Springer Opera House announces 2022-23 season
The announcement of Springer’s 2022-23 season took place March 10 at Emily Woodruf Hall at the Springer Opera House. In addition to revealing the shows that will be produced over the coming year, the event is a way to thank Springer season ticket holders and donors for their support and has become one of the most anticipated events in the year for local theatergoers.
The evening began with a welcome from General Manager Danielle Varner who provided an update on the state of the theatre. Varner cited the “Olympic-size pivoting” and innovation of Springer’s staff and board, as well as the unwavering support of Springer’s customers for weathering the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“As we enter the Springer’s 151st season, I want you to know that not only is the Springer surviving, but we are beginning to thrive again thanks to our patrons, donors and volunteers,” Varner said, “The Springer doors are open, and we’re ready to bring you more and more great shows this year.”
The presentation continued with production from Artistic Director Paul Pierce, who paid tribute to six Springer staff members whom he considered “longtime workers” who collectively worked 152 years at Springer. He also acknowledged the success of Springer’s partnership with the Columbus State University Theater Department, noting that fifteen of Springer’s current staff are graduates of the program.
Each year, the Springer dedicates a new star to the Walk of Fame that associates a contemporary Springer “hero” with a notable artist who has performed on the Springer stage. Pierce featured Sandy Dawson star acknowledging world-renowned guitarist, songwriter and record producer Chet Atkins. Atkins, a fourteen-time Grammy Award winner and Fortson, Georgia native, performed at the Springer in 1993. Dawson has been involved with the Springer for 55 years. As an actress, she first performed at Springer at age 17 in a production of The King and I. Since then, she has starred in dozens of Springer productions and been a guest costume designer on countless shows.
She was Springer’s full-time resident costumer for three years before retiring in 2021. During her time as resident costumer, during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, she led a team of staff members and Springer volunteers to help build over 3,000 face masks using fabrics from Springer suits to donate to Piedmont Regional Healthcare when they needed masks for their patients. Even in retirement, Dawson continues to help design costumes for local projects.
“I am so blessed and honored to be forever a part of my beloved Springer, Georgia State Theater now,” Dawson said. Dawson credits his introduction and love of acting to his drama teacher at Jordon High School, Sandra Taylor. Pierce then introduced the newest addition to the Springer’s full-time staff, artist-in-residence, Keith McCoy. McCoy, who joined Springer full-time in January as artist-in-residence, has been involved with Springer for more than 13 years, serving as a guest director, actor, choreographer and teacher.
McCoy expressed his excitement about joining the Springer team, “I look forward to adding to the rich heritage of artistic excellence while initiating a new commitment to welcoming and inspiring our entire community. Achieve new audiences by telling stories that truly reflect the people living in our world right now.” The evening ended with the presentation of the next shows for the 2022-23 season. The Mainstage series opens with The Bodyguard, the Musical on stage from September 23 through October 9. The musical is based on the hit 1992 film featuring music by Whitney Houston. From December 1-23, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a beloved song-and-dance holiday show featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The Play That Goes Wrong, which ran from January 26 to February 5, won the 2015 Olivier Award for Best Comedy and has been streaming in London since 2012.
Main Stage Series
The Bodyguard, the Musical – September 23 – October 9, 2022
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – December 1-23, 2022
The coin that goes wrong – January 26 – February 5, 2023
Guys and Dolls – March 17 – April 2, 2023
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Escape – May 5-21, 2023
Studio Series II
Little Shop of Horrors – October 21 – November 6, 2022
A Tuna Christmas – December 15 – 23, 2022
The Cake – 20 – 30 April 2023
Children’s theater series
Dragons Love Tacos – July 8-24, 2022
Look Forward, the Ruby Bridges Story – September 30 – 9, 2022
The Cat in the Hat – March 3 – 19, 2023
Theater for toddlers
In my street – November 5 – 13, 2022
A superhero for all seasons – May 6 – 7, 2023
The presentation was streamed live and a recording can be viewed on Springer’s website at springeroperahouse.org. Season tickets are on sale now at the Springer box office. Single tickets for the 2022-23 season will go on sale July 5. For more information, visit springeroperahouse.org or call the box office at 706-327-3688.
Pictured: Larren Woodward (left) and Kirin Wilson (right) perform ‘Sisters’ from White Christmas