Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre & Jeremy Blaustein

Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre has been sharing
stories with our community for nearly forty years. In that time our audiences have experienced
nearly one hundred forty productions of eighty five different titles. If you were to watch
all our shows back-to-back, you’d be with us for about fifteen days. Sixteen days including
intermissions. But what is it about SUMT that has brought generation after generation to
our door? The answer is simple. Musicals are magic. Hi, I’m Jeremy Scott Blaustein, the
producing artistic director of Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. I was first hired as
a member of our acting company in 2004. Perhaps you remember me as policeman number one in
our production of Carousel. Since then, this theater has become my home. Some of my most
cherished memories have been made here, and I hope our audiences can say the same. When
I watch a musical, I’m transfixed. I find myself lost in these beautiful stories about
thrilling people who are so passionate they can’t help but sing. Musicals can make you
laugh and can make you swoon all within the matter of one breath. There’s simply no substitution
for live theatre. It has to be seen to be believed. If art is intended to be a representation
of life, then theatre is the most accurate possible depiction. To be sharing the same
air with characters brought to life before you, that’s irreplaceable. That’s magic. But
what makes this form so special to its creators is its intrinsic use of collaboration. We
employ approximately one-hundred-sixty people each summer, and we all work together because
in theatre, the best idea always wins. When Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre was first
founded in 1983, my predecessors, Mr. Harold Herman and Doctor Thomas Albert made it our
mission to offer professional opportunity to the students of Shenandoah Conservatory.
We have grown exponentially since then. Now, while our talent pool still does include students
working their first professional contracts, they come from a wider variety of schools,
and are working alongside Broadway veterans. It’s that particular culmination of talent
and experience that makes SSMT unique. We are so much more than just another summer
stock. If we were, our audiences would be seeing the same productions year after year.
Same direction, choreography, scenery, costumes, and lighting. But Shenandoah Summer Music
Theatre never does the same production twice. It’s because of this model that we’re able
to produce fresh relevant interpretations to a modern world. While one portion of our
audience sees the characters on stage as old friends, others may be meeting them for the
first time. Both sets are routinely delighted. It creates a timelessness. From my vantage
point, the back of a house, I’ve witnessed three generations of the same family sat side-by-side
all laughing together at jokes that were written before any of them were born. When I see that,
I know our team succeeded. To me, that’s the sign of a job well done. So, from all of us
here at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre we look forward to seeing you in the future.

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