‘Key West Summer Stage’ continues with ‘TheatreSymposium’


Now in full swing, TheatreXP and the Key West Summer Stage launch the first two segments of its new four-part TheatreSymposium on Tuesday and Friday this week as part of the ongoing events of Key West Summer Stage.

The free TheatreSymposium panel discussions will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Red Barn Theatre, 319 Duval St.

On four nights through July, the Symposium will feature panel-led discussions on specific areas of theater, including Directing, Scenic Design, Acting and Writing and will include some of the best practitioners of each discipline in Key West.

“If you’ve ever sat in a theater and been amazed by what you’ve seen on stage, this will be a great series of evenings for you,” said Bob Bowersox, founder of TheatreXP and co-producer of Summer Stage. “And conversely, if you’ve never been to a play, these interactive discussions will be a great way for you to introduce yourself to theater. We’ll be pulling back the curtain, so to speak, and let you peek behind it.”

Bowersox said that the idea for the Symposium came out of discussions with Quincy Perkins, his producing partner of Summer Stage. Perkins, a long-time fixture on Key West stages, and one of the area’s top filmmakers, has wanted to bring the makers of theater and their audiences closer together for years.

“The idea is that if our audiences have a better understanding of what it actually takes to create the magic on stage, then they’ll enjoy it all the more when they attend a show,” Perkins said.

On Tuesday, July 8, the Symposium kicks off with an evening focused on the alchemy of Directing for the Stage, and will feature some of Key West’s top directors, including Joy Hawkins, Carole McCartee, George Gugleotti, Murphy Davis and Bowersox. The Directing panel will be moderated by Perkins, who will lead the discussion on such issues as how the directors pick a play, how they approach envisioning the staging of it, casting, rehearsals, dealing with sometimes quirky actors, and finally, production. The audience can expect to hear poignant and hilarious anecdotes from the panelists.

On Friday, July 11, the Symposium turns to the artistry of Scenic Design – the people responsible for the physical environment that you see on stage. Panelists will include the Waterfront’s master designer Michael Boyer, lighting designer Jules Conn, and set dresser/propmaster Annie Miners. This panel will be moderated by Bowersox, a skilled set designer and constructor himself. Topics will include translating a couple of descriptive lines in a script into a living, breathing set, how to make something look like what it’s not, and some of the problems and pitfalls – often hilarious – that these designers must deal with.

“We’ll be encouraging the audience to join the discussions,” Bowersox said. “Questions and comments will be more than welcome. You can expect to hear some great stories about how the gears of theater actually work.”

Later in the month, the Symposium will focus on Acting for the Stage (July 22) and Writing for the Stage (July 25). Those panels will feature some of the top actors and writers for theater currently working in Key West.

For more information on the TheatreSymposium, visit keywestsummerstage.com or call TheatreXP at 302-540-6102.

Season Sponsors of the Key West Summer Stage 2014 are Royal Furniture, The Grand Café, KONKLife, and Design Group Key West.


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