News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

‘Pygmalion’ comes to the small stage

George Shaw’s “Pygmalion” comes alive at Spotlight Community Theatre this month.

On opening night, patrons can expect to receive star treatment, as they walk the red carpet, have paparazzi taking photos, and enjoy posing with various props prior to the show, according to SCT Director Shannon Rempel. 

Audience members are encouraged to wear clothing from that era for the picture- taking, Rempel added. 

“The idea for the Paparazzi Opening night came from our main character Eliza Doolittle played by Brittany Sinfellow,” she said. “Brittany is new to Spotlight and has so many great marketing ideas, making her an awesome candidate for our board of directors. She is running for our next season’s elections.”

“Pygmalion” will run on May 11-14 and 18-21. Performances Thursday through Saturday are at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. The theater is located at 383 N. 3rd Ave. in Stayton. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for youth. Tickets are available in advance at spotlightct.com and at the door if not sold out. 

“Spotlight is a small theater in a small town that has survived the Covid quarantine by being creative and frugal,” Rempel said. “We created staged audio drama that were recorded in sound individual sound booths so that the actors could stay separated. We sold those audio dramas to keep the rent paid during the pandemic. Since the reopening we have chosen a few titles that are in the public domain – or royalty free – in order to save on expenses.”

Rempel said, according to Director Dennis Engblom, “The primary theme running through ‘Pygmalion’ is the idea one can learn to be something other than what you may have been brought up to be. We can change who we are through education. Bernard Shaw believed in education and a whole lot more.”

Rempel said this is Engblom’s first time directing with Spotlight. His previous experience includes acting as the father in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” the villain in “Peril on the High Seas” as well as parts in “And Then There Were None” and several staged radio and audio dramas.

“We are excited to bring ‘Pygmalion’ to Stayton and the surrounding communities,” she said. “Such a classic should be seen by all. This play is packed full of interesting characters and though it tackles the issue of class and gender it is brimming with humor.”

According to Rempel, “Pygmalion” is Shaw’s most well-known play by the adaptions of his plot that turned into a famous stage and film musical, “My Fair Lady.” It was later adapted to a ‘90s film called “She’s All That.”

Cast includes: Bryon Morris (Professor Higgins); Brittney Sinfellow (Eliza Doolittle); Paul McGuire (Colonel Pickering); Edward Stiner (Doolittle); Jacquie Rogers (Mrs. Higgins); Maureen Hammer (Mrs. Eynsford Hill); Kyah Calaba (Clara Hill); Preston Zimmer (Freddy Hill); Deborah Nelson (Mrs. Pearce); Mike Engberg (bystander); Joshua Kitto (sarcastic bystander); and Tasha Preston (parlor maid). The play is directed by Dennis Engblom with Carly Smith’s assistance.

SCT currently seeks proposals from local directors for the 2023-2024 season. All director positions are voluntary. Submit proposals with directing resume, script synopsis, personnel needs such as number of actors and crew, and estimated budget to [email protected]. Play and director selection will be made this month and announced publicly in June.

Tickets are available at spotlightcommunitytheatre.com.

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