like me, and remember the days of 9/11 while we were all devastated and torn apart about what had happened to our country. After two weeks of non stop coverage. We were all kind of ready to move on, at least with some aspect of our lives and kind of start to push forward. I don't feel like we've gotten away from it yet. I feel like even this morning, as I watched the news, just about every story was at least indirectly related to COVID-19. Except for the launch of the astronauts, with SpaceX to the International Space Station, that was the only story that I saw, that didn't really have to do with COVID-19. Everything else was related. I think it's time for us to move on. Not to forget, and not to disregard safety precautions. I'm not calling for that at all. But I do think as a society, we need to start looking forward and stop wallowing in what could happen, quite frankly, I could go out tomorrow and get hit by a bus. That could happen I could be in a devastating car wreck. I could also win the lottery. Who knows? That's what's great about living life is you don't know what's going to happen. But I know who's in control. And so I'm not worried about it. I would rather go out and live my life than to live in fear of what might happen. That's just my perspective. If you want to stay home, great. If you want to wear a mask, great, not condemning those things at all. As for me, I'm gonna live my life. Plain and simple vilify me for that if you want. It's okay. I get it. You have your opinion. I have mine. That's what makes this country great. By the way you have been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. A presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. I've been your host Jason Huddle. Until next week, go get those season tickets.