To many in the Endstation family whom I know well and to those I have yet to meet mano a mano, my name is Michael Stablein, Jr. I came to Sweet Briar four years ago at the behest of our Artistic Director, Geoffrey Kershner to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet for the inaugural season of the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. Since that time, I've had the good fortune to play many of the great roles of Shakespeare's canon (Demetrius, Midsummer Night's Dream; Laertes, Hamlet; Duke Orsino, Twelfth Night) alongside contemporary roles in The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged. In my second year, the company allowed me to build the Playwrights Initiative Residency Program. Going into its fourth summer, the Initiative provides artistic residency and a staged Public Reading Series for emerging, professional playwrights in the month of July. And this past summer, I joined the faculty of BLUR: Summer Institute for Young Artists teaching Voice For The Actor to an immensely talented group of Virginia high-schoolers.
I am honored to introduce myself this time around as the Associate Artistic Director of Endstation Theatre Company.
Now before you all up and mutiny and... burn the Hamlet barn to the ground, I am NOT (I repeat, NOT) taking over the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. (Although it would befit one of our Shakespearean selections next season.) Geoffrey, our fearless leader, has me on a tight leash. In addition to acting in at least one of our outdoor Shakespeare's and heading the Playwrights Initiative, I will be assisting in season selection, co-chairing the drama division of the BLUR Institute, taking charge of marketing design, and dressing as Geoffrey when he would like to take the day off. AND THAT'S ALL.
Internally, we call my role 'Departmental Alleviation'. I'm taking a little bit off of everyone's plate so that no one of us... eats too much. I'm happy to do it, my mother always said I was a good eater.
As I mentioned above, I am just so honored to have this opportunity to continue building this company alongside the rest of the artistic and administrative staff. I promise to work hard for this company, I promise to serve the community that supports us, I promise to refrain from grand-standing and wearing t-shirts with my new title printed in bold.
To the Brutus(es) and Cassius(es) out there, I assure you I want no crown. I'm still the wide-eyed actor who arrived on campus four years ago; the boy who saw Virginia as a place to discover, Endstation as an opportunity in which to grow, and the Blue Ridge... as a home.
All that's different now is it'll be that much more difficult to get rid of me.
Michael Stablein, Jr.
Associate Artistic Director
Endstation Theatre Company