David Treadwell: MSMT and the Fulton Theatre: A get-gain collaboration

Dancing Trousers

To succeed in musical theater, one will have to be in a position to sing, dance and act. Not several these performers also have the means to immediate. And even less folks who can sing, dance, act, and immediate also have the management skills to oversee a superb regional theater. And how a lot of amongst that unusual breed possess the bravery, endurance, resiliency and knowledge to tutorial a theater as a result of a pandemic, a obstacle for which there is no playbook, no script?

Curt Dale Clark, artistic director at Maine Point out Music Theatre, and Marc Robin, executive inventive producer at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, are two this kind of amazing persons. This immensely talented duo initially fulfilled 40 yrs back they exchanged rings 25 many years back and they ended up married 6 years in the past.

I made the decision it would be intriguing to master much more about the shut collaboration concerning MSMT and the Fulton. I have arrive to know and admire Curt in excess of the a long time, but I’d only fulfilled Marc at the time. Suitable just after we sat down in a booth at the Kopper Kettle in Topsham, Marc requested, “David, how’s your coronary heart?” Wow, I identified in the really to start with minute why Marc Robin conjures up the loyalty of individuals who work with and for him

MSMT and the Fulton had founded a shut partnership very well before the pandemic shut down both theaters. In latest many years, MSMT’s initially musical of the time has been transported straight from the Fulton: similar cast, director, landscapes, costumes, props, and so on. Conversely, MSMT’s previous musical has been transported to the Fulton. This offer will save funds for both equally companies.

The two theaters have put together to give 9 once-a-year visits to London, much to the delight of all attendees. What’s more, MSMT has sponsored 5 excursions to the Fulton, and the Fulton has sponsored five excursions to MSMT..

They host joint auditions in New York City just about every yr, an arrangement which added benefits both equally theaters. Curt and Marc said that they typically concur when it arrives to deciding on acting and musical expertise. They are both dedicated to building certainly outstanding theatrical ordeals, and that devotion shines via, exhibit after show, 12 months immediately after year at both venues.

The two men merged artistic talents to write the e book, the songs and the lyrics for “Treasure island,” which had its environment premiere at the Fulton in 2008. They’ve penned 13 youngsters displays and are at the moment performing on two Mainstage displays.

MSMT and the Fulton often faucet into each individual other’s strengths. MSMT has a extra extensive costume section, for case in point, so the Fulton frequently rents costumes from MSMT instead than make their have or rent from an additional supply. The Fulton, in transform, has a lot more ability in set and scenery style and design, and MSMT added benefits right from that expertise.

COVID strike each theaters really hard, just as it did theatrical corporations about the region. Curt, supported by his board, experienced to near down MSMT’s 2020 summertime period. He, together with his staff, have been forced to acquire cuts in income. Luckily, most season subscribers contributed the value of their tickets back to MSMT.

Marc faced an even more durable ordeal, given that the Fulton Theatre is a significantly more substantial firm. In addition to chopping his very own salary by 50 percent, he experienced to enable go of 70 % of his team, a deeply personalized and agonizing practical experience.

For around a yr, the two adult males have faced huge worries that would convey down lesser souls. They’ve experienced to soothe disappointed audiences. They’ve experienced to maintain the enthusiasm of donors at a time when the big reason to give (supporting reside theater) stays silent. They’ve experienced to abide by the recommendations of the Actors Fairness Affiliation, a team with rigid bylaws not developed to accommodate a pandemic. By way of it all, they’ve had to retain their corporations viability although not performing what they adore to do: place on live theater for appreciative audiences. Both of those theaters held fundraisers to ease the money stress and streamed activities to preserve curiosity.

Fortunately, both MSMT and the Fulton were being in good condition in advance of COVID struck. Subscriptions and donations were being at document stages. MSMT was earning bold strategies to increase its existence close to midcoast Maine. The Fulton was nearing the close of a profitable key capital campaign.

Fortunately, Curt Dale Clark and Marc Robin continue being optimistic about the potential of their respective businesses and the electricity of their partnership.. They have no intention of stepping down or pulling back. Supporters of the two MSMT and the Fulton can relaxation assured that under the management of these two consummate experts, the reveals will go on.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for potential “Just a Little Old” columns. [email protected]

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