Monday, September 3, 2012

North Charleston Kicks off Dinner Theatre Series on Sept 14

The Gentleman Pirate @ Piccolo Spoleto
Flickr user Chrys

Another fabulous season of dinner theatre kicks off in North Charleston on Friday, September 14, with The Gentleman Pirate, presented by Rodney Lee Rogers of PURE Theatre. Dinner for the evening is catered by Embassy Suites and features an entrée of Grilled Cypress Chicken served with garlic infused tomato concasse and herb aioli.

Written and performed by PURE Theatre co-founder, Rodney Lee Rogers, The Gentleman Pirate is a one-of-a kind, interactive theatrical event that brings to life the trials and glories of Stede Bonnet, also known as “The Gentleman Pirate.” The play focuses on Bonnet's 1718 trial, in which he gave his own defense and was, in the end, sentenced to death. Rogers referenced the existing trial transcripts to inform the production’s script, filling any factual gaps in Bonnet’s story with his Shakespearean-influenced imagination. Patrons have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session following the performance, where Rogers answers questions in character. Charleston City Paper critic, Jon Santiago, gives the production an “A” rating, calling it “great fun, splendidly performed and exhaustively researched.” The show has been performed everywhere from school cafeterias to the deck of the USS Yorktown, and enjoyed two sold out Piccolo Spoleto runs.

Working in multiple disciplines of dramatic form over the past 24 years, writer/actor/filmmaker Rodney Lee Rogers received the SC Arts Commission’s Playwriting Fellowship in 2010 and was awarded a SC Film Commission grant for his short film Downturn. His plays and one-acts plays have been produced in New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Charleston and include HOGS, The Tragedian, Killing Chickens, Fairgrounds, What Comes Around, Tell, Cowboys, and A Waffle House Christmas. His feature film Steaming Milk won runner-up Best Actor and Best Director awards at the 1997 Seattle International Film Festival and was chosen as a “Best of the Fest” of both The Seattle Times and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Theatre directing credits include Tell, Jesus Hopped the “A” Train, What Comes Around, HOGS, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Acting credits for the stage include The Pillowman, The Lonesome West, Cloud Tectonics, Underneath the Lintel, Eurydice, and The Tragedian. On television he has appeared on One Tree Hill, Medicine Ball, and Army Wives. He was voted Best Actor by Charleston City Paper for 2009 and 2010. Co-founders of PURE Theatre, he and his wife, artistic director Sharon Graci, live in Charleston with their five children.

The Dinner Theatre will be presented at the Charleston Area Convention Center Ballroom (adjacent to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center) at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The ballroom doors open at 7:00pm for dinner. Tickets are $40 per person. Group discounts are available. Ticket price includes dinner, play, and gratuity. Parking is free. A cash bar will be available. To purchase tickets or to request more information, contact Pam Smith at 843.740.5847 or email culturalarts@northcharleston.org. For information on additional programs and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org

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