by Quintin Jones with backup from T3Writes editor, Kat Edwards
In a show about a woman going through some pretty big life changes, it’s probably time that we post a blog about all of the changes that Theatre Three has experienced in the past few years. Change is inevitable and as an organization, we’ve gone through a lot recently. So, here’s a bit of backstory necessary for this post:
- Theatre Three has been around for 57 years
- Founding Artistic Director, Norma Young, passed away in 1998
- Executive Producer-Director, Jac Alder, passed away in 2015
- Since 2015, we’ve been a little busy…
If I were to make a list of FAQs asked of me by long time patrons, number one would be, “did you know Jac?” This question always makes me giggle because I sat in the office next to him every day for almost two years and one time, he even took my keys at the end of the day and left me stranded in the building (not for very long, calm down).
But I get it. It’s an easy assumption to make. I’m young, my presence at T3 hasn’t always been a prominent one, a lot has changed, and the rest of the staff is COMPLETELY different. There are people on staff that didn’t step foot inside this building for the first time until Jac had already passed. It’s a new era. I feel that having been here during the transition and I can see it everywhere and it’s all positive…from my perspective anyway.
And perspective is important. We appreciate hearing from others because, positive or negative, it’s all valuable. Which leads me to F I N A L L Y introduce this week’s contributor, Quintin Jones, who plays Foster in The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn. Jeffrey and I were curious about his perspective as an actor whose first show in this building was in medias res (or smack dab in the middle of our crazy) and we’ve practically been a different theatre for every show he’s been in since 2016.
The first exposure that I ever had to Theatre 3 was its production of Hot Mikado in 2015, and I loved every moment of it. The whole theatre seemed to buzz with all of the electricity and vibrancy of the production. Under the artistic direction of Jac Alder, the theatre had a very specific energy that seemed to nod to “capital-T” THEATRE! I never got the chance to meet him though, because he passed two short months after that production.
The next Spring, I was cast in Memphis, and shortly after that I performed in The Wedding Singer. Bruce Coleman served as director of both shows as well as interim Artistic Director of the theatre. The space hummed with a different kind of energy during that time; there was a reverence and sacredness to the space. There seemed to be a tenderness in the transition from the era of Jac Alder to the theatre’s next phase.
My next production with Theatre Three was Passing Strange, a show that Bruce has selected, but one of T3’s first productions under the artistic direction of Jeffrey Schmidt. The energy, once again, seemed to change and the air began to vibrate with hope and excitement and mischief and unrest. Everyone involved with the theatre seemed ready to take big swings and make wild decisions. The whole environment seemed to change. The green room (the space in the theatre where actors are able stay and relax when they are not onstage or in their dressing rooms) was revamped, the Opening Night receptions became thematically geared towards the shows, and the Administrative staff became more present throughout the course of the productions.
Now, I am in The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn and, what feels like, a new era at T3. The entire audition process has changed, Jeffrey Schmidt (along with the Board and Staff) is really leaving his mark with the bold and exciting shows being produced under his artistic direction, and the dust is finally starting to settle.
I’ve had the joy and pleasure of finding a sense of belonging and forging wonderful new relationships at T3 over my past 4 productions here. Along the way I have watched so much change, but one thing that has remained the same since the first time I walked into Theatre Three is the electricity and vibrancy of a theatre committed to producing great work. I can’t wait to see what changes the future brings.
Check out Quintin Jones as Foster in The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn running now through February 24th!
Music and Lyrics by Ian Ferguson • Book by Michael Federico • Directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni • Musical Direction by Vonda K. Bowling