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Savannah Stage Company to present free encore of ‘The Call of the Wild’

  • Cast of “The Call of the Wild” (Photo courtesy Savannah Stage Company)
  • Cast of “The Call of the Wild” (Photo courtesy Savannah Stage Company)
  • Cast of “The Call of the Wild” (Photo courtesy Savannah Stage Company)
 

Savannah Stage Company to present free encore of ‘The Call of the Wild’

24 Apr 2017

You wouldn’t be human if you were left untouched by the story of Buck, the dog in the classic novel “The Call of the Wild.”

The story centers around Buck and his journey to find his true purpose in the Canadian wilderness. Buck is bought, sold and stolen away from owner to owner and must learn how to serve in the harness to survive, even as he yearns to know more about the mysterious howls he hears coming from the wilderness at night.

Savannah Stage Company will present Catherine Bush’s adaptation of Jack London’s literary classic, “The Call of the Wild,” in a free encore production in Forsyth Park at 6 p.m. April 30.

“It has been on tour all month,” says Jaymi Tinti, artistic director of Savannah Stage Company. “It opened April 1 and has had tons of tour dates — schools, retirement homes, going out to Tybee.

“We’re ending it with an encore in the park, which is 100 percent free. We’re calling this our ‘Season of Values,’ where we’re doing shows that highlight those values.

“Part of being able to make ‘The Call of the Wild’ so successful was making sure anyone and everyone can see it,” she says. “We are making it as accessible as possible.”

Every year, Savannah Stage Company does a free performance in Forsyth Park.

“This is our fifth,” Tinti says. “In 2015, we received a grant through the city to bring Shakespeare to the park, so we did ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ which drew almost 400 people.

“We were completely blown away. We were unprepared for that many people and didn’t have enough programs.

“The interest was very high,” she says. “People brought kids and blankets to make it an evening, and were back to the tree line. It will be interesting to see what will happen with ‘The Call of the Wild.’”

The production will highlight values to reflect the season’s theme.

“When the playwright gives Buck, the lead dog, a voice, we hear his instinct,” Tinti says. “We’re making that our value. With action-driven storytelling, it doesn’t get more active than that.

“It fits our model,” she says. “The script fits in perfectly.”

There are six actors in the production who play more than 20 roles. The play utilizes simple sets, costumes and lights, and is completely self-contained and ready to tour at a moment’s notice.

Tinti is directing the production, which stars Ashley Cook, Maria Cain, Cydnei Prather, McKenna Lyons, Wesley Pridgen and Ian Grieve.

“One actor plays Buck and he just plays Buck,” Tinti says. “Five other actors play eight and nine different characters without changing costume.

“Everyone is wearing the same costume and solves those problems by doing acting. For some people, it is their first time touring, of having to do a play over the course of a month.

“As an actor, you usually get three weekends and it’s over,” she says. “These people have lived in this world since the beginning of March through April 30.”

Bush is the playwright-in-residence at the Barter Theatre in southwest Virginia.

“She did ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ and is a playwright we go to because her work is trusted,” Tinti says. “When I pick up a Cathy Bush play, I know it’s well worth it.”

IF YOU GO

What: Savannah Stage Company presents “The Call of the Wild”

When: 6 p.m. April 30

Where: Forsyth Park in front of the bandshell

Cost: Free

Info: savannahstagecompany.com

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