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. Since 2012, the Summer Shakespeare troupe has performed at the Greenville Country Art Museum and was invited back this year for the 2016 season of the museum’s Sundays@2 series. Last year the company also performed at the Greer Opry House. This summer the entire troupe will travel to the Chicago suburbs in August to perform four shows and conduct children’s Shakespeare camps for Overshadowed Productions in Itasca, Illinois.
The 2016 production of Tempest is Summer Shakespeare’s 17th production.
CURRENT CREATIVE TEAM
Jeffrey Stegall, Director/Designer
Jeffrey has been directing, designing, and acting for over twenty-five 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. Jeffrey has performed his one-man show “An Amazing Grace: The Story of John Newton” at churches in New Hampshire, Indiana, Tennessee, and Texas. He 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 Tempest. Summer Shakespeare audiences have seen Elizabeth’s work as designer and actor in Two Gentlemen of Verona (’09), Twelfth Night (’10), As You Like It (’12), Comedy of Errors (’13), Midsummer Night’s Dream (’14), and Love’s Labor’s Lost (’15). Elizabeth holds degrees in two-dimensional studio art and dramatic productions. She has designed costumes for Beauty and the Beast (Artios), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Artios), As You Like It (AU), The Corn is Green (AU), Shout! The Mod Musical (Centre Stage), to name a few. She teaches art and theater at Artios Academy and painting at a studio in Greenville. Elizabeth and her husband, Carey, welcomed son Tripp to the family last summer.
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 12 years.
Peter Anglea, Sound Designer
Sound designer Peter Anglea has degrees in music with piano and composition principals and has studied with composers such as Dwight Gustafson, Dan Forrest, and Joan Pinkston. His works have been featured at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC, the Southern Division Conference of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), as well as at numerous collegiate concerts and recitals around the United States. Peter has published works with Hinshaw Music, Beckenhorst Press, and The Lorenz Corporation. He is a member of Rivertree Singers in Greenville, SC, and serves as assistant music director at his church. When not at his day job as a web developer, Peter enjoys composing music and playing piano and trumpet. Peter has been a member of the Summer Shakespeare acting troupe for four summers, playing the part of Amiens in 2012’s As You Like It and the Ephesian Merchant in Comedy of Errors.
Kim Stegall, Adaptor
Kim worked as an author of secondary English grammar, writing, and literature textbooks for 18 years. She currently writes and edits for WORLDteen, a 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 17 Summer Shakespeare productions as well as several plays in other venues. She is the author of two children’s books, Mumsi Meets a Lion and Rodney Robbins and the Rainy-day Pond. (There’s even a book trailer!) This spring her adaptation of four children’s novels by local author Jean Hunt was produced by the South Carolina Children’s Theatre.
Jon Andrews, Graphic Designer
Jon Andrews is a Greenville freelance artist and designer. His work for Summer Shakespeare includes everything from postcards and t-shirts to web banners and water bottle labels. Jon’s original designs and hand-lettered fonts often set the tone for the summer’s production before a single costume or prop is acquired. He has also designed stunning sets and visuals for numerous area theatre productions. Outside the theatre, Jon enjoys creating mixed media assemblage sculptures using worn or discarded objects. When not building, sketching, or painting, Jon is on the hunt for collectibles and other nonesuch for his work. This year is Jon’s 12th season with GSC.
Elisabeth Emhof, Intern
This is Elisabeth’s debut season with GSC. She is delighted to work as this season’s intern and to understudy the role of Alonsa. Elisabeth is a senior theatre major at Bob Jones University. She recently acted in BJU’s production of the new play Hunter in the role of Zoe. Elisabeth has served as assistant director for the one-act Trifles and has worked on costumes for several shows on the university campus. She loves costuming almost as much as she loves acting. After graduation, Elisabeth hopes to utilize her sense of the dramatic by continuing to grad school for acting. She hopes someday to perform with a professional theatre company.
Love’s Labor’s Lost ’15
Midsummer Night’s Dream ’14
Comedy of Errors ’13
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