June 2, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Peach State Summer Theatre Announces Live Studio Audience Experience



VALDOSTA — Peach State Summer Theatre will present a 10-performance live-streaming run of “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” June 16-26 — and a limited number of theatregoers will have the option of participating in a live studio audience experience.

“This will be a unique opportunity,” shared H. Duke Guthrie, PSST managing director and Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance professor. “We’ve seen a lot of streamed performances over the past year, and now we are opening the doors for audience members to see how it all comes together.”

The live studio audience experience is open to PSST theatregoers who are fully vaccinated. Masks are encouraged for those who feel more comfortable wearing one, but they are not mandatory. Seats are limited because camera operators and equipment will be positioned in several locations within the normal seating area.

“This will be very similar to being part of a live studio audience for a late-night talk show or primetime comedy,” Guthrie added. “There will be camera crews moving around the audience and on stage with the performers. It will be different from our pre-pandemic performances, but it will still offer audience members a memorable experience.”

PSST fans will also have the option of enjoying the 10-performance run via live streaming from the comfort of their own home, as originally announced in March.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” is the fourth show in the Wonderettes Series. PSST performed the first show in the series, “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” in 2013, and it was a huge hit with audiences of all ages.

PSST’s 2021 season has been described as sort of a placeholder between a summer of no performances inside Valdosta State University’s Sawyer Theatre and what will hopefully be a future summer filled with the nonstop entertainment fans have come to love and look forward to over the past three-plus decades.

Guthrie remains hopeful that the 2022 season will once again welcome dozens of singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators from across the country to the VSU campus for nearly three months of rehearsing, building, and presenting three musicals in rotating repertory. A new artistic director should be in place by then, and health officials remain optimistic that mass vaccination protocols will continue to curb the virus’s spread and allow for everyday life to resume a more normal routine.

“I think everyone has their fingers crossed that the pandemic is under control by the time we start planning for PSST’s 2022 season,” he added. “As of right now, it looks like things are headed in that direction, and we remain hopeful that trend will continue.”

In late March, Guthrie announced that PSST’s 2021 season would feature a single show presented virtually with no in-person audience due to COVID-19. Then, in mid-May, VSU announced updated COVID-19 guidelines, which included changes to mask and social distancing mandates — based on the latest guidance from public health officials and the University System of Georgia.  

“The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” was originally scheduled to be performed during PSST’s 2020 season, which was cancelled due to the spread of COVID-19 and resulting pandemic.

Guthrie noted that the show is well on its way to being ready for opening night. Casting for the four female roles is complete, and rehearsals are underway. A full contingent of designers, technicians, and support staff are already working on campus. A director of photography and a four-person camera crew have been hired.

Fans who have questions about the upcoming season should call the VSU Theatre and Dance / PSST office at 229-253-2914 between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are available online at ShowTix4U.com and are $35 for individual streaming access on a single device, $35 for the live audience experience, and $60 for household streaming access.

Peach State Summer Theatre, or PSST, is Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre. It started in 1990 as the Jekyll Island Music Festival; it was relocated to VSU and renamed PSST in 2005.

The Georgia Legislature designated VSU’s summer stock theatre program the Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia.

On the Web:

About “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On,” according to a synopsis provided by Stage Rights:
“It’s 1969, and The Marvelous Wonderettes are back at Springfield High — Go, Chipmunks! — to throw a retirement party for their favorite homeroom teacher. As the girls sing their way through the greatest girl-group hits of the ’60s and bid Ms. McPherson a fond farewell, one of the Wonderettes reveals she’ll also be saying goodbye to search for success and happiness on her own.

“Act II finds the girls back together as the class of 1958 celebrates their 20-year reunion. The classic pop and rock hits of the ’70s provide the perfect soundtrack for these old friends to catch up on the places life has led them, all performed with their own marvelous spin.”

“The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” features such hits as “It’s Your Thing,” “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “I Will Survive,” and “The Hustle.”

Performance Dates
• 7:30 p.m. June 16
• 7:30 p.m. June 17
• 7:30 p.m. June 18
• 2 p.m. June 19
• 7:30 p.m. June 21
• 7:30 p.m. June 22
• 7:30 p.m. June 23
• 7:30 p.m. June 24
• 7:30 p.m. June 25
• 2 p.m. June 26