Friday, April 1, 2016

April Happenings

Spring is finally sprung and Brunswick Little Theatre is welcoming the season with Moonlight and Magnolias, a comedy about the men who turned Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With The Wind into the screen play that would become an American cinema classic. You can read more about the show with comments from director Eben Mastin in an article from our friends at Southport Magazine here.

The show runs April 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm and April 17 and 24 at 3:00 pm on the Brunswick Little Theatre Mainstage, 8068 River Road SE, Southport. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students with an ID. Tickets are available from our online box office here and from Ricky Evans Gallery, 211 N. Howe Street, Southport. Moonlight and Magnolias contains some adult language and is not suitable for small children.

As always keep an eye on your email and the BLT website for information on upcoming events, including a revue from our second semester session of Musical Theatre Apprentices and auditions for our next BLT Mainstage show, a little musical comedy take on musicals called The Musical of Musicals, The Musical.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January Happenings

Welcome to the new year, we hope it's begun well for you and yours. Brunswick Little Theatre is gearing up for an exciting 2016. Here's a quick rundown (with helpful links for more information) of all our current doings.
---We'd like to congratulate and welcome newly elected Board of Directors members Eben Mastin, Judy MacNally and Beth Strickland. Thank you for your service and best wishes for a fun and productive term! The Board of Directors contact information and short bios can be found on our website here

---Tickets are on sale now for the next Stagestruck Players production, Thoroughly Modern Millie, JR. The show will run March 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7:30 pm and March 13 and 20 at 3:00 pm on the Brunswick Little Theatre Mainstage, 8068 River Road SE. Tickets are available at Ricky Evans Gallery, 211 N. Howe Street, Southport and through our Online Box Office here.
---The Star News Wilmington Theatre Awards show is this Friday, January 29, at 8:00 pm at Thalian Hall in Wilmington. BLT's big summer musical, Shrek the Musical, and it's costume mistress Jen Iapalucci are nominated for Best Costume Design. Tickets for the awards show are available from the Thalian Hall box office here.
---Auditions for BLT's next adult production, Moonlight and Magnolias, are scheduled for Saturday, February 6 from 2 pm - 5 pm and Monday, February 8 from 6 pm - 9 pm. Moonlight and Magnolias is a comedy based on the writing team that turned Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone With The Wind into the screenplay of an American cinema classic. There are roles for three men and one woman. Actors are asked to bring a resume and head shot. Email Director Eben Mastin with questions
----Brunswick Little Theatre is proud to announce its participation in the NC History Museum's Shakespeare Marathon: 38 Plays In Five Days. To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and the arrival of a touring copy of a First Folio to the NC Museum of History, readings of all the bards plays will be performed back to back beginning April 23rd at noon. BLT has been assigned Pericles, Prince of Tyre and will be reading at 12 pm on Wednesday, April 27 at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. We are recruiting readers for this project and anyone with an interest and willingness to read aloud is welcome. Find out all about this project on our Happenings Blog here and email Jeffrey Stites at with questions or to volunteer to take on a part.
---Looking ahead, our youngest thespians are enjoying a revived Let's PLAY! Children's Theatre Workshop under the direction of Elizabeth Flora. They will be hosting a Showcase to culminate the winter session on Saturday, February 20 at 1 pm. We hope you'll mark your calendars and join us!
---BLT's youth workshop, Stagestruck's Musical Theatre Apprentices, also began a new session this month and will present their Showcase Performance in May.
As always, thank you for your support. We can't wait to share this exciting new year with YOU!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Shakespeare Marathon: 38 Plays In Five Days

William Shakespeare died 400 years ago this year, leaving us 38 plays and many of the idioms we use every day. To recognize (celebrate seems like a bad word to use in relation to a death anniversary) the occasion, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC is putting some of it's copies of the First Folio on tour. The First Folios contain 36 of Shakespeare's plays and are the source of much of our understanding of his work. A copy of the First Folio will be on display at the North Carolina Museum of History in May, and as a lead-up to that the museum is hosting a marathon reading of all the Bard's plays, back to back, and Brunswick Little Theatre is proud to be participating!

BLT will be performing a reading of Pericles, Prince of Tyre at high noon on Wednesday, April 27 at the NC Museum of History. The marathon is being organized by Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh and includes professional, amateur, college and high school theater troupes. From the Wilmington area, BLT is joined by Thalian Association, performing The Taming of the Shrew, and Dram Tree Shakespeare, performing Hamlet. We are proud and thrilled to be in such company, and to be working with the North Carolina Museum of History on this project.

