SINGIN' IN THE RAIN at ACCC to Reunite Director and Star After Almost 20 Years
In an act of theatrical symmetry, full of the "whimsical magic" only live performance can provide, the first production of Arts Center of Cannon County's 2019 Season - the stage version of Singin' in the Rain - will reunite the director with his leading actress, whom he first cast in her very first musical when she was nine years old.
It's been almost 20 years since the last time veteran director Jeffrey Ellis initially worked with Lindsey Mapes Duggin, the director of education for Arts Center of Cannon County, who will lead the cast of Singin' in the Rain as its heroine, young star-to-be Kathy Selden, as well as taking on the role of producer.
It's the waning days of the silent screen era and Hollywood moguls are hoping to wide the waves of change brought by the advent of talkies in Singin' in the Rain, the tuneful, danceable stage musical based on the 1952 hit movie of the same name - and Woodbury's Art Center of Cannon County launches its 2019 season with its version of the show for a February 8-23 run.
Joining Duggin in the cast are Austin Jeffrey Smith as Don Lockwood, Gerold Oliver as his best pal and sidekick Cosmo Brown, Brittany Andersen as Don's leading lady and paramour Lina Lamont, Scarlett Turney as Tinseltown gossip Dora Bailey and Kelly Lynn Sekuterski as Miss Dinsmore, the elocution coach charged with helping Lina make the transition from silent films to talkies. Other members of the company include Shiloh Bakalyar, Sharon Bessant, Becky Charlton, Drew Dunlop, Jeffrey Fiene, Janet Galvao, Natalie Garrison, Mary Humphrey, Tim Kelley, Jackson Kinsey, Terrie Kirby, J. Robert Lindsey, Daxton Patrick, Kiana Schofill and Zoe Zent.
"When I was offered the show to direct, I was delighted, but not necessarily convinced I should do it," Ellis recalls. "Then when I was told I would be working with Lindsey again, I knew immediately it was meant to be. We can't wait to present our vision of Singin' in the Rain for the audiences at Arts Center of Cannon County - but working with Lindsey is what makes the project so very special."
Ellis directed Duggin, who played the "Balloon Girl" in his production of Gypsy for Nashville's Circle Players in 2000 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Andrew Johnson Theatre. Since then, Duggin has earned her degree in theater from Middle Tennessee State University and worked as a professional actress before joining the staff at ACCC as director education for the Woodbury-based artscenter.
Ellis, a veteran director (Cabaret, My Fair Lady, Winter Wonderettes, South Pacific, Company, The Rocky Horror Show, Gypsy, Damn Yankees, The Last Five Years) and BroadwayWorld.com Nashville theater, dance and opera critic, helms the production, which stars Lindsey Mapes Duggin as Kathy Selden. The creative team for Singin' in the Rain includes musical director Allison Hall (Mary Poppins, Titanic the Musical), choreographer Maggie Richardson (9 to 5, The Musical at MTSU), set design by Shane Lowery and costumes by Freida Mapes. Emily Daigneault is production stage manager.