ECTC presents 'Dancing Lessons' beginning Jan. 17

Special to The Log
Adam Silorey

It’s been said life is a delicate dance. Emerald Coast Theatre Company continues its sixth season by presenting the Northwest Florida premiere of Mark St. Germain’s poignant 2014 play “Dancing Lessons” Jan. 17 through Feb. 3.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays, except Jan. 20, which is a 6 p.m. curtain. The performance will be staged at ECTC’s performance space at 560 Grand Boulevard (upstairs) in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. This production is appropriate for ages 13 and older.

This play tells the story of Ever, a young man with Asperger’s syndrome, who seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer to learn enough dancing to survive an awards dinner. The dancer, Senga, however, is recovering from an injury that may stop her dancing career permanently. As their relationship unfolds, they’re both caught off-guard by the discoveries — both hilarious and heartwarming — that they make about each other and about themselves.

“This comedy has both humor and heart,” said ECTC producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher. “It provides fun characters from different worlds and brings those characters together in a humorous way — all while reminding us that our humanity is beautiful. I can’t think of a better way to warm winter and hearts as we near the ‘season of love.’”

The New York Times said it is a “touching and entertaining” play that is at once a “fish-out-of-water comedy, an odd-couple romance and a compassionate, understanding-autism homily.”

Fisher directs a two-member cast featuring Adam Silorey as Ever and Caitie Moss as Senga. Both actors make their ECTC debut with this production.

Silorey comes to ECTC from the Detroit area. He most recently appeared in the original cast of Blue Gate Musical's production of “Stolen: A Musical Mystery.” He has performed at the Walt Disney World Resort and has appeared in theaters from Cincinnati to Virginia Beach. Some of his favorite roles include Georg Nowack in “She Loves Me,” Richard Hannay in “The 39 Steps,” J.D. in “Heathers: The Musical,” Trigorin in “The Seagull” and Count Dracula in “Dracula.” Silorey earned his bachelor of arts degree in theater performance at Cedarville University, and holds an MFA in acting from Regent University.

Moss, from Wytheville, Virginia, counts the following among her favorite regional credits: “Sweeney Todd" (Mrs. Lovett), “A Chorus Line” (Kristine), “Little Shop of Horrors” (Audrey), “Hairspray” (Penny), “The Marvelous Wonderettes” (Suzy), “Elf: The Musical” (Charlotte), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (Dorcas), “Show Boat” (Ellie), “The Tempest” (Ariel), “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Sally), “Cats” (Sillabub), and the national tours of “A Christmas Carol” (Lucy & Mrs. Fezziwig) among others. She holds a BFA degree in musical theatre from Lees-McRae College.

Costume design is by ECTC associate artistic director Anna Fisher. The production is stage managed by Bridgett Bryant. Set and lighting design is by Anna and Nathanael Fisher.

Theater patrons are encouraged to come early, doors open at 6:30 p.m., to browse artwork by local artists showcased in the ECTC Lobby Gallery curated by Lori Drew, founder of Lowkylzart. A portion of proceeds from each sale benefits ECTC and its education outreach and scholarship programs.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $28 for seniors 55 years old and up, students, and military. Purchase tickets online or call 850-684-0323.

The sixth season continues with “Bad Dates” starring Jennifer Steele, March 7-10 (one weekend only) and “Around the World in 80 Days,” March 28-April 7.

ECTC’s Professional Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) showcases professional actors performing productions especially selected for young audience members. The next TYA offerings are “The Snowy Day and Other Stories” from Feb. 15-23 and “Wind in the Willows” on May 16-19. The performance schedule is Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. (the first weekend only). Tickets to TYA productions are $10. Children 3 and under are free.

New this year ECTC launches its Story Teller Series, featuring professional actors presenting compelling stories and dramatic works. The performances will be in February on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. The lineup is as follows: Feb 6, stories by actor Thom Gossom; Feb 13, “The Iliad” performed by 9 Muses Theatre; Feb 20, “Winston Churchill: Through the Storm” performed by Bruce Collier; Feb 27, “So Others May Live: Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers Saving Lives, Defying Death” presented by Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite.

Spring brings the third annual Northwest Florida Theatre Festival hosted by ECTC and presented during South Walton ArtWeek, May 15-19.