WANT TO GO?
Presented by the Charleston Light Opera Guild
WHERE: Charleston Light Opera Guild Theater, 411 Tennessee Ave.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 14-15; 2 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 16
TICKETS: $15; opening night performance and after-party with Kathy Mattea $50
INFO: 304-343-2287 or www.charlestonlightoperaguild.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's a little bit of wobbly logic when it comes to the Charleston Light Opera Guild's celebration of the 40th anniversary of it summer young adult theater program.
On Friday and Saturday, the guild brings back its first production, "Godspell," the production Nina Pasinetti helped direct 40 years ago. But summer is easily five months away, and that first show in 1974 wasn't actually a guild production.
Pasinetti said, "Back then, the guild didn't have an established summer theater."
Instead, what it had was director Tom Murphy and Pasinetti who, in 1974, was a young math teacher at George Washington High School who also did choreography for local theater companies.
"For a long time, Tom had gone around to area schools and staged musicals for them," she said. "He kind of involved me in it, too -- and we both really wanted to do theater year-round."
The 1974 production of "Godspell" was the unofficial pilot for what became the annual summer theater shows staged by the Charleston Light Opera Guild. Murphy and Pasinetti auditioned young actors from around the county, mostly with the idea of seeing if it could be done.
"We picked 'Godspell' because it seemed doable," she said. "We only needed a small stage. There were no scene changes, and it required a small number of performers."