By David Rogers. June 21, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Sporting a unique combination of musical theatre talents from Appalachian State, UNC-Greensboro, Lees-McRae College, and Watauga High School while sprinkling in directorial and producer pedigrees from the Barter Theatre in Virginia, the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe and more, In/Visible Theatre’s “Attractive Young People Singing” filled the atrium of Blowing Rock Art & History Museum Tuesday evening, after performing for some 60 guests the prior evening at Blowing Rock Country Club.
COVER IMAGE: “Attractive Young People Singing” performers (left to right) Stephen Redmon-Byrum, Eileen Dixon, Elizabeth Mason Moore, and AJ Ugenti. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Except for “Send in the Clowns,” attributed to Steven Sondheim for the Broadway musical A Little Night Magic that debuted in 1973 (Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins also covered it in 1973), the musical numbers performed by actors Eileen Dixon, Elizabeth Mason Moore, Stephen Redmon-Byrum, and AJ Urgenti (with piano accompaniment performed by Allison Bishop) were off-Broadway or little-known songs for more mainstream productions.
Karen Sabo is the Artistic Producer of In/Visible Theatre, a role she has committed to full-time after serving as Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Women’s Fund for a number of years.
After the show, she sat down with Blowing Rock News to talk about the production and the theatre company that dates back to 2012.
“This is the first production of the summer,” Sabo explained. “We have been in existence since 2012, but really going on a project-by-project basis, maybe a couple of times per year. This is the first year we are doing a full season of shows.”
The other In/Visible events and productions this year include:
- Musical Theatre Workshop for Teens, July 9-13
- Staged Reading of The Madwoman in the Volvo, July 31 (Blowing Rock School Auditorium)
- Measure for Measure, Shakespeare’s #MeToo play, August 15-18 (I.G. Greer Studio Theatre at Appalachian State)
- BOLO Fest 2018, Boone Solo Festival, September 20-22 (various locations in Boone)
- Pop Up Play, October 5 (mystery location)
- The Place Setting, a play with music based on the Appalachian Food Writing of Fred Sauceman, November 30-December 1
“We did one performance in Blowing Rock last year,” Sabo noted. “The production was performed at a number of High Country churches, including at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church here.”
When asked whether finding her actors and musical talents was through an audition process, she chuckled, “It actually wasn’t. I sometimes wonder whether I might have been a matchmaker in a previous life. I am always collecting people it seems. I like people and like finding out what their talents are. Some of these actors I knew, such as AJ who was in high school with my daughter. I saw him in Mary Poppins and thought he was just great. Stephen, I met at Lees-McRae when I was an adjunct professor there, teaching some classes. The two young women are both students at Appalachian State where I teach occasionally.”
In making the transition from the Women’s Fund, Sabo shared, “For me, it was time. I really believe in the Womens Fund mission and it was a wonderful experience, but it was time for me to get back to my roots and my passion, which is musical theatre.”