Theater department brings Broadway hit “The Producers” to campus May 12-21

Students rehearse for Shoreline Community College’s production of The Producers, coming to the Main Stage May 12-21, 2017.

Shoreline Community College’s production of the Mel Brooks musical comedy The Producers opens Fri., May 12 and runs through Sun., May 21. The show is a crowd pleaser that follows a down-and-out Broadway producer who teams with an accountant to make money off making the world’s worst musical, “Springtime for Hitler.”

The show is a passion project for Theater Manager John Nold and Producer Dr. Charles Enlow, who have dreamt of bringing this show to the Shoreline stage for years. Shoreline Community College Foundation sat down with the pair to discover what it has taken to bring this hit to life and what audiences can expect from “the worst musical” Shoreline’s ever seen.

Q: Why did you pick this production?
Charles Enlow: The Producers is a show I’ve wanted to see on the Shoreline stage for a long time! It has all the elements of great musical theater: great tunes, good plot, interesting characters, and over-the-top comedy that hits all the right buttons. Seriously, many people familiar with the show will come just to see how we stage “Springtime for Hitler” – it’s one of the highlight spectacles of the show!

John Nold: The Producers is a large undertaking and a huge challenge and opportunity for our students to be part of a production that requires working with a very large group of actors and production members. It has always been a production that we wanted to undertake, and this year Charles thought that we should just go forward and tackle this enormous show with our talented team of actors and technical crew.

Q: How is Shoreline’s production bringing something new to this story?
CE: Shoreline’s theater has been building a solid tradition of innovative and successful shows with the goal of bringing the highest quality theater experience to our audiences, and this show continues that tradition. We also provide a one-of-a-kind training program for our students and actors in that ours is the only college in the Northwest that’s mounting three Main Stage productions every season. No other educational institution in Washington has more performance opportunities for actors and musicians. I’m very proud of that accomplishment.

JN: I’m not sure I know how it brings something new to the story but it definitely brings a new challenge to our production team in the enormity of the show. It has a huge cast and a ton of scenes and locations that we have to figure out how to make work on our stage. But we are very lucky to work with a set designer who is a master of disguising and also skilled in figuring out how to recycle pieces from previous shows. This show is expensive to produce, but also an amazing experience for our actors, and one they may never get the opportunity to participate in again.

Q: What’s going to surprise people about this show?
CE: Well, Mel Brooks is always full of surprises! Seriously, though, look for the amount and variety of costuming and characters in this show. It’s mind blowing!

JN: It’s got some real over-the-top scenes and comedy involved. Clearly, this is one of the funniest productions we have done to date. But with it being a Mel Brooks production, you’ve got to expect that it would be. And this show really pushes the boundaries of political correctness by making fun of things that you normally would never even want to discuss. Totally over the top, but all in a very respectful way.

Q: What’s the last thing you do before the curtain goes up?
CE: A prayer to the gods of the theater to smile on us (to borrow a phrase from Stephen Sondheim).
JN: Seriously, I take 60 seconds to myself and breathe. A quick self-meditation and positive affirmation, then I open the show.

Q: What or who inspires you?
CE: I’m continually inspired by the talents of our actors and our production team. I think we have some of the finest around! Also, I’m continually inspired by the work of Stephen Sondheim! We’ve featured three of his shows here in the past seven years and I hope to mount more in the future. He’s a living inspiration – I am continually surprised and awed by his work.

JN: Our actors and the talented production teams we always get to work with here. There is no other program like this around. And we are lucky enough to make participating in high-quality productions like this a reality for our students.

Q: Anything about the Shoreline theater program or this production you want to add?
CE: Like I said before, we have some remarkable things happening in the theater at Shoreline Community College! No other educational institution in this area can match what we pull off every season. Whether it’s opera, musical theater, or staged plays, there’s always something wonderful happening here.

JN: Well, come and have a great time! Whether it’s a musical, a dramatic play, a comedy play, an opera, or stand-up improv show, we have such a huge program to offer both students and our community!

Purchase tickets to Shoreline Community College’s production of The Producers at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

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