Legacy Theatre set to launch production of ‘Joseph’
Mark Smith, Artistic Director of The Legacy Theatre in Tyrone, had just turned 21 when he took a job as an acting apprentice at Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg, KY.
“I really had no idea what I was getting myself into,” confided Smith. “I was a junior in college with nothing on my resume, and all I knew was that I wanted to be an actor.”
Smith goes on to say that the experience was one of the best of his life. “I met so many incredible people then I still consider some of my closest friends today. Not only was the experience enriching for me as a person, but it also helped mold me into the theatre professional I am today.”
This summer seven university students, hoping to make careers in professional theatre, have found a home at Smith’s Legacy Theatre. All these students will be working onstage or backstage during their summer spectacular, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Smith hopes to provide the same enriching experiences and opportunities he had as a student to these students. Four actors, Eean Cochran, Taylor Marie Hunt, Clint Diaz, and Drew Stewart, hail from Smith’s own alma mater, Abilene Christian University in Texas. Three other actors, Allyssa O’Donnell, Michael Ferraro, and Kyle Williams are from Ball State University in Indiana.
“It’s an incredible opportunity not only for these talented young people, but also for our community here in South Atlanta,” said Bethany Smith, the Legacy’s Executive Producer. “I don’t know of any other theater in the region that is bringing this kind of talent year-round to its audience. I hope South Atlanta takes notice of these young people and really welcomes them with open arms!”
The Legacy prides itself on not only providing top-notch entertainment to its audiences but also opening doors for these young people. “This is just a stepping stone for bigger and better things for all these incredible performers,” Bethany Smith continued. “We’re so happy that we can offer them a professional credit on their resume—something many young people this age are stills striving for.”
Diaz, a sophomore at ACU, confirms the Smith’s hopes by saying that “It’s so exciting to work with the Smith’s and have the opportunity to see what being a professional in this crazy business is like. I’m so blessed to be able to say that my college summer job was being an actor in a fantastic show at such a great theatre!”
The Smiths hope to continue this tradition in the years to come. They have purchased actor housing just minutes away from the theater in the hopes to woo even more actors to South Atlanta as well as to offer amenities for actors from North Atlanta who often find the commute to Tyrone daunting.
Michael Ferraro, a junior at Ball State summed up his experience by saying, “This opportunity is still so mind blowing for me; every day I am doing what I love and getting paid to do it. Then, in the meantime, I get to experience a part of the country that is completely new to me. This whole process has been life changing, and I cannot wait to share this fantastic production with the community seven times a week!”
The Smiths hope that the local community will come out and support live theatre this summer at the Legacy. They will not only see an amazing show, but also see actors who might one day be Tony-award winning stars of Broadway! Joseph runs July 6-29, Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. You can purchase tickets by calling the box office at 404-895-1473 or by going online at www.thelegacytheatre.org.