Just steps away from the sandy beaches of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, theater is thriving. The Clear Space Theatre company, the artistic jewel of Rehoboth Beach, is currently in the midst of its booming 2018 season. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with David Button, the artistic director of Clear Space.
“Our season has something for everyone,” Button says. “A family looking to see something for every age, an individual that’s looking for an edgier contemporary piece or someone looking for a classical musical.” Currently celebrating his 12th year with Clear Space Theatre, Button explained that he structures shows throughout the season so it appeals to many different audiences. The 2018 season began with Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery which ran from late-January through mid-February. This was followed up by a special-event showing of The Normal Heart in early March, followed by Bye Bye Birdie, which ran until early April. Mid-April brought a “Spotlight on Young Performers” as The Wizard of Oz was staged with local youth talent.
The next upcoming show is Fun Home, running from throughout May. “Fun Home is a piece of musical theater that can sometimes be considered contemporary or edgy. It will hopefully make people think a little bit more.” Fun Home is the story of Alison Bechdel based on her graphic novel about coming out and life as a lesbian cartoonist. She looks back on herself, as a ten-year-old and as a college student, realizing that her father was also gay.
The summer months begin to sizzle as The Rocky Horror Show, Footloose, and Mary Poppins will run in conjunction with each other from June 26th to September 2nd. Button added that the rotation of shows throughout the week and weekends will allow audiences to find the right type of show throughout the summer. “These three shows are three completely different blockbusters. They will appeal to many people on different levels depending on the type of show they’re looking for.”
Button added that throughout the summer is when he brings in additional talent to mingle within the community performers. “In the summer, we try to also bring in additional performers. I travel to auditions in New York City to find my summer rep company. I put those folks in with the locals who work here with us, and essentially we all merge together. We amplify the quality of performers here by bringing in these triple threats – dancers, singers, and actors. I bring in approximately 14 to 20 summer people. These amazing performers usually perform in all three shows, supplemented with local talent.”
The fall theater season will showcase the dramatic Rabbit Hole, running from September 21st to October 7th. This will be followed up with Heathers, running from October 19th to 31st, and the “Spotlight” rendition of Willy Wonka in November. The season will come to a close during the holidays with A Christmas Carol, running from November 23rd to December 9th.
“What makes Clear Space Theatre so special is that we offer a variety here for everyone. We have a community that embraces what we do. Not just Rehoboth, but in the summer, we also have Baltimore, Philadelphia, and DC. We offer something for audiences that live here or those that visit for vacation.” Button added that the theatre has not only created an environment for families, but has created a family through its hard work and unity. “We have created our own family here. The original company of performers were a lot of locals. We still have that feel, but now we’ve supplemented people throughout the year, as well. We listen to what our audiences want and are very open to our community.”
For more info on showtimes and performances, it’s Clearspacetheatre.org.
- Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.