We have quite a cozy little studio just off World Golf Village Parkway. On any given day, you can stroll in to discover young artists propped against walls, squatting in a huddle, or stretched out on floor of the black box. We spend rehearsal time sharpening their skills as actors, singers, dancers, and, most importantly, storytellers.
Thanks to support from our families and donors, we were able to install two dressing rooms in the back of the space. There’s also a loft to store our lights, performance drapes, and sound equipment. This allows us to present a series of shows in our black box space year-round. Which we do.
Traditionally, storytellers were nomads. They did not need much, just enough room to tell their tales, some light, and a group of people listening. At Apex, we have been focusing on providing access to the stories we tell to all of the Northeast Florida community.
Our summer comedy, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged, started out at the Backyard Stage at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in July. It was more of a party than a traditional evening of theatre with a jolly crowd showing up early each night for libations and food truck fare. The post-performance banter was a block party that did not want to end.
A few weeks later, this merry company of clowns were treading the boards at the historic Ritz theatre in Brunswick, Georgia to a packed house on a balmy Saturday night. Around sundown, the cafes along the main street where the theater is located were teaming with folks out for slice of pizza or a couple of beers before they headed to see the show. The cast confessed to some butterflies as they adjusted to a new space: negotiating entrances and exits, exploring the dressing rooms, and setting their mountain of silly props in just the right place. After the show concluded with a spirited curtain call, they started cleaning up. The executive director of the theatre appeared with a wide grin and said, “I think it would be a good idea to head out to the lobby. The audience is waiting to meet all of you.” And so this group of sweaty but giddy young actors bounded out front to shake hands, take selfies, and bask in the glow.
The next morning, I checked social media to find a shoutout from a couple who had seen the show the night before. It read: We just got back from the show and it was an absolute riot. Excellent job all around.
This weekend, the show heads to the tiny but charming space at the Adele Grage Center in Atlantic Beach. We started taking our Shakespeare tour out there in 2019. Our students have pretty much fallen head over heels for the AB audiences who are a wonderful mix of arts appreciators.
Once again, I expect there will be a combination of jitters, excitement, and last-minute flubs.
But they will have accomplished what we all set out to do in the arts—sharing something with a group of hungry strangers. Please consider joining us.
You can find all the info at our Events page.