Pericles may not be one of the Shakespeare plays you read in high school or college. It's regarded by some critics as one of his worst works, though he is thought to have written only the final three of five acts. But in its time, the early to mid 1600s, Pericles, Prince of Tyre was one of Shakespeare's most performed and most popular plays.

It's easy to see why this one was a hit with the groundlings. Pericles has all the things pop culture of the time, and in some cases even today, loves. The baddies are unrepentantly and unambiguously bad and the good guys and gals are beyond reproach. The story features murder and jealousy and storm-wracked ships and pirates and comical owners of a house of ill repute. There are good and bad kings and queens, loyalty and betrayal, and a happy ending where everyone reaps the rewards or punishments of their behavior.  It's not a hard story to follow or understand and it seems that it was written to do just what it did, entertain the masses.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, is as accessible as Shakespeare comes, making it a great entrance into Elizabethan drama for Brunswick Little Theatre. We will be reading rather than performing, with  minimal props or costumes. We will need up to a couple dozen actors/readers for this performance, and YOU may be just what we need. Participants will need an open mind and a willingness to learn about the play and and its author. We'll be traveling up to Raleigh for the reading the morning of Wednesday, April 27, either individually or via car pool, so actors will need to be able to get the day off and find transportation. With these  qualifications, we are open to all. Just drop an email to Jeffrey Stites at if you are interested or want more information.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Costuming Shrek, the Musical

The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Southport Magazine, written by Lisa Stites. The entire article, which covers about every aspect of creating a community theatre musical, can be found at this link.

A cast of 38, plus costume changes, equals 167 costumes

Many of the ensemble actors in Shrek play more than one role. Ryleigh Ingram is Young Fiona and also the Ugly Duckling. Max Iapalucci is Tweedle Dum and Grumpy. And his mother, Jen Iapalucci will be in two trios — the Three Little Pigs and Three Blind Mice. She’s also in charge of costumes. With 38 actors in the cast and several of them having multiple roles, this is no small task. In fact, she’ll need 167 costumes for the whole show.

167 Costumes
Iapalucci has been hard at work for a couple months. She ordered fur for Donkey’s costume but wasn’t satisfied with how it looked so it became part of the rats’ costumes instead. Some items, such as Go-Go boots for the Blind Mice, were used in previous BLT performances. The Wicked Witch’s dress and Little Red Riding Hood’s outfit from Into the Woods and Dorothy’s sepia gingham dress will all make an appearance in Shrek. Family, friends have donated some pieces, such as shirts and pants. Others, such as all the Duloc Citizens, are being made from scratch.

Two Saturdays in June, volunteers met at BLT to work on sewing projects such as the Duloc Citizens costumes, which are appropriately uniform as Lord Farquaad likes conformity.  Volunteers not so comfortable with a sewing machine also helped by assembling rat hats and other costume pieces. Iapalucci solicited donations of old baseball hats and showed the volunteers how to cut out pieces of fur to wrap the hats. Folding it just so after flipping it around the back of the hat “magically” created ears, Iapalucci demonstrated on the first costume workday.

“You just ‘shooz’ it, like this,” she said as she expertly tucked the fur into place. Pink pom-pom noses, pieces of fishing line for whiskers (eyes would be added later) and some pink spray paint for the inside of the ears and by the end of the afternoon, there were more than 30 rat hats ready for tappers.

Iapalucci does have a couple seamstresses helping out, but she has taken on a lot herself as well.

“The bulk of the work is being done on my kitchen table, while my very patient family steps over piles of fabric and gamely serve as mannequins on occasion,” she said.

Shrek is a hit Broadway show but was also a popular animated movie, which means the audience will expect the lead characters to look a certain way and would likely be disappointed if they don’t. Fiona just has to be in a green dress and Lord Farquaad has to have shoulder-length black hair.
“It would be like doing the Wizard of Oz, and having Dorothy in something other than blue gingham,” she said.

But, Iapalucci said, there is more room for creativity in costuming some of the supporting roles, especially the animal-based characters.

“For example, we have the Three Little Pigs in this show, and I’m not sitting here making three plush pig suits, but I am making costumes that will be recognizable as pigs,” she said. “For me, the costumes where I can let my imagination loose are the most fun.”

