Crystal Gleim talks with Jasper about "Psycho Beach Party" at Stage 5


Jasper:  Psycho Beach Party represents your debut as director locally, correct?  What's your background?

Crystal Gleim: I have been involved with theater off and on since I was 8 years-old. I’ve acted, staged managed, lighting/sound, and directed. This will be the 12th play I have directed in my life. I am originally from Pennsylvania and got involved with the theater scene here in Columbia when working with Shamrock Shapeshifter Productions on the two runs of Plan 9 From Outer Space. I got involved with Stage 5 Theatre last year when I starred as Golde in Bark! The Musical. From there I assistant directed, staged managed and appeared in Macbeth as First Witch, First Murderer and English Doctor. I then went on to stage manage and play Judge Walker in ‘8’, played Rosencrantz in Hamlet 93, played my favorite role of the year, Marie Lombardi, in Lombardi, and I just finished playing LaVonda in Sordid Lives. I am currently the Assistant Artistic Director and Executive Stage Manager at Stage 5 Theater, and the Managing Producer of Sideshow Productions.

Jasper: You also perform with the Art Bar Players; how did that come about?

Gleim:  I was introduced to the Art Bar Players through some friends and eventually became a regular audience member. It wasn’t until some close friends became players that I was invited to a rehearsal, and the gang has been stuck with me ever since. Improv comedy is something I highly enjoy doing. It’s free therapy for me.

Jasper: What are some challenges you have faced as director?

Gleim: Being a director is never an easy task; however I have to say that it’s been pretty easy going so far (says the lady going into tech week on Easter Sunday.) I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew. I specifically hand-picked people that I know I can work with and I knew would be able to help convey the material the way I see it. If I would have to pick a challenge to share, it would be probably handing over stage managing reins to someone else. It’s just in my nature to stage manage, However, I have brought on Trinessa Dubas as my stage manager, and she has been great. She has handled the ever-wanting –to-do-everything-herself me very well!

Jasper:   Psycho Beach Party has a long history as a cult hit off-Broadway, and was previously done at Trustus some 24 years ago. While it could probably be marketed simply with the description "From the author who gave us Vampire Lesbians of Sodom..."  nevertheless, how would you describe the show?

Crystal Gleim, director of "Psycho Beach Party" - photo by Brock Henderson

Gleim:  It’s funny you ask that, because I have recently had to explain Psycho Beach Party to several people who have been interested in the work I have been doing. The most recent description I gave went a little something like this:  “Psycho Beach Party is a quirky parody of the beach movies of the 1960s. The lead character is a young girl with multiple personality disorder and she doesn’t even know that she has it. Hilarity ensues has her personalities all come to life”.

Jasper:  How did you arrive at producing this particular show?

Gleim:  The idea to do Psycho Beach Party came about during a Facebook conversation between myself, Brock Henderson, and the late Michael Bailey in regards to shows we would like to produce. Brock suggested Psycho Beach Party, and it just took off from there. Eventually we needed someone to direct it, and Michael had been trying really hard to get me interested in directing something, anything.  So, I stepped up and said I would like to direct the play. Having my comedy background, I thought it would be a fun play to tackle. This production has become a big deal for me.  I sought out performers, crew, and musicians that I really thought would work well together.

Jasper: Tell us about your cast,  and where we might have seen them previously.

Gleim:  Rachel Lewis stars as Chicklet;  some may recall her from Stage 5’s production of Macbeth as the Second Witch, and she has also worked at other theaters locally.  William Boland is the Great Kanaka, and he  has done theater at Workshop and USC as well as several productions at Stage 5 (including directing Hamlet.) Ember Love plays Marvel Ann, and is a local model and talent who was just in Sordid Lives.  Catherine Christian (Mrs. Forrest) is a local actress who has worked with Stage 5 and Village Square.  Marques Moore (Provoloney)  has acted in Pride and Prejudice and Much Ado About Nothing with the South Carolina Shakespeare Company and Night of the Living Dead with High Voltage Theatre, and in Us Grown Men recently at Stage 5.  Erin K. Crenshaw from Irmo High School plays Berdine.  Rachel James Kosbar, who plays Bettina Barnes, is making her return to the stage after a several-year hiatus.   Ellery Jordan Waggoner (Star Cat) is a Chapin High School actor, and Brock Henderson (YoYo) is a company member /actor of Stage 5.

Jasper:  What can audiences look forward to?

Gleim:  I asked my friends Thomas and Ross to create some beach-themed music for the play, and what came about was a great collaboration of three musicians who created original music specifically for this play.   So, cast and audiences will be able to enjoy their very own beach band on stage.  Audiences can expect a wonderfully talented cast, great music, and great laughs.

