Lynn Beaver, President, Sam Bass Theatre is celebrating her 20th Season at SBCT. She has appeared on stage numerous times including Joselyn in It Could Be Any One of Us, Trincula in the Tempest Project, Sister Mary in Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You and Rhonda Lynn in Christmas Belles. Lynn has also directed productions of The Red Velvet Cake War, Hamlet, Murdered to Death, Hallelujah Girls and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to name a few.
AEW: Can you give us a brief history of Sam Bass Theatre?
Lynn: Sam Bass Theatre Association came from the Sam Bass shoot-out at Round Rock’s Frontier. Days. Part of the group that produced the shoot-out wanted to produce theatre year round so they formed the theatre group. The Round Rock Historical Society gifted the Old Depot to SBCT and it was converted into a theatre venue. The Depot was moved to Memorial Park where it is today at 600 North Lee Street.
AEW: How did you get involved with SBCT?
Lynn: My dear friend Joni McClain called me looking for a Stage. Manager for a production of California Suite. Director Jim Grisham, the cast and crew made me feel like I was at home. That was the 1994 – 1995 Season, I’ve been there ever since.
AEW: In your time at SBCT what are some of the biggest changes you have seen to the way your organization approaches theatre?
Lynn: Our biggest challenge is volunteers and financing. We are an all volunteer community theatre, no one is paid for their work. It’s been a difficult few years with the economy, people having less cash and fewer working hours to donate. But things are really looking up and we are very pleased about that.
AEW: What areas do you feel your organization really does well in regards to theatre, productions, and your market?
Lynn: SBCT productions are some of the finest you will see in the area. We have outstanding directing, acting and production values. We have a thriving Youth Guild and excellent theatre education opportunities for children.
AEW: If you could improve anything about the Austin Theatre Community what would it be?
Lynn: I think it would be more cooperation between theatres. We have a common goal, quality theatre, cooperation can only help everyone.
AEW: What is your favorite part of producing theatre?
Lynn: My favorite part of theatre production is hearing the direct reaction of an audience. That moment when they laugh or gasp or sigh as one is magic.
AEW: What types of plays are your favorite to produce?
Lynn: My favorite plays to produce are Shakespearian comedy. I feel a connection to the language and I love having the audience have an ‘I get it’ moment.
AEW: What sort of shows do you have coming up this season at Sam Bass Theatre?
Lynn: We have a great variety of shows this Season, holiday family mayhem with. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, family hilarity with Table Settings, witty one liners with God’s Favorite, thrills with. Never the Sinner and musical fun with Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. What more could you want?
AEW: If people want to get involved with your organization either as a volunteer, director, actor, or patron what should they do?
Lynn: First check out our website, sambasstheatre.org. Then come to an audition, send us an email, come by and see us at the theatre! We always welcome volunteers of all ages! We need people of all talents, actors, technicians, carpenters, sewers, anyone who wants to help in the ticket booth or serve refreshments. Every couple of years we host a director’s workshop for volunteers interested in directing. There’s always something going on at SBCT.
AEW: if you could play any part of direct any play no restrictions what would it be?
Lynn: I’ve always had Elenor of Aquitaine in A Lion in Winter at the tip top of my list to act, my other dream role is Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. I’d love to direct Noises Off some day, farce at its best.