Greenville High School, Flat River Community Players work together

By Lonnie Allen • Last Updated 11:13 am on Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cast members of the Flat River Community Players’ production of “Into the Woods” perform on stage at the Greenville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday evening during a rehearsal. — Daily News/Cory Smith

GREENVILLE — Building a coherent community is something that requires everyone to pull together and make some sacrifices for the greater good.

The Flat River Community Players’ (FRCP) upcoming production of “Into the Woods” is one of those collaborations that have come with some sacrifices. Greenville High School’s auditorium manager Chris Chapman calls this collaboration a “new experiment” between the school district and the Flat River Community Players.

“This is a unique show for our community,” Chapman said. “The scale of show is bigger than either FRCP or Greenville High School has done solo. So we worked up the idea and a concept of collaboration.”

Music Director Charlotte Lothian, top left, directs members of the pit orchestra for the Flat River Community Players’ production of “Into the Woods” at the Greenville Performing Arts Center on Tuesday evening during a rehearsal. — Daily News/Cory Smith

The process started back in January with meetings between the Flat River Community Players and Greenville Public School officials. Usually, when the auditorium is rented out to the community there is a district building use policy that is followed.

“If we traditionally bill the auditorium as a rental,” Chapman said. “Then the FRCP, or in fact no one, could afford it for the month and a half to the two-month period required for a such a production.”

Not only the cost for use of the auditorium but the block of time required for rehearsals and performances called for a new approach in the district’s policy. So after discussions with Superintendent Pete Haines and Director of Finance John Gilchrist, the current collaboration began.

“The district is experimenting with different ways to use the facility and to work with community folks in a different and collaborative way,” Chapman said. “The Flat River Community Players get the benefit of using our stock equipment and some of our staff that they would not have access before.”

According to Charlotte Lothian, music director for “Into the Woods,” this production becomes a generational collaboration.

Greenville High School Auditorium Manager Chris Chapman operates various lighting and sound switchboards during Tuesday’s rehearsal. — Daily News/Cory Smith

“I wanted to get a lot of our longtime players back on the stage especially our music directors who are often busy with music and are not on the stage,” Lothian said. “Especially the collaboration with the high school, a lot of these people are teachers who have had these students in the classroom and when you think of community theater there is a lot of connections in this show between the generations.”

According to Chapman this upcoming play has lots of high school students and alumni working within the show.

“Much of the staff that is working this show started as students in our theater program when the auditorium was built in 1998,” Chapman said.

Director and cast member Allyson Paris is pleased to be part of such a complex show and collaboration.

“The music is a very difficult and it is a very complicated show,” Paris said. “I am glad we have a very complete and confident cast.”

Opening night of the production begins 7 p.m. Friday at Greenville High School.

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