Conrack, the musical based on Pat Conroy’s memoir The Water Is Wide coming to USCB’s Center For The Arts
I am thrilled to be bringing CONRACK, our musical adaptation of The Water Is Wide, to the stage in Beaufort, Pat Conroy’s adopted home town,” states Granville Wyche Burgess, bookwriter and lyricist for the musical and director of The Beaufort Theatre Company production of CONRACK.
The show begins in 1969 with Beaufort’s superintendent of schools’ desperate search for anyone to teach school on Yamacraw Island. The school there has been totally neglected by the school system-no books, no blackboard, no attention being paid to the students. One has to take a boat from the mainland to even reach the island.
Into this hornet’s nest walks Pat Conroy, almost thirty, idealistic the way only a 60’s hippie could be, and recently fired from his twentieth job in five years. He is only too happy to answer the ad for a teacher, especially since Dr. Piedmont informs him that “no experience is exactly what I’m lookin’ for.”
When Conroy meets the children-Cindy Lou, Mary, Prophet, Anna, Top Cat, and Richard, he discovers that they can scarcely read or write. They know little math and are wildly undisciplined. But their anger barely conceals their desperate need for a teacher who will actually care. Conroy is determined to be that teacher. Taking the kids trick or treating on the mainland provokes a crisis, and Conroy learns he must let go of the children, but not before they have learned the courage to succeed and the will to keep on learning.
Professional film and stage actor, Blake Logan, portrays Pat Conroy. Other cast members include Pat’s students: Jackie Brown, Lelia Green, Austin Majors, Jamari Young, Dashia Lucas, Christopher Jenkins; their grandparents: Waynda Mayse, Natasha Robinson, Hank Herring and Curtis Dansby; the school principal, Mrs. Brown, played by Shelia Jenkins Ward; Dr. Piedmont, played by Brad Ballington, and Dr. Jackie Brooks, portrayed by Ali Salters. Production team includes: musical director Jordan Plair, choreographer Chris Crabb, stage manager Elaine Lake, set designer Greg Rawls, costume designer Pat Willcox, and scenic artist Mary Ann Ford.
CONRACK will be on stage at USCB Center for the Arts October 13 and 14 at 7:30 PM, October 15 and 22 at 3pm and October 21 at 4 PM. Ticket prices vary. For more information, call the box office 843-521-4145 or go online to www.uscbcenterfortheart.com
CONRACK is made possible by our sponsors, the Pat Conroy Literary Center and Quill Entertainment Company, a nonprofit whose mission is “Teaching America’s Heritage Through Story and Song”.
CONRACK is part of the 2017 Pat Conroy Literary Festival, October 19 – 22. The festival theme for the 2017 is “The Transformative Power of Education.” Authors from all over the southeast will be participating in the three-day festival, filled with panel discussion, lectures, book signings and workshops. For more information about the festival, visit patconroyliteraryfestival.org