Monday, July 21, 2008

Spotlight on JD Stallings!

JD Stallings serves as the Technical Director and Assistant Director for both shows of the festival. But like a lot of our technical staff, JD's foray into theatre started at a young age and on the stage--not behind it.

Brian, Maria, and JD converse during an R&J rehearsal.

JD first started doing theatre with his church, performing in musicals as early as age five. Through high school, he kept busy as an actor. "We didn't have "technical theatre" at my high school," JD said, "just a phillips head screwdriver and three 2x4s." Between graduating and heading to Wake Forest, he offered to help backstage at the Parkway Playhouse, a summerstock theatre in his hometown, hoping that his volunteer work would land him a few roles during the summer. He got the small parts he was hoping for, but he was also introduced to all of the backstage happenings, and when he headed to Wake Forest, he landed a work study in the university's scene shop. From sophomore to senior year, JD was the Master Carpenter or the Assistant Technical Director for every show; he also designed a few sets and acted once or twice in small-name productions like "Into the Woods" or "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Working at the Parkway Playhouse in between school years, he became the Technical Director for the theatre after only one year, and to date has "acted in, designed, and/or TD over 30 shows there." Now, JD Stallings teaches at EC Glass High School in Lynchburg, and serves as Glass Theatre's Technical Director. 

JD with Glass' cast of "The Complete History of America (Abridged)," which he directed. If you look, you can find not one, but three Endstation members!

JD claims a love for both onstage and offstage theatrics, for their respective reasons. On acting: "I've always loved being onstage because it allows me to do/say things that would never come out in real life, and the challenge of becoming characters very different from myself  has always been thrilling." And tech work: "I enjoy all things backstage because the creative construction process has always fascinated me. Seeing the tech aspects of a show work like a well-oiled machine with the audience never knowing what made it happen is somehow very gratifying."

JD, Dan and Brian celebrate Brian's 22nd birthday.

As for his time spent with Endstation this summer, I'll let JD spin it in his own words. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my experience this summer. I have to say that my favorite part has been getting to know and work with other people from the area (and beyond) who are so dedicated to theatre that they will spend every spare moment they have (and some that aren't even spare) creating the best shows possible. It's really invigorating to be surrounded by such an awesome community of people doing what they love because they love it. Working in new spaces and with a new mentality when it comes to the theatrical experience has also been very eye-opening and has given me some perspective that I didn't have before."

JD has been an immense help to the festival this summer. I've seen him in the throes of theatre, when he'd been up all night and perhaps wasn't necessarily energetic about the sixth show of a season, and perhaps was longing for summer and a less theatre-involved three months, but he seems enthusiastic and happy to be on the Endstation grounds this summer, even if it means an extra two months of theatre.

Kirin McCrory
Endstation Blogger

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