Young producer bringing quirky off-Broadway shows to Treasure Coast

Friday, January 25, 2013

By Ginny Beagan
Posted January 25, 2013 at 4 a.m.

It's stressful being the producer of a professional theater company. Producers are in charge of everything from securing the rights to a show to casting and marketing. Nineteen-year-old Jake Sanders, founder of Curtain Call Productions, seems to be managing just fine.  Yes, I said 19 years old.

I met Jake Sanders on his day off and he apologized for being underdressed.  "I usually wear a suit jacket," Sanders said."I figure if I want to be taken seriously, I better dress the part."  He is being taken seriously.

Sanders just signed a partnership with The Lyric Theatre and is moving his seven-month-old production company from the Kane Center to The Lyric Theater's Flagler Center.

Sanders is quick to give credit to Patrick Madden, his mentor and drama coach at Port St. Lucie High School, for his success so far.  "I learned every aspect of production from the top down from him," Sanders said, "That was one of the best experiences I ever had."

After attending most of the community and professional theater productions within a 150-mile radius, Sanders saw a need for something different. He plans to produce quality musicals and Broadway-style shows — but atypical shows. He hires theater professionals from Vero Beach to Palm Beach and produces smaller, quirky off-Broadway shows.  "I want to produce intimate, intelligent, thought-provoking theater," Sanders said.

Curtain Call Productions is presenting the Florida premiere of "Ordinary Days" this weekend.  "I was shocked we were able to secure the rights," Sanders said.

"Ordinary Days" tells the story of four young New Yorkers and how their lives interconnect. Sanders says the musical is basically a love story with New York City and shows that even though you're in a city of 8 million people, it can still get lonely. The production has no sets. Instead, scenes of Manhattan are projected on a screen behind the performers, allowing the audience to be with the characters.

In the song "I Wanna Be A Producer" from the musical, "The Producers," there is a line that goes: "I wanna be a producer and sleep until half-past two." Sanders learned very quickly that doesn't happen.  "I'm here from about 7:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. and then I spend another few hours on the computer," Sanders said. "But I'm loving every minute of it."

Performances of his latest production are Thursday, January 24th at 8pm, Friday, January 25th at 8pm and Saturday, January 26th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. The Lyric's Flagler Center is at 201 S.W. Flagler Ave.

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