Dramatic changes

The Studio Theatre

<i>Pageant</i> contestants Michael Coleman, Jerry Lee and Daryl Clark one step closer to the tiara.

Pageant contestants Michael Coleman, Jerry Lee and Daryl Clark one step closer to the tiara.

The one constant in local theater is change. Of course, the actors change with each new production, but the management of local theaters also seems to be changing constantly. There may be a core of loyal regulars at the heart of things, but new blood is always being rotated in to give theaters a needed creative or administrative infusion.

Greg Alexander finds himself in the enviable position of being hired by Jackie Schultz to grab the reins at The Studio Theatre following the end of the theater’s successful eight-year run of the musical Six Women With Brain Death. Schultz still will be a guiding force at the theater, but Alexander will be the artistic director in charge of daily production decisions and directions.

Alexander, a local actor known for his comedic roles (most recently in the B Street Theatre’s Around the World in 80 Days), is entering new territory with much enthusiasm. As artistic director, he’ll be in charge of selecting material, directing shows and teaching acting classes, along with the other hundreds of unforeseen chores required to run a theater.

The good news is that Alexander is landing at a successful theater company. The daunting part, for him, is keeping the hits coming. He has the challenge of retaining the theater’s core audience—mostly women over 35—who have supported Brain Death, while reaching out to other audiences by offering more diverse productions.

“I’ll be looking at musicals that are engaging, entertaining, quirky, with a bit of an edge,” Alexander said. “It’s also important to keep the high standards that our audiences have come to expect.”

Alexander’s first production will be Pageant, a beauty-contest spoof featuring men dressed as beauty contestants. After each performance, the audience will vote on a winner. By having a new ending each time, Alexander hopes to bring in the returning audience members—the secret of Brain Death’s long run. The play opens on October 21.