Topics

Arts & Entertainment

Bachelor & Bachelorette

Bridal

Fashion

Finance

Food & Drink

Health & Wellness

Home

Pets

Mayoral Thoughts

Travel

Videos

Women in Business

<   Swipe left or right   > 

Jan 31, 2024

Birth of a Stage Company Leads to Rebirth of an Island Landmark

Lynne Cope Hummell

Photography By

M.Kat
Our Mission Statement: To celebrate the power of performing arts by creating a space where passionate, talented artists in our community and surrounding regions come together to bring stories to life.

Continue Reading

Dreams do come true. Just ask Mark Erickson and Alex Clark.

“I’ve had a dream of starting a theatre company since I moved here in 2005, but it just never seemed like the right time,” Erickson said. He shared his ideas with Clark, and it became her dream too.

The dream has blossomed into Sea Glass Stage Company, founded in late 2023. The nonprofit organization officially moved into Coligny Theatre on Jan. 1 and has begun renovations to convert the historic movie theatre into a stage performance space. 

“This time, it feels perfect,” Erickson said. “From the very beginning, every obstacle we encountered was somehow miraculously overcome.”

“I was happy to be involved in making the dream a reality,” Clark said. “I also became really excited when I realized I could start my very own education program within it.”

The company’s first show, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” is set for Feb. 16-March 3. A fundraising soiree, featuring the popular jazz ensemble Folderol, will be held Feb. 3. 

Erickson has worked in numerous local productions, honing his skills beyond acting and directing. He has also built sets, worked as a stage manager, and learned and executed lighting and set design. His collaborations with several other theatre companies in the Lowcountry highlight his dedication to bringing stage theatre to more people.

Clark has been involved in theatre since she was just 9 years old, first as an actor, then director, stage manager, choreographer, and teacher. When she was 14, she taught theatre at summer camps; more recently she taught theatre at local private schools. With Sea Glass Stage, Clark plans to offer classes in acting, movement, auditioning and other aspects of theatre.

The stated vision for the stage company is “to be a beacon of both cultural entertainment and educational enrichment on Hilton Head Island.”

Alex Clark

“Education will be a big part of programming at Sea Glass Stage,” said Clark, education director for the company. Concurrently with getting the nonprofit up and running, she also is pursuing a degree in English and theatre, and recently began her first stint as a student teacher in the Beaufort County School District.

Beyond the vision for the company, its mission is “to celebrate the power of performing arts by creating a space where passionate, talented artists in our community and surrounding regions come together to bring stories to life. We believe that fostering a vibrant arts culture and providing arts education on Hilton Head Island is of benefit to all.”

To that end, Sea Glass Stage also will be working with other theatre groups, providing another venue option for their productions and helping promote their efforts.

Chris Hoffer 

“Mark and I have both been involved in many other local theatres in the area – that’s how we met!” Clark said. “With this history, it is so important to us that we continue to work closely with them and collaborate in new and exciting ways.”

One of those theatre groups is Main Stage Community Theatre (MSCT), on whose board Erickson formerly served. He also performed in several of their productions – two of which were held at Coligny Theatre on a temporary stage.

“The venue itself is a charming piece of history and people love to gather there,” Erickson said. “Coligny just seemed like the perfect place to start our company.” 

Clark agreed. “Coligny Theatre is such a unique, intimate venue so we’re looking forward to seeing how other artistic groups can share that vision with us,” she said. “We’re really excited that Main Stage Community Theatre has already collaborated with us.”

Lynne Hummell puts up the poster for the first Sea Glass Stage show at the Coligny Theatre,“Tick, Tick … Boom!”

In a three-year partnership with Sea Glass, MSCT will produce its own shows at Coligny for the next three years. MSCT also invested substantially in upgrading Coligny Theatre’s audio, video, and lighting infrastructure.

“We’re all super excited and feel this is a story worth sharing with the community,” said Daniel Cort, MSCT’s vice chairman. 

“MSCT’s backing not only ensures the success of Sea Glass Stage Company but also opens doors for innovative performances and experiences that will enrich the entire community,” Erickson said.

Mark Erickson

The space will be available for rental at times when the two theatre companies are dark – meaning when they are not rehearsing or staging a production.

Erickson and Clark also recognize the importance of involving those who are gifted in other aspects of live theatre – directing, lighting, stage managing, sound, costuming, and set design and building. In addition, volunteers are the heart of any nonprofit, and Sea Glass is no exception.

“There’s a place for everyone who is interested,” Erickson said. “We are always going to need good people who know what they’re doing as well as those who are willing to learn.”

Sea Glass Stage Soiree, the company’s first fundraiser, featuring the popular jazz combo Folderol, will be held Feb. 3 at the theatre. The 1920’s themed gala begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. Raffle tickets will be available for a variety of gift baskets and packages, with such prizes as vacations, rounds of golf, pampering packages, and local dining and beverages.

 

Ready for the Sea Glass Soiree (from left to right): Mark Erickson, Alex Clark, Chris Hoffer and Lynne Hummell. 

Performances of “Tick, Tick … Boom!” will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Dates are Feb. 16-18, 23-24, and March 1-3.

Directed by Erickson and choreographed by Clark, the show features local performers Gavin West, Sara-Rose Lyda, and Jared Cotton, with musical direction by David McLaughlin. Chris Hoffer, a board member and treasurer of the organization, makes his debut as assistant director.

Written by Jonathan Larson, who also wrote the musical “Rent,” the show tells the story of Jon, an aspiring composer in New York City, as he approaches his 30th birthday, feeling dismayed at his accomplishments so far. His girlfriend, Susan, and Michael, his best friend since childhood, try to help him see that what he is doing has merit – even if he’s not yet met his own expectations.

Tickets for all events are available at sgstage.org.

Being located in the “downtown” area of Hilton Head Island – and mere steps from the beach – is another bonus for Sea Glass, whose name came from the bits of treasure often found in the sand.

“We are very grateful to the ownership and management team at Coligny Plaza for being so accommodating and welcoming,” Erickson said. “We hope to be here for many years to come!” 

Related Articles

Here Come the Clydesdales!

Every year, one of the most often-asked questions on Hilton Head Island in early March is: “Are the Clydesdales coming to the parade this year?” The queries refer to the iconic four-legged representatives of Budweiser beer commercial fame, who have participated in the...

read more