When she’s designing costumes, Iapalucci said she takes a lot of things into consideration. In Shrek, there are 24 actors who have to change from Villagers to Fairy Tale Creatures, many of which involve multiple layers, wigs or hairpieces, specialty shoes, tights, etc. They’ll all have to make that change while Shrek is on stage, singing a song that’s been timed at slightly less than two minutes. Costume changes like these have to be factored into all the designs. Maybe an actor can layer tights or other costume pieces. Maybe the actor is experienced and can handle a quick change without a lot of help. Iapalucci said she uses a lot of elastic waists, and Velcro instead of buttons or stitching. She also tries to avoid zippers that can jam, buttons or anything that involves a lot of buckles.

Once the costumes are finished though, the costume mistress’ job is not complete.

“Costumes require constant attention,” she said. “They tear, they lose buttons, they, let’s be honest, start to smell after the actors sweat in them for a couple of nights.”

A team of dressers will be backstage for all the shows, ready to make repairs and working to keep the dressing rooms organized. Besides being onstage for her own roles, Iapalucci will also keep tabs on how the costumes are holding up throughout the two weekends of performances.

“I will have a repair station for anything that has to be fixed on the fly, and I do anticipate leaving the theater every night during the run with an armful of items to be repaired and cleaned. It’s just the nature of the beast,” she said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seeking Directors For 2016

The Brunswick Little Theatre Board of Directors is seeking directors for the following shows:


Moonlight and Magnolias  – possible 3 week run.

  Cast – 3 men, 1 woman.  One set, the office of David Selznick 

THE STORY: 1939 Hollywood is abuzz. Legendary producer David O. Selznick has shut

down production of his new epic, Gone with the Wind, a film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's novel. The screenplay, you see, just doesn't work. So what's an all-powerful movie mogul to do? While fending off the film's stars, gossip columnists and his own father-in-law,
Selznick sends a car for famed screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls formidable director Victor Fleming from the set of The Wizard of Oz. Summoning both to his office, he locks the doors, closes the shades, and on a diet of bananas and peanuts, the three men labor over five days to fashion a screenplay that will become the blueprint for one of the most successful and beloved films of all time.    

July 29-31, August 5-7 (possibility of 3 weekends?) 

Move Over Mrs. Markham

Comedy, Farce
Cast:  4 men, 5 women

THE STORY: To Sylvie it's the "goose" that she learned from Alistair, but to Philip, Joanna Markham's husband, it's "a variety of geese," and fifteen years of marriage is just about undone along with everything else in this wild zany free for all. Everything from Philip's business deals with Bow Wow Books and Alistair's near escape from
Joanna's chiding seduction to the naked G.P.O. girl and the specter of scandal is hilarious. A lot of bed hopping occurs as Sylvie winds up taking Alistair on "walkies" and the amazing Mrs. Markham gets her man her husband! 

The Board is also seeking proposals for a Mystery/Drama to be performed in October and a Coordinator for an August fundraiser (theme to be determined). 
 Anyone interested in any of the above opportunities may contact BLT President Sue MacCallum at  or 910-471-7264

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Stagestruck Apprentice Workshop

BLT is happy to announce a theatrical training program for youth ages 11 through 18, the Stagestruck Apprentices.
The program will offer training in all aspects of musical theater; vocal production, stage movement, acting, and musical theater styles. Apprentices will also gain experience in technical theater through hands-on work with assigned BLT productions.
Stagestruck Apprentices is designed as a nine-month program broken into semesters. Breaking the
program into semesters allows for ease of scheduling around family and school calendars, as well as ease of fee payment. The program will begin September 12, 2015 and first semester Revue will take place in January 2016. Second semester will begin January 23, 2016 and end in May 2016.
Apprentices will attend one weekly class on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 until 3:00 PM at the theater’s home, 8068 River Road. Individuals or small groups will attend a second session as needed, determined by the requirements of selections that make up the Stagestruck Revue, a public performance scheduled at the end of the semester. Second sessions will be scheduled for Sunday afternoons by the faculty.

The Stagestruck Apprentice program has 20 total positions due to space availability and instructional design.  Eighteen positions are open on a first come, first serve basis. The fee for the training program is $100 per semester and is payable to BLT.  A $50 non-refundable deposit will reserve a position. The $50 balance of the fee is due at the first class. Two positions in the program will be by scholarship. Scholarship positions will be determined by audition. The scholarship audition date is August 1, 10:30 AM. Scholarship candidates can contact for audition requirements.

Registration for the program will begin on August 3rd. Participants may register by calling Deborah Skillman at 470-5652 or emailing

Faculty for Stagestruck Apprentices

Deborah Skillman, BM, MM, National Board Certified teacher in music, American  Orff Schulwerk Certified Teacher

Bev Veenker, Professor Emeritus WKU, Theater and Dance

Chris Walters, BFA Theater