Created by Jenn and Erik Bishop, Ken Neil Hailey and Nick Corley, the Savannah Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre company whose purpose is to produce innovative theatrical productions, festivals, special events and educational programs. Currently, the company is renovating studio space at the PLAYShop, a project in the works since January.
As for their move to Savannah, Jenn Bishop, Company Manager, states, “Ken has always wanted to continue to have a theatre company in the South and Savannah was already on the short list. Well, my parents planned to retire to Greenville, South Carolina. My sister was already in Atlanta, so Savannah was kind of the first choice to go check out.”
Currently, they own a sublease with the Dollhouse, a recording studio within Savannah. “As we were looking we kind of found out that this [PLAYShop] was up for lease, the Dollhouse wasn’t going to continue on. So we thought it was an ideal opportunity to take on a property of our own, even if it was just for rehearsal space. And we met up with the Dollhouse people because their production studio is fantastic, we were like ‘Well if you want to sub-lease from us, let’s, you know, co-exist together until you’re ready to move out if that ever happens.’ And ta-dah!” Bishop later added.
The sub-lease space is still under renovations. Bishop mentions, “it doesn’t have a full theatrical lighting system; it needs a better sound system, plus getting all the chairs, building dressing rooms and things like that they don’t have yet.”
Still, they perform through other venues. Recently, from April 5 -15, they hosted a full-on production of “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” at the Club One Venue. Meg Kelly Schroder, performing arts faculty at SCAD, appeared in the play as well.
As for future productions, the Savannah Repertory Theater plans to do “Greater Tuna” in May, as well as finish the PLAYShop enough to perform in front of a small audience.
When asked about the challenges that the Repertory Theater have to overcome, Jenn had this to say, “We’re a small team. So, taking on a lot of different jobs we found to be difficult. We’re slowly trying to bring on community. We’re with the Chamber of Commerce so we’re going to start going to all of their events and really get out there and try new partnerships and meet and greet as many people as possible. And then eventually hold some fundraisers.”