Exciting things are on the horizon for the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s upcoming season. In addition to their exciting lineup of main stage shows, they are starting an educational division.
Managing Director Kathryn Woods explained that the success of their Summer Youth Productions and Scholarship Program inspired them to look at what else they could do to enhance BTG’s educational component.
“The education division of BTG makes us unique in local community theater because we would be the first with a year-round program that includes, both productions and classes,” Woods said.
BTG’s education series will include, not only their summer youth production but also a summer camp for kids in grades 4-7. The camp will conclude with performances of “Junie B. Jones Jr.,” a junior youth musical.
Throughout the season, BTG held a raffle program during shows.
Because of this, they can offer scholarships for those who wish to attend the summer camp, but can’t afford it.
They will have a free master class series that will give students a chance to learn aspects of theater in a more in-depth and intensive format with experts in various fields of theater and music.
“We hope these classes will give the students the tools they need to make theater and music a bit less intimidating and the confidence they need to try new things in the theater world both in their communities and their schools,” Woods said.
As far as the 2024 season lineup, Woods along with Colin Keating, BTG’s artistic director, spent six months prior to their season announcement, speaking with various directors who have submitted shows for consideration.
“After looking at all the options available to us, we started putting a season together that would give a wide variety of shows for our patrons to enjoy,” Woods said.
Woods shared that for the first time in a long time, BTG will have new directors leading some shows.
She describes the value of adding Bob Brown to the lineup as director.
This will be a huge draw for our community theatre to those who remember him from his Salt City Playhouse days,” she said.
According to Woods, musicals tend to draw bigger audiences than plays, but it’s still important to include a play throughout the season.
The Cabaret Series, which they brought back in 2023, was highly popular with both singers and audiences.
“For our singers, it gives them a chance to be involved in theater without the time commitment,” Woods said. “This is appealing to many CNY theater actors in a post-COVID world. Audiences love the themed programming of the Cabaret Series. We are hoping to continue to perform them at the Fireside Inn for 2024.”
For BTG’s season lineup, there will be four mainstage shows; “Forever Plaid,” directed by Bob Brown, “August Osage County,” directed by Adam Shatraw, “The Spongebob Musical,” directed by Ceara Windhausen, and “Pippin,” directed by Kate Lemos Brown.
Their three “one night only” Cabaret events will include; “Speakeasy Serenade:” A Prohibition Cabaret – April 6; “Enchantment in Song: An Evening of Song & Fairytales” – Sept. 7; and “Jingle Bell Jamboree: A Holiday Cabaret Spectacular’ – Dec. 14.
For more information on their education series or upcoming shows visit baldwinsvilletheatreguild.com.