The Void, a six-month-old Charleston-based theater company that started last November, returns this summer with its second pop-up play. Following a sold-out run of its first show Succulents in February, The Void will take over Hed Hi Studio on upper King Street at the end of June with SHIP, written by Douglas Williams and directed by Clyde Moser.
Shannon Vogt and Brianna Morgan created The Void to tackle subversive topics through contemporary theater and highlight the voices of queer and female artists. Succulents delivered on the company’s promise for “living-room drama” — the show was staged intimately in a black-box theater where audience members could see the actors up-close. Artistic director Shannon Vogt said the audience feedback was complimentary towards that choice.
“Succulents felt like such a success,” she said. “We did audience questionnaires and a lot of the feedback was really positive, like, ‘Hey, we never see this [kind of work] in Charleston, and it’s really cool to see.’
“With any new organization, there’s always growing pains figuring stuff out. The last six months have been really trying to figure out how to run a nonprofit, how to fundraise, how to market, how to grant write, while also creating the kind of work that I think people want to see [and] staying true to our mission.”
Vogt’s own struggles with addiction partially pushed her to create the theater company which deals with darker topics. In SHIP, she portrays the lead character, Nell, who deals with addiction throughout the story.
“It’s about her finding herself and proving what she’s capable of when everyone sees her as this failure. I knew that I’ve always wanted to play a character that struggled with addiction, because I think one of the saddest things is this lack of dignity that we give people that are struggling with their sobriety,” Vogt said. “A lot of times people will say awful things. … They never look at it like this person is hurting, like this person is clearly in pain and struggling.
“I think theater, especially in a very intimate, stripped-down form, is literally breathing human beings in front of you. It’s really easy to ‘other’ people when they’re not standing right in front of you. So to get to play a character and bring that humanity, that respect back to that character was so important to me.”
Vogt said she’s excited to work on this show with director Clyde Moser, a friend from time shared at the College of Charleston. The pair reconnected when they both moved back to Charleston after working in Chicago and New York, respectively.
“I trust that he’ll just do such a beautiful job with it and be so graceful with the heavier material,” she said.
In selecting the plays for the first season of pop-up performances, Vogt said The Void selected work based on three criteria: work that is contemporary, has smaller casts and is ultimately relevant to “things that we see going on right here, right now in our everyday lives.” Another consideration was to select shows that would attract non-theatergoers.
“I think part of what we want to do is put stuff in places where people aren’t really expecting it to be,” she said. “And that makes it more accessible.”
SHIP runs June 29-30 and July 1. All shows are general admission for $30 and start at 7:30 p.m. Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
at Hed Hi Studio, 645 King St. Visit thevoidtheatre.org for more info.
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