It's Ragtime!

The Summer Musical TheatreCamp opens its twenty-third season with a musical theater production this week.  Ragtime will be performed at Lewis Auditorium, Flagler College this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ragtime, the musical, has a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. Ragtime is based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, and tells the story of three groups in the United States in the early 20th century: African-Americans, upper-class suburbanites and Eastern European immigrants. Historical figures including Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman are represented in the stories.

The musical had its world premiere in Toronto on December 8, 1996. The US Premier was in Los Angeles in 1997 and ran one year before opening on Broadway on January 18, 1998 as the first production in the newly opened Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Frank Galati and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, Ragtime ran for two years, closing on January 16, 2000, after 834 performances and 27 previews. The original cast included Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marin Mazzie, Peter Friedman and Audra McDonald, who were all nominated for Tony Awards, and also included Judy Kaye, Mark Jacoby and Lea Michele.

The cast includes: Malik Bilbrew, Olivia Bradshaw, Maggie Creasman, Vikki Damon, Brent Davis, Annie Doughty, Ben Douse, Connor Dowd, Grayson Eastman, Tony Freveletti, Kylie Giliberto. Gwen Gitto, Simone Glomboski, Will Gooden, Trinity Greene, Sara Hanzl, Zach Greenwald, Taylor Hendricks, Rebekah Herskovitz, Ty Lewin, Jacob Little, Katie Logue, Jaedon Mack, Monica Martin, Susi Matza, Marjorie Metellus, Gemy Meyers, Madison Mintzer, Alex Mowry, Samantha Nelson, Alex Peek, Collen Reed, Ella Romaine, Grace Shields, Cameron Sparks, Sascha Thorpe, Abby Watson, and Bradley Williams.

Performances of Ragime are Friday evening, June 30, and Saturday evening, July 1, at 7:30 PM.  There is a Sunday matinee on July 2 at 2:00 PM. 

Mike Beaman serves as Artistic Director for the summer program and Director/Choreographer for Ragtime.  Nikki Falcao is the Assistant Director and Set Artist.  Carl Liberatore returns as Technical Director.  Joe Kemper directs in the second summer session. Curtis Powell works as Administrator and Music Director for the program.

The Summer Musical TheatreCamp, now in its 23rd  season, has excelled in its goal of giving students a taste of musical theater by instructing in all aspects of a musical theater production:  acting, music and dance.  The camp culminates in the creation and performance of complete staged musical theater and theatrical productions before a live audience.

The Summer Musical TheaterCamp is widely as the leading training ground for young actors.  Since its inception in 1995, with 30 kids ages 5 to 14, the educational program has produced 34 musical theater shows with over 1400 kids and teens in participation.  For the past fourteen years the SMTC for teens has produced full-scale Broadway musicals on its stage.  Additionally, for an eighth year, the middle school/high school group will present its own full-scale musical in an effort to give these younger actors the skills and opportunities to be on stage in leading rolls.  The actors have come not only from St. Augustine and throughout the state, but from across the USA including New Jersey, California, Ohio, Wisconsin; and even England and Malaysia.  Many kids and teens have spent up to thirteen years in the program with several now working as professional actors throughout the county.  This summer over 150 kids ranging from age 5 to 18 will take part in the 2017 summer season.

All performances take place at the beautiful Lewis Auditorium on the campus of Flagler College.  Tickets are $15.  The box office opens one hour before each show.  The theater opens one half-hour before each show.  Seating is general admission. There is no reserved or call-ahead seating.  For additional information call (904) 501-7396.