Big news out of Summerville: The Flowertown Players recently hired Charleston theater vet JC Conway as their new artistic director after previous artistic director Sean Lakey moved to Georgia at the end of last season.
Known for his work in the local contemporary theater scene, Conway is an interesting choice for the small-town community theater. He’s been a driving force in Footlight’s Late Night Series and has directed at Midtown and Threshold. He also founded Theatre /verv/ in 2005, producing boundary-breaking works like Blue Room and Bash. The Flowertown Players, on the other hand, are better known for family-friendly crowd-pleasers like Annie and The Odd Couple.
So is Flowertown about to get more edgy? “Right now what I’m doing is getting a feel for the audience and the volunteer base to see if there’s a market for that, then that’ll be a bridge we cross when we get there,” Conway says. “If not, I’m not going to try to force that kind of theater on an audience that doesn’t want it. With them doing Chicago at end of this year and some of the shows that I was handed as potentials for next season, I feel that they might be moving a little bit in that direction … I think we’ll see something you might not have expected Flowertown to produce in the past, but it’s still going to be a good family atmosphere out there.”
Although Flowertown is now his No. 1 priority, Conway hopes to continue contributing to other local theater companies, and in turn he hopes to draw the city’s theater professionals to Summerville. “We only grow by working with other people,” he says. “We can get caught in a rut by working in the same space over and over again.”
Find out more about this season at Flowertown at flowertownplayers.org.