Having worked for several summers with students attending speech and drama camps, founder Jeffrey Stegall decided that the students he was coaching would benefit from seeing a live stage production during their week at camp. Pooling the talents of colleagues and former students, he directed Love’s Labor’s Lost in 1995, and Summer Shakespeare was born.
For the next three summers, two more of the Bard’s comedies and The Importance of Being Earnest were presented. After taking a few summers off, Summer Shakespeare was reborn in 2004 and has been growing ever since. Their shortened Shakespeare adaptations have become the highlight of the summer season for many Greenville residents.
In 2008 and 2009, the Brave New World Theatre Workshops were held in downtown Greenville, SC. This and subsequent educational endeavors in area schools led to Summer Shakespeare’s incorporation as The Greenville Shakespeare Company, a nonprofit organization.
Summer Shakespeare’s preferred venue is Performance Hall, the cozy black box theater on the campus of Bob Jones University. In 2011 GSC ventured into unknown territory: downtown Greenville and Travelers Rest. St. Louis performer Leigh Ellen Fort brought her one-woman show about Irish immigrants on the Titanic to the Upcountry History Museum and Travelers Rest High School. In 2012-2013, the Summer Shakespeare troupe performed at the Greenville Country Art Museum and has been invited back for the 2013 season of the museum’s Sundays@2 series. The 2013 production of Comedy of Errors: The Amazing One-Joke Play is Summer Shakespeare’s 14th production.
CURRENT CREATIVE TEAM
Jeffrey Stegall, Director/Designer
Jeffrey has been directing, designing, and acting for over twenty years. After earning a master’s degree in Performance Studies at Bob Jones University, he studied design at the University of Oklahoma and acting at the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City. He has played over thirty of Shakespeare’s roles including Hamlet, Henry V, Malvolio, Richard II, Iago, Touchstone, Caliban, Costard, and Don Armado. His directing and design credits include over forty plays and operas. His current favorite Shakespearean play is an original adaption of Richard III, which he designed and directed in November 2012. Jeff has performed his one-man show “An Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton” at churches in New Hampshire, Indiana, Tennessee, and Texas. Jeffrey is founder of The Greenville Shakespeare Company, a non-profit organization in the Upstate of South Carolina and surrounding areas. Check out his blog here.
Elizabeth Nelson, Scene Designer
Elizabeth Nelson returns to GSC as scene designer for Comedy of Errors. Summer Shakespeare audiences have seen Elizabeth’s work as designer and actor in Two Gentlemen of Verona (’09), Twelfth Night (’10), and As You Like It (’12). Elizabeth holds degrees in two-dimensional studio art and dramatic productions. She has designed costumes for Chekov’s The Proposal and Dickens’s Great Expectations. She loves teaching preschool and art and enjoys fitting in drama when she can. Elizabeth and her husband, Carey, acted in last year’s production of As You Like It.
Ron Pyle, Lighting Designer
Ron has been acting and designing for thirty-five years in educational theatre. He has played numerous Shakespearean roles including the title role in Hamlet, Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Claudius in Hamlet, Gloucester in King Lear, Prospero in The Tempest, and the title role in Richard III. Ron is head of the Dramatic Arts Department at Bob Jones University where he teaches acting and stage lighting. He has performed his one-man show, The Seed of the Woman, at over twenty churches and schools. Ron was lighting designer for Driving Miss Daisy and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure at Greenville’s Centre Stage. Ron has been the resident lighting designer for Summer Shakespeare for nine years.
Peter Anglea, Sound Designer
Sound designer Peter Anglea has degrees in music with piano and composition principals. He has studied with composers Dwight Gustafson, Dan Forrest, and Joan Pinkston, and his works have been featured at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC, as well as at numerous collegiate concerts and recitals in the Southeast. Peter has published works with Beckenhorst Press and The Lorenz Corporation. He is a member of Rivertree Singers in Greenville, SC, and serves as the assistant music director at Community Baptist Church in Greer, SC. When he’s not working his day job as a web developer, Peter enjoys composing music and playing the piano and trumpet. Peter has been a member of the Summer Shakespeare acting troupe for three summers, playing the part of Amiens in 2012’s As You Like It.
Kim Stegall, Adaptor
Kim worked as an author of secondary English grammar, writing, and literature textbooks for over fifteen years. She currently writes and edits for Trak, a new high school magazine from the publishers of World. Her love of words and meaningful language makes cutting plays a natural fit for her work as chief adaptor for Summer Shakespeare’s scripts. She has worked with her husband Jeff on all 14 Summer Shakespeare productions as well as several plays in other venues. Her children’s book, Mumsi Meets a Lion, was published in 2008. Rodney Robbins and the Rainy-day Pond was released in 2010. (There’s even a book trailer!)
Meagan Ingersoll, Intern
Meagan Ingersoll has theatre experience that ranges from musicals (assistant director of Fiddler on the Roof) to the classics (understudy for Queen Margaret in Richard III: The Terrible Reign, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play). She has designed costumes for The Miracle Worker and worked on two independent films (Hero, and Alone, Yet Not Alone). Meagan is currently studying Theatre Arts at Bob Jones University and hopes to go on for a master’s degree in communication with the goal of teaching and working in theatre. Her internship will include experience in lighting, properties, marketing & sales, acting, directing, and educational outreach.
Brooke Waters, Intern
Brooke Waters has been involved in various theatrical productions since high school. She was the assistant director for J. T. Davis, It’s a Wonderful Life, and just recently, Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Brooke was the lighting designer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and has been a member of the makeup crew for Bob Jones University’s Classic Players for the past two years. Brooke is currently a senior Theatre Arts major and hopes to direct high school theatre in the future. Brooke’s internship will include experience in lighting, properties, marketing & sales, acting, directing, and educational outreach.
As You Like It ’12 (See trailer below.)
Taming of the Shrew ’11
Twelfth Night ’10
Two Gentlemen of Verona ’09
Midsummer Night’s Dream ’07
Love’s Labor’s Lost ’06
Comedy of Errors ’05
As You Like It ’04
Two Gentlemen of Verona ’98
The Importance of Being Earnest ’97
As You Like It ’96
Love’s Labor’s Lost ’95