Jack Lane, Co-founder and Executive Producer of Stages St. Louis, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the History of Stages, as well as the 2021-2022 season, which includes "Jersey Boys" and "The Karate Kid (The Musical)." Jack Lane was an actor in New York when he heard Co-Counder Michael Hamilton talk about his dream to found a theater troupe in St. Louis, and together they made that dream come true 35 years ago.
Stages Co-Founders: Michael Hamilton (left) and Jack Lane (right)
STAGES opened in 1987 with a budget of $50,000 and a part-time seasonal staff of eight. Today, the company employs a full-time staff of 25 overseeing a budget of $4.7 million. During the performance season, an additional 150 actors and crew members bring the productions to life. To date, STAGES professionals have produced 103 musicals, with nearly 3,400 performances, playing to more than one million patrons. The STAGES audience includes patrons from a spectrum of ages and socio-economic levels from more than 238 cities located in 30 states. Audience members represent over 160 zip codes from the state of Missouri alone. All productions are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities and each season STAGES provides hundreds of complimentary tickets to underserved populations, including low-income seniors. STAGES annual Theatre for Young Audiences production is a regional treasure that encourages multiple generations to attend professional, live musical theatre together on family-friendly schedules.
In April of 2013, the STAGES Performing Arts Academy and the administrative offices relocated to a new 22,000-square-foot-facility in Chesterfield, which is enabling STAGES to meet a growing need for arts education programs in a larger, more flexible state-of-the-art facility. The Kent Center for Theatre Arts includes a performance hall with flexible seating to be used for main stage rehearsals, dance classes, educational presentations, donor and community events, and special performances.
Sara Burke, Founder of the City Studio Dance Center and Katherine Dunham Dancer, stopped by to speak with Nancy about her career as a dancer, including her work with the legendary Katherine Dunham. She also shares two writings she has done recently, “I Bear Witness To” and “Musings on Creativity.”
Sara Burke at the City Studio Dance Center
“Sara Burke is the owner and director of The City Studio Dance Center in St. Louis, Missouri which she founded in 1986. Sara is a choreographer, dancer, dance instructor, photographer, and author and arts diversity consultant. Sara consults for local dance companies and works with young dancers helping them start Company’s. Sara relishes her role as “mentor”. She has danced around the world. One of her biggest goals and accomplishments was to learn Dunham Technique from the legendary Katherine Dunham. She studied with Miss Dunham in East St. Louis in the 1970’s and danced with the Dunham Company. Sara’s experiences studying and dancing Dunham Technique changed her life and she has been committed to promoting diversity through the Arts ever since.”
The City Studio Dance Center features ongoing classes in Jazz, Dunham Technique, Hip Hop/Street Jazz, Pilates & Yoga.
The City Studio Dance Center
William Roth, Founder and Artistic Director of the St. Louis Actors Studio, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the upcoming season of St. Louis Actors Studio, which is housed in the Gaslight Theater.
William Roth's acting career began in 1972 at the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves—where his dad had acted in the mid-60s—in a performance of South Pacific, in which he had a horrible case of stage fright, refused to sing and choose instead to dance behind the curtain. Twenty years later, after a six-year stint in the Marines and other distractions, he moved back to St. Louis from California and performed in a student-directed one-act festival at the University of Missouri-St Louis. He then returned to the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves to get his picture on the wall with his father, playing Clive in Alan Ayckbourn’s Season's Greetings.
Over the past 20 years he has appeared in countless Shakespeare productions, including: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida and Antony and Cleopatra.
St. Louis Actors' Studio was founded to bring a fresh vision to theatre in St. Louis. Housed in The Gaslight Theater in historic Gaslight Square, STLAS is committed to bringing engaging theatrical experiences to our community of actors, writers, producers, filmmakers and all patrons of the arts; and to provide a strong ensemble environment to foster learning and artistic expression.
Upcoming Productions by St. Louis Actors Studio:
The Zoo Story, The Dumb Waiter by Albee, Pinter, Directed by Wayne Salomon
September 17 – October 03 2021
Comfort by Neil LaBute, Directed by Assoc. Artistic Director Annamaria Pileggi
December 03 – December 19, 2021
Hand To God By Robert Askins, Directed by Assoc. Artistic Director John Pierson
February 18 –March 6, 2022
8th Annual LaBute New Theater Festival
July 08 – July 31, 2022
Chris Hansen, Executive Director of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, stopped by to talk with Nancy about the upcoming Music at the Intersection festival happening in the Grand Center Arts District (September 10th through 12th, 2021). They also discuss the Kranzberg Arts Foundation's works and venues in general.
Music at the Intersection celebrates St. Louis’s rich and diverse musical heritage. From Jazz to Blues, Soul to Hip Hop, and everything in between this festival will highlight over 60 acts on six world-renowned stages over three days throughout Grand Center’s Arts District.
The mission statement of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation is... "Through the development of artistic venues, studios and workspaces, short and long-term residencies, and community-based programming, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation provides essential infrastructure for the arts to thrive in the St. Louis region.
Taking an arts-based approach to community development, the Foundation ensures we are aligning our investments with the needs and vision of the broader community. Committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive approach, we further economic development and cultural sustainability, while helping to establish St. Louis as a premier arts and entertainment destination."
Poster for Music at the Intersection with all the musical acts slated to perform.