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Bright Star: Keep On Shining

April 4, 2022
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The South Carolina School of the Arts proudly presents Bright Star from April 6-10 at Belk Theater.

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It’s a story all about forgiveness and family.

What does it mean to follow your guiding light? What will you find if you do? That is the question the South Carolina School of the Arts explores in their upcoming production of Bright Star. As the actors prepare for opening night, they find themselves inspired by the “beautiful characters that go through so much but still retain a deep sense of love and forgiveness and following [their] bright star,” as said by Lydia Clark, who plays Alice Murphy. 

Based on the folktale of the Iron Mountain Baby, this bluegrass musical encompasses the love of family and community as they navigate loss and hardships. Ultimately, the show embodies the importance of family. The director, Dr. David Sollish says, “we are sort of all part of each other’s story; everyone plays a really important part. Sometimes we have to realize that to allow for our journey to continue, instead of making those decisions that shuts part of our story away.” 

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to…

In addition to the myth, this musical composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickwell is inspired by their Grammy-winning collaboration on Love Has Come for You, a bluegrass album from 2013. This musical has traveled from a workshop by New York Stage and Film at Vassar College in 2013 to a national tour in 2017. It has gone so far as premiering in Canada in 2019. 

This small bluegrass musical based in the Blue Ridge Mountains has gained the love and support of many Americans. It has been nominated for a Tony Award in multiple categories, the Drama Desk Award–winning in Outstanding Music–and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Book of a Musical. In addition to these great successes, it was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2017. 

All Encompassing

With each performance, a show goes through many changes depending on the cast, the director, and even the space. One performance will provide an opportunity that another cannot. For Dr. Sollish, this provides a unique opportunity. Having experienced working this show before, he has loved watching the cast fall in love with the show as deeply as he did while breathing the story anew. 

Taking place in the Belk black box theater, this performance will be one to remember. Rather than having a stage apart from the audience, the actors will be only a few feet away. “Our scenic designer, Dolton Cole,” says Lydia Clark, “designed a really cool structure for the stage…we basically have a mixture of three different stages. It will be a mixture of theater in the round, a thrust theater, and a proscenium theater all built into one.” The audience won’t miss a single moment as the past and present are only a few feet away. 

First Timers

“If you don’t know what this show is about, don’t look up anything,” Noah Thomas, playing Billy Cane, says. This musical is a wild ride as the audience and characters go through heaven and hell on earth. Following the past to the present with Alice and Billy, this show is not one to miss. With tickets selling out before rehearsals even started, an additional performance for Sunday has been added and more seats have been added for each performance. 

So, come on down to our little part of town, as the South Carolina School of the Arts proudly presents Bright Star from April 6-10 at Belk Theater.

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