by Sean Michael
St. Louis theatre is awesome. It really is. It’s vibrant. No two theatres (at least professionally) even try to do what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t conform to itself. Every company does its own thing because screw conformity. Not everything is good (I honestly believe that’s a good thing for theatre anyway), and few shows ever approach perfection (also good), but it’s a genuinely exciting place for theatre. Why?
Here’s a quick run-down of professional theatres in St. Louis:
A Call to Conscience
The Black Rep
Insight Theatre Company
Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre
Max and Louie Productions
The Midnight Company
Mustard Seed Theatre
New Jewish Theatre
New Line Theatre
The November Theater Company
OnSite Theatre Company
The Players Project Theater Co.
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble
St. Louis Actors’ Studio
St. Lou Fringe
St. Louis Shakespeare
Stages St. Louis
Stray Dog Theatre
West End Players Guild
So many companies, so little time…
Like I said earlier, those are only the professional companies (and I may have missed some…)! That list doesn’t include opera theatres, colleges and universities, community and church theatres, children’s theatres, or theatres for young audiences. Somebody once told me we have upwards of 60 theatres of all levels in St. Louis. I’m inclined to believe that number may be higher…
That’s why I’m starting this blog. There are countless places on the internet to find information about theatre in St. Louis. There are the Facebook groups and pages and the myriad websites. Why add to the clutter? We are missing something: A source for news, for interviews, for profiles. We need a place where the audience member can go for behind-the-scenes stuff. Sure. New Line has their talk backs, but what about getting to know the actors and technicians better? Don’t want you to know more about Rob Lippert and Taylor Gruenloh? I do.
St. Louis needs a voice, too. Not in the sense that we need to have a singular style. We need a voice, a mouthpiece to shout, “WE’RE HERE. WE HAVE REALLY COOL THINGS HAPPENING, TOO!!” That’s the aim of this blog. To become the mouthpiece of St. Louis theatre.
How do we make this happen? Yes, WE. Together, WE can make this happen. I’ll do my part. General theatre news will be posted as it comes up. Every couple of weeks on either Tuesday or Thursday, we’ll have profiles of local talent, whether they’re actors, directors, or technicians. Once a month on Fridays, check back the St. Louis Show Business podcast which will feature interviews with artistic directors, theatres, and arts administrators. This is only the beginning. Your backstage tour of the St. Louis theatre scene is going to get crazy. Keep up!
**Updated at 4:45 PM to fix link issues.
Sean Michael is a local actor and director as well as founder of The Scene Shop. He has been seen on stages from St. Charles to Grand Center. See what’s next for him on his website.
**DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of THE SCENE SHOP.