~ August Krickel
Psycho Beach Party opens this Friday, April 25 at Stage 5 Theatre, 947 S. Stadium Road,  in Stadium Park, and runs for 6 performances only through Sunday, May 4th.  The Facebook "event" page is here. For more information, visit or call the box office at 803.834.1775.


A World of Wealth, Becky Shaw, Bark! The Musical, King Lear, and My First Time - all this weekend!

There is a world of theatrical wealth this weekend (in addition to Artista Vista, the Columbia Museum's Artist of the Year event, FOLKFaulous at the McKissick Museum, and a dozen other cool happenings. Indeed - no less than FIVE shows are opening, or continuing their runs.

OnStage Productions presents A World of Wealth, a new musical by Robert Harrelson and Gloria VanDalen.  That's right - a world premiere of a new musical, right here in town!  The cast includes Christy Shealy Mills, Zanna Mills, Emma Imholz, Liberty Broussard, Tracy Davis Davenport, Charlis Wright, Gene Davis, Kristen Kimery, Zach Tenny, and Corin Wiggins.

the cast of "A World of Wealth"

From press material:

When a wealthy family decides to move uptown NYC from the south to bring the family closer together the chaos begins. Love and Money have always appeared to the forces opposed to each other as we find out that Money is more than dollars and cents. The show is a funny but dramatic look at family values and believing in friends to make life exciting. Songs such as A Spanglish , Forever Friends and I Don't Want to Grow Up and More proves the show to be a sure hit! This dramatic, comedic and  heartwarming production will run April 26th 7:30pm   , April 27th 2:30pm  and 7:30pm , April 28th  2:30pm , May 2 and 3 , 7:30pm  , May 4 , 2:30pm and 7:30pm , May 5th, 2:30 PM -  at The On Stage Performance Center,  680 Cherokee Lane, West Columbia, SC 29169. For questions please call Robert Harrelson at 407-319-2596 or check On Stage Productions website at

world of wealth

Stage 5 Theatre meanwhile is producing Bark! The Musical, which opened for a preview run last weekend, and officially opens tonight. The theatre is located at 947 S. Stadium Rd., near Williams-Brice.

Bark! The Musical

The entire show is presented from a dog’s point of view. Through song and story, the audience is exposed to the tenderness, aggression and frustration of these beings as they share personal stories of past and present, owners and friends, and their desire to be loved and part of a family. For more details see .


- Robert Bullock as King, the older and wiser Labrador and leader of the pack
Crystal Leidy as Golde, the rugged, sarcastic, take-no-guff, tell-it-like-it-is female bull dog
- Brock Henderson as Rocks, the Jack Russell Terrier puppy that is full of spunk and energy
- Avery Bateman as Chanel, A French poodle,a diva former show dog with attitude aspiring to be an opera singer
- Charlie Goodrich as Sam, A grey pit bull mutt that is  sexy, handsome, street tough and macho to hide his insecurities
- Britt Jerome as Boo, a sock-a-holic Cocker Spaniel, a bit frantic, but protective and caring mother figure

Directed by: Michael Bailey Assistant Directed by: Crystal Leidy Musical Direction by: Brock Henderson Choreography by: Mandy Applegate Produced by: Charles Chavers

Music by David Troy Francis, Lyrics by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, Robert Schrock and Mark Winkler, Additional Lyrics by Jonathan Heath and Danny Lukic, Book by Mark Winkley and Gavin Geoffrey Dillard.

Show Dates: April 19- May 5, Shows- Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 3 PM.


USC's Lab Theatre is presenting Becky Shaw, by Gina Gionfriddo for this weekend only.

From press material:


Performances are at 8pm nightly, April 25-28, 2013. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. The Lab Theatre, the university's intimate "black box" performance space, is located in the Booker T. Washington building at 1400 Wheat Street, across form Blatt PE center. Becky Shaw contains adult themes which may not be suitable for children.

A 2009 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Becky Shaw tells the tale of a blind date (from hell) that opens a Pandora's box of familial and romantic entanglements. Newlyweds Andrew and Suzanna fix up two romantically challenged friends, but when scathing Max meets anxious Becky, it's obvious that the evening will not go according to plan. "Blithely cynical and devastatingly funny…witty observations on the emotional damage inflicted by neurotic people in the name of love…Gionfriddo is some kind of genius." – Variety

Director David Britt, a USC Theatre Instructor and Production Manager of the Lab Theatre, was inspired to stage Becky Shaw after seeing the play in New York a few years ago. He recalls that after seeing the play he and his friends got into a heated discussion about dating and what they were willing to tolerate in terms of "baggage." Britt says, "It was a wonderful discussion that was sparked by a wonderful play…I hope that audiences who see this show will have similar conversations."

