HIGH TIDE: Behind the lights and scenery at The Rep

Chick Huettel

Chick Huettel

Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM.

After attending a Seaside play, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” which was a stylized fun-poke at the dark Sherlock Holmes novel, I was enthralled to see how small live playhouses survive. These theater houses are scattered from one end of the country to the next, from tiny towns to mega metropolises.

The challenge seems even greater for the Seaside company, The Rep. To pull people from the beach and tourist hotspots to a small darkened theater with handmade scenery is nothing short of a phenomena. These young individuals simply defy the odds. 

I found myself a few days later in the small Grayton Beach office of Lisa Connell, managing director of The Rep. The theater is well over 10 years old and Lisa came on board about three years ago after a career in marketing.

After talking to others, I found out that she does one of the most difficult jobs of all. The one that any arts organization activist loathes to do — find the money.

But she loves the aspect of promotion, meeting sponsors, fundraising events, and going after the mysterious world of “grant” subsidies. Not at all shy, Lisa likes to form alliances with the larger community supporters such as Silver Sands, Grand Boulevard , Sunburst Beach Vacations, Pizitz Home and Cottage, and others. She tells me they are one of the more important anchors of the theater’s success. Without the sponsors and individual supporters, the whole system would collapse.

The overall executive director is a chap by the name of Brook Stetler.

He is also a director-actor and his efforts are a labor of love as I watched his company players and backstage team work their magic in the Baskervilles play.

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