AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Thank you so much for joining us today as we talk with some local arts leaders in our community.
Two of our favorites from The Augusta Players are in the studio today: Executive and Artistic Director, Scott Seidl and Director of the Jr. Players, Roy Lewis. They’ll soon tell us about the upcoming production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
But, before we get to that, we’re asking this, “What’s your take?”
This was the scene at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom recently down in Orlando, as the park goers were lined up for more than three hours to ride Splash Mountain on its last day of operation. Splash Mountain has been criticized in recent years for its theming, which features characters from the 1946 Disney movie, “Song of the South.”
Splash Mountain is going to be converted now into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure featuring characters from the movie, “The Princess and The Frog.”
My family got to ride for the last time back in December when we had a Christmas trip to Disney and we knew changes were coming, so we took some selfies on our last ride. Disney says the ride should be reopened sometime in 2024.
So, the question now is, what is your take, Roy Lewis and Scott Seidl?
Roy: “I think a lot of folks are gonna have a lot of opinions. I think in today’s society, that we as a culture and as a community, need to kind of reevaluate who we are and where we are, trying to create a a kinder, gentler world. I think during its time period, it was relevant. However, we have evolved. Hopefully, we continue to evolve. And, so that it… Everything has its place. But, speaking in relevance to what’s happening in the world today, I think we need to be more mindful, and purposeful in how we identify with different cultures, and different ideals, and things of that nature. So, yeah. It’s okay. It’s time to move forward.”
Jennie: Do you ever see that, Scott, like in some of the material that you select, if you bring back something, like an older performance, where there need to be some adjustments made?
Scott: “100%. And, I always look at it from a perspective of with, would that show be written today? It was written in, this film, that the write is based on, was written in 1946 and it made sense in 1946. Would that film be written today? Probably not. So, it’s probably not appropriate for today’s audiences and for today’s generation in general. So, yeah, when we’re looking at shows, we take that into consideration all the time, and less and less, you see what you and I and and Roy might consider the Golden Age of Broadway being produced as much, because it has problematic characters, and situations, and scenes in it. And, so people are just looking for other material.”
Jennie: “The perceptions change the way we look at things. So, that’s very interesting to talk about that.”
Roy: “And, I think, for the better, if you don’t mind my interrupting. I do think that perceptions do need to be changed. We live in a totally different world and what worked then doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gonna work now. Our young folks are experiencing so many different ways. They’re growing up so quickly. And, I think that we as a society have the responsibility, and we as adults have the responsibility, and leaders in the theater have a responsibility to educate and enlighten our young folks to… For them to be able to make those clearer decisions on what they feel is appropriate and inappropriate. And, so we can help lead them in that way. But, like we said, moving forward, being more open-minded and just kind of embracing the newness of where we are today.”
Moving on to the upcoming Augusta Players production now…
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most enduring shows of all time! This magical musical is full of catchy songs with something for everyone! Join the journey of The Narrator, Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colors as they tell the tale through non-stop song and dance.
You can catch the show Friday, Feb. 24th… Saturday, February 25th… and Sunday, February 26th at the Imperial Theatre on Broad Street. Get your tickets online at tinyurl.com/htttw5vj… Or call 706-826-4707.