The Georgia Repertory Theatre opens its third show of the summer this week at the Springer Opera House.
“The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” is a part of the Children’s Theatre Series in Springer’s McClure Theatre. The series for children has become increasingly popular over the last few years, as the programming is directed at families with children of all ages.
The Springer Opera House and Columbus State University have joined to form the new Georgia Repertory Theatre — a theatre focused entirely on impacting and educating youth and young adults through the performing arts.
Jim Pharr is the director of “The Stinky Cheese Man.” He graduated from Columbus State University in 2010, and has since become a resident actor at the Springer, an academy teacher and the director of Springer’s NO SHAME Theatre.
Pharr recently corresponded with arts reporter Carrie Beth Wallace to discuss “The Stinky Cheese Man,” his cast of students and how they are being impacted by their roles in the show. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: How is your cast? Have you enjoyed working with them?
A: They are amazing students. The seniors recently graduated and have been a part of the Springer Theatre Academy for many years. This is my directorial debut, but I have been teaching them for six summers now. I couldn’t ask for a better cast.
Q: What ages is this show recommended for?
A: This show is part of the Children’s Theatre season, so it’s appropriate for all ages. Some of the jokes are juvenile, but even adults enjoy sophomoric humor every once in a while.
Q: What is your favorite part of the show?
A: We’ve been in rehearsals for two days now, and the best part of the show so far is watching these students grow with every moment. They are flexible and brave with every struggle. They, themselves, are my favorite part.
Q: This is a Georgia Repertory Theatre show. How do you see Georgia Repertory Theatre investing in children’s theater in the future?
A: It’s been a staple for Columbus State’s summer season for a few summers now, and the Springer Theatre Academy has been putting on shows in the summer for two decades. Now that they are partnered together, students across the Southeast will get to experience amazing theater.
Q: Are any cast members Springer students?
A: All of our cast are graduated seniors from Georgia and Alabama.
Q: Anything else you want us to know?
A: These students have put in amazing work into this show. It’s a condensed process, but we don’t short change them when it comes to the professional experience. We don’t forget the Springer Theatre Academy’s motto: Life skills through stage skills. Even if these students don’t go into theatre, they will become better people because of this process
If you go
What: ‘The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales’
When: 7 p.m. July 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22; 2 p.m. July 9, 16 and 23
Where: McClure Theatre, Springer Opera House, 103 E. 10th St.