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By Donald V. Calamia
For 39 summers, theatergoers in and around West Michigan have been treated to an amazing array of professional productions, ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim and Tartuffe to Kukla, Fran and Ollie: A Retrospective - all courtesy of Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Based on the campus of Hope College in Holland, HSRT produces seven shows a season on three different stages, and attracts professional actors from all across the nation. Assistant producing director/company manager Matthew R. D'Oyly talked recently to EncoreMichigan.com about the company and its philosophy of producing professional live theater!
What is your theater's mission statement?
HSRT is West Michigan's premier professional theater company for the last 39 years. The company is a unique blend of distinguished professionals and young theater artists from all over the United States, creating a synergy between the younger artists and more mature artists.
What are your theater's short-term goals and objectives - such as for the current season?
We produce seven shows in rotation every summer on three different stages: the DeWitt stage, a 494-seat thrust space; the Knickerbocker Theatre, a renovated turn-of-the-century 550-seat proscenium space; and the DeWitt Studio, a 125 seat theater in the round.
What are your theater's long-term goals and objectives?
To continue to bring excellent entertainment to the West Michigan area.
What makes your theater different from any of the others in Michigan? What is it about you that is unique?
We are distinguished by the wide variety of our plays, performed by one resident acting company. This wide variety of repertoire is unified by the goal to explore and celebrate the joy and complexity of the human spirit. The company numbers over 100 annually, taking up residence for the summer in Holland.
What is your programming philosophy? What type(s) of shows does your theater produce on its main stage - and why?
When looking at our season line-up, we really look at it as an entire summer package: to be able to produce a wide variety of diverse productions to have something for everyone, the old and the young alike.
What other types of programming, if any, does your theater offer - such as theater for young audiences, educational outreach, etc.?
The biggest programming we do is geared towards theater for young audiences, which is our Children's Performance Troupe shows. Each season we produce two "kids" shows.
Does your theater offer any classes or workshops - either to the general public or to industry professionals? If so, what are they?
Not at this time.
Is your theater an Equity (union) company?
We use Equity Guest Artist Contracts.
What is the philosophy you use to cast your shows? From what talent pool(s) do you draw from?
HSRT is a non-Equity company, employing five to seven Equity guest artists and eight to 10 non-Equity actors. Acting interns are recruited from theater training programs and colleges throughout the country. Acting interns in the past have come from highly ranked schools like Hope College, Webster University, Wagner College, The University of Evansville and Southern Methodist University.
HSRT also hires staff positions available in arts management, stage management, costumes, scenery, scenic art, sound, electrics and properties.
How does an actor go about arranging an audition?
Application for all performance positions is by audition. HSRT consistently participates in the Midwest Theatre Auditions in St. Louis, Missouri. Open auditions are held at Hope College in mid March.
Performers may also submit a DVD, headshot and resume. Please include two-three monologues and two songs.
Does your theater offer an apprenticeship or internship program? And if so, what is the criteria - and how does someone apply for such a position?
Acting interns are currently-enrolled students from undergraduate programs. They are cast in main stage and children'™s productions. They also work regularly in scenic, costume, lighting or publicity departments. Interns receive a stipend of $800 for the season, free housing and free college credits in theater lab.
Internships are also available in arts management, publicity, stage management, costumes, scenery, lighting and sound. All interns receive a stipend of $800 for the season, free housing and free college credits in theater lab.
To apply, send a cover letter and resume to: Matthew D'Oyly, Assistant Producing Director, HSRT, P.O. 9000, Holland, MI 49422-9000. Please include contact information and three references.
Does your theater accept new play submissions? If so, how does a playwright go about submitting a script for your consideration?
We do not.
What else should we know about your theater, the current season, etc.?
HSRT's 39th Season:
Into the Woods
I Do! I Do!
Last Night of the Ballyhoo
Italian Straw Hat
A Year with Frog and Toad
Busytown (the musical)
Brand New Kid
Theater name: Hope Summer Repertory Theatre
Business address (including zip code): 141 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423
Performance address (including zip code):
DeWitt Theatre: 141 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423
Knickerbocker THeatre: 86 East 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423
Studio Theatre: 141 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423
Web address: www.hope.edu/hsrt
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/pages/Hope-Summer-Repertory-Theatre/43537979727
Twitter name: HopeSummerRepTheatre
Business office phone (including area code): 616-395-7600
Business office hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Box office phone (including area code): 616-395-7890
Box office hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday: noon to 5 p.m. On HSRT performance dates, the ticket office will be open through intermission (approximately 9 p.m.).
In what year was your theater established: 1971
Company's founders: John K.V. Tammi
Current leaders or management team: David Colacci - artistic director; Mary Schakel - producing director; Matthew D'Oyly - assistant producing director/company manager
Is your theater a non-profit, tax-exempt organization? Yes
Is your theater wheelchair accessible? Yes
During which months of the year does your season run? June - August
How many main stage productions do you offer each season? Five
How many OTHER productions or programs do you offer each season? Two
How many seats does your theater have? DeWitt Theatre - 484; Knickerbocker Theatre - 536; Studio Theatre - 125
What type(s) of seating is offered to your patrons (ex: general admission, reserved, etc)? Reserved seating for all shows, except for Children's Performance Troupe, which are general admission.
In general, what is the price range for your non-discounted main stage tickets (exclusive of service charges and other fees)? Musicals: $10-$26; Plays: $10-$19; CPT: $10
Are there service charges or other fees added to the price of the tickets? And if so, what are those charges and fees? Yes: $2 on all single ticket sales, but only one $2 service fee on the season ticket package.
Do you offer subscriptions to your main stage season? Yes
Do you offer discounts to senior citizens (and if so, what are the details)? Yes, 55 and over.
Do you offer discounts to students (and if so, what are the details)? Yes, $10
Do you offer group discounts (and if so, what are the details)? Yes, call the ticket office for more information
For ticket purchases, does your theater accept personal checks? Yes
For ticket purchases, does your theater accept credit or debit cards? Yes, Mastercard and Visa
Can tickets to your shows be purchased online - and if so, how? No, not at this time
ABOUT MATTHEW R. D'OYLY:
Matthew R. D'Oyly, assistant producing director/company manager, is starting his eighth summer with HSRT. In addition to working for HSRT, Matthew is ending his fifth year as a residential life coordinator for Hope College. His background encompasses a variety of areas, including student activities, residential life, Greek life and theater. Matthew is the 2010 recipient of Hope College's Vanderbush-Weller Award, which recognized him for his extraordinary contributions to the lives of students at Hope. Recently, Matthew was given the honor of being elected as an honorary member of the Emersonian Fraternity. While at Hope, he served as the Inter-Fraternity Council advisor, the advisor to the award-winning Milestone yearbook, chair of the development and training committee for Residential Life and Housing and coordinator of the alcohol education programs. He served as an ambassador for the NCAA Women's Final Four and was frequently seen with the Hope College Mascot "Dutch" as he advised the mascot program at the college. He is also a graphic designer and designs logos, posters and t-shirts for many local organizations. He was instrumental in establishing the Mona Shores Choir Fund through the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Before HSRT, he worked as a sound engineer for Cherry County Playhouse in Muskegon. Matthew holds a Master's in Education with an emphasis in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater technical design from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.
MAP / DIRECTIONS:
Dewitt Theatre & Studio Theatre: