The Schoolyard is a new theater company born out of the ashes of the late Open Circle Theater, but as a different entity and they are kicking off on the right note with a revival production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, directed by Gary Zinter. The show is running from October 28 through November 19, at 8pm, including a special performance on Monday, October 31 and opens this coming Friday night at Re-Bar and you can purchase your tickets through Brown Paper Tickets. Given that this company is under a new name, I wanted to get the low down from Artistic Director, Gary Zinter, and to talk more about the revival of this cult classic musical. What’s new with this remount is the spin of DJ Girth…
B.Michael Peterson: You’re bringing your version of The Rocky Horror Show to Re-Bar. How excited are you and the cast about this revival and what can we expect artistically from this revival?
Gary Zinter: The whole cast is excited to do it again. The tone is the same: bloody and sleazy and rockin! We’ve made some adjustments being in a different space and we’ve improved things we didn’t think quite worked in the last go-around.
BMP: Through my personal connections, I’ve heard that a couple of your leads from the original production are not returning for this revival. Who are the replacements and how do you feel about that change?
GZ: We only lost two cast members. One moved out of state and the other got a union gig. One was a lead, who was amazing, but our new folks are great. They do it their way and they’re not trying to emulate the previous actors.
This isn’t your parents’ Rocky Horror thank goodness. The show’s inherent lustiness is put right back where it belongs, center stage.”
-Seattle Pop Culture Examiner, on last year’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show”
Get MORE, MORE, MORE after the Jump…
BMP: Open Circle Theater shut their doors completely and The Schoolyard was born. Was that an easy decision for the board of directors and the staff of Open Circle Theater?
GZ: It was very hard for the board. The board thought it was necessary, but waited because they were concerned about leaving the new, highly energized company homeless. We talked to the company then assured the board we would take our recent work and continue as a new entity.
BMP: For you and your company, what is the message behind The Schoolyard?
GZ: We chose the name because of the many, many different ideas it conjures: play, bullying, etc. We tend to lean toward darker subject matter and our upcoming shows reflect that taste. We plan on eventually nurturing more original work from within the company, and we’re growing new directors in the ranks.
By mining the play’s nihilist roots Zinter takes a big risk; as a result, Rocky, a 38 year old musical, feels relevant for the first time in a long time. Josh Hartvigson owns the role of Frank N Furter”
Seattlest on Gary Zinter’s version of “The Rocky Horror Show”
BMP: What lies in the future for The Schoolyard?
GZ: We have a number of shows planned, but the only official show on the calendar is Cabaret in April and May next year at Re-bar. We will keep Seattle Gay Scene posted!
BMP: One of the most used phrases of critiques that was spread around the media and social networks was the sound quality of the band. Were you able to enhance the band for this revival production?
GZ: The earlier part of the run was tricky for sound and the band sounded fine, but vocals got lost. We have a much better sound setup at Re-bar and someone in the sound booth is in a better position to hear the mix of the band and the performers.
BMP: Have you announced your season for 2012? If not, will there be a season announcement in the near future?
GZ: There won’t be a traditional season; however, we are planning on announcing shows as we lock in venues for them.
There’s no need to wait because The Schoolyard is gearing to open their first show in less than a week and you don’t want to miss this production opening on Friday at Re-Bar. (Note: they frequently sold out during their spring run at Open Circle!) Purchase your tickets online before this show sells out, yet again, on Brown Paper Tickets and support local artist and local theater. While you are at it, bookmark their website which can be found here!