Britt has assembled an exceptional cast of actors whose challenge is to portray the subtle nuances in Gionfriddo's characters. "I needed intelligent and sensitive actors who would enjoy the raw humor of these characters but would also be able to play their vulnerabilities."

Playing the title role of Becky is sophomore theatre major Grace Stewart. Also starring are undergraduate students Katie Atkinson, Stephen Canada, Hunter Bolton, and graduate acting student Catherine Friesen. Undergraduates Amanda Alston and Kasey Beard are the stage manager and assistant director, respectively.

"Most of our neurotic behavior is fairly common," says the director, "we just don't know it. I want the actors working on this show, as well as our audiences, to discover how much alike we all are. If you are an individual who thinks you are isolated in your problems…well, you aren't."

For more information on Becky Shaw or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, please contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at

becky shaw


My First Time continues at the the Trustus Side Door Theatre through Saturday 4/27. From press material:

The Trustus Side Door has been taking patrons on a “Sexploration” this season, and audiences have responded by packing houses nightly. The Side Door’s current production My First Time is sure to thrill and titillate as four actors relay hundreds of stories about real people’s first times. My First Time opens in Trustus’ intimate 50-seat Side Door Theatre on Friday April 12 at 8:00pm, and runs through April 27, 2013.

In 1998 - a decade before blogging began - a website was created that allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their first times.  The website ( became an instant phenomenon as over 40,000 stories poured in from around the globe that were silly, sweet, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy and everything in between. Producer Ken Davenport adapted hundreds of stories from the website into an acclaimed 90 minute evening where these true stories and all of the unique characters in them are brought to life by four actors. The show was such a hit in New York that it enjoyed a two and a half year run Off-Broadway before it closed in 2010.

Trustus’ founding Artistic Director Jim Thigpen had wanted to bring My First Time to the Capital City many times throughout the past 3 seasons; however the opportunity never presented itself. This season, with all of the Side Door shows under the umbrella of “Sexploration”, My First Time was an obvious choice.

Company member and director Jade Johnson cast four talented actors to relay the hundreds of stories that comprise My First Time. Trustus company member G. Scott Wild (Next Fall, Avenue Q) joins Trustus alum Shane Silman(Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Motherf**ker With the Hat) in reliving the men’s first times. Trustus welcomes two new talents to the Side Door as Jennifer Moody Sanchez and Brandi Perry give us the scoop from the women.

My First Time runs through Saturday, April 27, 2013.  Shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays start at 8pm. The Sunday matinee on April 14 will be at 3pm. The doors and box office open thirty minutes prior to curtain. All Trustus Side Door tickets are $15. Reservations can be made by calling the Trustus Box Office at (803) 254-9732 or online by visiting

Trustus Theatre is located at 520 Lady Street, behind the Gervais St. Publix. Parking is available on Lady Street and on Pulaski Street. The Trustus Side Door Theatre entrance is through the glass doors on the Huger St. side of the building.

For more information or reservations call the box office Tuesdays through Saturdays 1-6 pm at 803-254-9732. Visit for all show information and season info.

My First Time1

You can read Susan Levi Wallach's review of the show here, and James Harley's review at Onstage Columbia.

King Lear continues at USC's Drayton Hall.  You can read a Q+A with lead actor James Keegan here, and August Krickel's review of the show here.  From press material:

Theatre South Carolina will stage Shakespeare's revered tragedy King Lear, the epic tale of a ruler's loss of power and descent into madness, April 19-27 at USC's Drayton Hall Theatre.

Show times for King Lear are 8pm Wednesdays-Fridays, 7pm Saturdays and 3pm on the first Sunday.  There is an additional half-price late night performance on Saturday, April 27 at 11pm.   Tickets for the production are $12 for students, $16 for USC faculty/staff, military personnel and seniors 60+, and $18 for the general public.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 803-777-2551 or by visiting the Longstreet Theatre box office, which is open Monday-Friday, 12:30pm-5:30pm, beginning Friday, April 12.

Shakespeare’s gale-force drama rips back the curtain on a family torn by greed and an unquenchable lust for power.  The aging King Lear decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters, but tests their loyalty first to finalize the arrangement.  When his most devoted daughter, Cordelia, refuses to flatter him, Lear disowns her, paving the way for a venomous plot to usurp the throne concocted by his remaining heirs.  The King flees, leading him on a spiraling descent into madness as he fights to regain control.  King Lear is a riveting story about the corruptive nature of power and a broken man’s agonizing struggle for redemption.

Photo by Jason Ayer. — with James Keegan and James Costello.