Season 2, Episode 19
For this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl is on location at the Theatre of the Republic in Conway, South Carolina, with the Executive/Artistic Director, Tim McGhee. The Theatre of the Republic began in 1969 as a community theatre that would perform in school auditoriums and other venues until they were offered the old Holiday theatre in town as their current home in 1999. The community came together to raise $1 million to renovate and restore the theatre and bring this rich cultural resource to the region.
The Theatre puts on 10 shows per season, 5 musicals and 5 non-musicals, with a solely volunteer cast. Tim’s goal is to keep the 300 seats in the theatre filled for each show and to continually improve the experience for the audience. The Myrtle Beach area is a combination of transient and consistent in terms of population, so Tim is constantly grateful for the pool of talented performers who want to volunteer their time for the benefit of the arts.
Tim sees the importance of the theatre as more than just entertainment, recognizing that technology often robs our culture of the experiences of creating, innovating, and imagining. Especially with young people, Tim sees the theatre as an integral personal development opportunity. The children’s youth theatre program puts on 3 shows per year and there are also 10-week workshops available to the area’s youth to help them learn performance skills as well as emotional and social interaction capabilities. Overall, Tim feels blessed to be able to work with such talented and committed performers in a community that is so supportive of the arts.
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