Voices: It Takes A Village

By: Lou Clyde, a Columbia playwright who has written 4 full-length comedies. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Lou’s humor has been largely influenced by Erma Bombeck, David Sedaris, and Dave Berry. She’s a card-carrying member of Bills Mafia and plans on getting a Buffalo Bills tattoo when they win the SuperBowl.

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I was overwhelmed. How in the world could a Columbia, South Carolina playwright pull this off? Bring a play to New York City.  

I was certain of 1 thing. There was no way I could do this without a lot of help from the Columbia area theatre family. I reached out for help.

First to step up was Jessica Francis Fichter, the Artistic Director of Evolving Door Theatre (EDT). Jess agreed to direct Pouf! and offered EDT as the show producer. Chapin Theatre Company (CTC) jumped into the mix as a co-producer, coordinating the set design and scheduling 7 local performances of Pouf! at their Firehouse Theatre in August.

 Columbia Children’s Theatre offered their theatre for auditions. The cast was selected and Harbison Theatre at Midlands Tech agreed to provide rehearsal space. One Columbia for Arts & Culture provided additional rehearsal space. 

Table reading for Pouf! | Photo provided

One of the cast members, Richard Edward III added his production company Studio Mayday to the mix, offering photo/video media services. Studio Mayday hired USC Theatre MFA student Kennedy Reid Roberts for costume design.  Village Square Theatre and Columbia Children’s Theatre offered costumes for the show and On Stage Productions offered wigs. Town Theatre donated much needed props as did GoGo and Gadget, a local vintage shop.

I have been involved in the Columbia theatre community for over 10 years and have never witnessed this level of collaboration. I am proud and honored to be associated with these people.

Pouf! designed by Stacy Farrell | Photo provided

Pouf! will be staged at the Connelly Theatre in Manhattan on July 29 as part of the SheNYC New Play Festival. Six actors and a production team of 4 will fly from Columbia to stage the play. Two volunteers will drive the set pieces, costumes, and props to the Manhattan theatre. We leave behind a village of supporters and friends, without whom we would not have been able to pull it off.