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Stagestruck Players is the youth division of Brunswick Little Theatre that was founded in 2002 when Debbie Skillman proposed the idea to the board of directors. The following questions and Skillmans subsequent answers provide a history of, outline the purpose of, and state the future hopes for Stagestruck. These excerpts are from an interview for an article in the Southport Magazine devoted to marking the 10 year anniversary of Stagestruck.
Why did you start Stagestruck?
I was seeking to establish a company where young people would be able to perform full-blown roles that would require them to develop their acting skills, rather than being placed in the chorus of a musical, or appearing in a role that requires them to say two words. I also wanted the company to produce works that highlighted great childrens literature and the youth involved to feel accomplished and to appear in quality productions.
What do you hope to do with the company? What are your ambitions for the company?
I hope to continue to produce quality productions that feature youth aged 8 to 18. I would love for Stagestruck to mount more than one show per year, but BLT finances and volunteer resources do not permit this at this time. I want to increase the audience for Stagestruck shows. I would love a corporate sponsor or two for Brunswick Little Theatre. In the near future I hope to offer training workshops for county youth. When I take my final bow BLT will have a well-established childrens theatre group with a stellar reputation for good work.
What is the greatest thing you receive from being the director and founder of Stagestruck?
Personally, I enjoy the challenge of solving the problems of bringing a production to the stage and working cooperatively with accomplished people. I have learned and continue to learn, which keeps the old brain nimble.
How do you feel the company has affected the community?
Youth involved in the productions have come away from the experiences more confident about themselves, more self disciplined, and willing to be risk takers. They have developed interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
What do you think theater teaches youth and other age groups about life?.
Theater teaches one
Debbie Skillman has been involved in the performing arts for practically her entire life. She sang
and danced her way through elementary, junior and senior high school, and continued this refrain through college, obtaining both a
Bachelors and Masters of Music degree. Upon graduation from college she and her husband Steve, also a musician, landed in
She has been involved in the
cultural arts in
Her work in the theater has included roles both on and off
the stage. To date she has directed well over 50 childrens theatrical productions. Currently she teaches privately and is organist
and choir master at St. Philips Episcopal Church in