The Footlight Players Names Long-Time Actor Brian Porter as New Executive Director

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Footlight Players has hired long-time thespian Brian Porter as executive director of Charleston’s longest-producing theatre company. Porter spent the last decade on staff at Charleston Stage, most recently as director of administration where he oversaw daily operations of the professional theatre company.

Porter replaces Jane Broadwater, who retired in January after serving three years as executive director. She also was a member of Footlight’s board of directors before taking on the executive director title. Under Broadwater’s leadership, The Footlight Players expanded its theatrical season while providing opportunities for other theatres and performance groups to rent the Queen Street theatre during its off-weekends and summer season.

Porter has been performing on stage since childhood, earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre in performance from Purdue University in Indiana. After graduation, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, as a member of Playhouse on the Square’s Resident Acting Company. He then co-founded a theatre company in Michigan before relocating to Atlanta to pursue a career in media advertising. Porter maintained ties to local theatre and served as interim executive director of OnStage Atlanta.

After several years in Atlanta, Porter relocated to Charleston, working as media director of Davis Advertising before returning to his theatrical roots and joining Charleston Stage.

Now, Porter will take on the role of leading one of Charleston’s most prestigious community theatres. He plans to build on Footlight’s mission to provide quality and affordable community theatre as well as continuing to promote the theatre as a unique space for Charleston special events and performances.

“I am delighted to be a part of such an historical and dynamic theatrical fixture in Charleston,” Porter said. “I look forward to working with this exceptional team of artists to create something truly unique and beautiful for Charleston. I am confident I can bring a lot to the company and infuse it with my passion and love of the performing arts.”

Porter is also the co-founder of the local theatre company What If? Productions, which is now in its eighth season in Charleston. A celebrated artist and vocalists in Charleston (and current Best Actor nominee for the Charleston City Paper Best Of award), Porter has appeared on stage in many memorable roles in Charleston, including “Peter & the Starcatcher,” “Cabaret,” “Hedwig & the Angry Inch,” “The 39 Steps,” “Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story,” “Shear Madness” and “Hairspray.” He recently headlined his own sold-out cabaret show, “An Evening With Brian Porter,” as part of What If?’s popular Piano Bar Series.

About The Footlight Players
The Footlight Players launched in 1931 with a series of one-act plays directed by Lt. Commander Charles Russell Price at the Charleston Navy yard. The series was such a success and drew such a following that The Footlight Players formally organized and incorporated in the fall of 1932. To this day, The Footlight Players continues to provide professional quality, affordable community theater for the Lowcountry at the historic Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. in Charleston. For more information, visit footlightplayers.net or call 843-722-4487.

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Musical Production of ‘Annie’ Comes to Footlight Just in Time for the Holidays

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Photo Credit: Stan Foxworthy. Pictured are: Emerson Page as Annie with Paul O’Brien and Nina Himes

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The perfect family friendly musical for the holiday season, The Footlight Players brings everyone’s favorite redhead to life in a production of “Annie.” Performances are Dec. 1-17 at the historic Footlight Theatre, 20 Queen St.

This musical has become a worldwide phenomenon and the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including “Tomorrow.”

With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC.

In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations, befriends President Franklin D. Roosevelt and ultimately finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

This Footlight production is directed by Courtney Saree with assistant director Annie Reid, music director Laura Turner and choreographers Lily Watkins, Christine Cleary and Lydia Brown. Sarre is the co-founder of Musical Theater Center in Mount Pleasant and has been directing children for more than 20 years. She is a former professional performer at Walt Disney World and has taught a several Charleston area schools.

She said, “I wanted to direct Annie because it is a classic holiday show with both poignant and uplifting overtones. I also knew we had the talent and capability to assemble an amazing creative team and cast with actors from the community and from the Musical Theater Center.”

Performances are at 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Dec. 2, Dec. 8, Dec. 9, Dec. 14, Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for military/seniors and $25 for students and $15 for children. Order tickets online at footlightplayers.net or by calling the box office at 843-722-4487.

About The Footlight Players
The Footlight Players launched in 1931 with a series of one-act plays directed by Lt. Commander Charles Russell Price at the Charleston Navy yard. The series was such a success and drew such a following that The Footlight Players formally organized and incorporated in the fall of 1932. To this day, The Footlight Players continues to provide professional quality, affordable community theater for the Lowcountry at the historic Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. in Charleston. For more information, visit footlightplayers.net or call 843-722-4487.

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The Footlight Players on social media
@FootlightPlayer on Twitter
@FootlightPlayers on Instagram
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefootlightplayers
#FootlightPlayers