5 Questions with Sean Carter

CLIFTON PARK – Capital Region theater 2023 starts tonight with a concert version of the quintessential Broadway show “Guys and Dolls” presented by Not So Common Players at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library 1/6, 1/7, 1/13/ 1/14 at 8pm and 1/8 & 1/15 at 2pm. The musical is a mainstay of high school and community theaters and has been revived on Broadway three times. It includes such standards as “More I Can Not Wish You,” “If I Were a Bell,” “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” and “Luck Be a Lady.” What some consider the greatest musical comedy ever written has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It is an adaptation of two Damon Runyon short stories “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” and creates a fictionalized Times Square world of gamblers, show girls and missionaries that we’d all like to believe in.

If you’re interested, get there early because the show is enormously popular, it’s the only game in town, and the price is right – it’s free. I emailed 5 questions to the director Sean Carter to find out what’s going on.

What’s your history with Not So Common Players and in what capacity do you serve them now?

I started out as an actor with the Not So Common Players.  I played the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” and absolutely loved the sense of community and joy that this company fostered and encouraged.  Since then I have directed several shows with the organization including “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “A…My Name is Alice.”  Several years ago David Rossi and I founded Not So Common Kids.  This is a summer camp for budding actors and theatre technicians and it has become a great success.  Some of our campers have gone on to perform on Broadway, in touring companies as well as in TV and movies.  It is amazing to watch the positive impact these programs can have on young performers.  Currently, I serve on the Board of Not So Common Players and am directing our concert version of “Guys and Dolls.”

How did you spend lockdown and what did you do to keep your interest in theater going?

I spent the lockdown with my family, longing to travel and experience all the world has to offer.  My interest in theatre never waned during the lockdown.  I spent much of my time thinking about how to work with this amazing organization to continue to reach our community of theater lovers.

How did the idea of a concert of “Guys & Dolls” come about?

We were really looking to offer folks a positive experience with a limited commitment and an abbreviated rehearsal process.  We understand that the last few years have really ground people down.  People are tired and sometimes even auditioning to perform in a show can feel like “one more thing”.  With that being said, theatre really is exactly what people need to renew and rejuvenate not just themselves but the community as a whole. Not to mention the lasting friendships and connections you make as the process unfolds.  We hoped that this concert would bring people out to audition.  It really did!  We had over 40 people audition for the show.

What’s the play or musical that changed your life?

Wow!  So many..If I had to choose one I would say…”The Wizard of Oz.”  No matter your age or place in life there is something so magical about the story, the music, and the message.  There really is no place like home.  

What are you looking forward to in the theater in 2023?

I am really looking forward to seeing many of the talented performers in this production of “Guys and Dolls” coming out for more shows.  Once folks in the Capital Region see these performers they are going to be clamoring to see them in many other productions.  They are a joy to work with.  Come check us out! 

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