Arts & Culture

5 Minutes with theater impresario Stan Gill

Comedy and music usually are two separate art forms. But Charleston theater impresario Stan Gill has combined the two for "The Satire Diaries: Too Stupid to Fail" Oct. 12 and 13 at ARTworks in Beaufort.

Gill, a Detroit native, has performed the show throughout the country over the past decade. He's now settled in Mount Pleasant and runs Sprouts Children's Theatre. He's best known for his one-man "Mark Twain's Final Tour" that he's performed for 30 years.

Gill describes how he and his troupe are able to make music funny.

Question. What is the "Satire Diaries"?

Answer. It's a satirical musical review. Down in South Carolina, we don't get much of this. Admittedly, I'm a Yankee. I've had theaters on both coasts and the Midwest. This is one of the more popular things we do. It's very eclectic. For example, we do a sketch called the "Bathroom Mirror Ballet." It's two people getting ready for a blind date to music from "The Nutcracker." Our closing piece is called "Fertilization Explained." It's an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan and Masters and Johnson.

Q. How did this come about?

A. We wrote this piece about 10 years ago. We've performed all over the country and in Canada. We played to standing-room only houses in Boston and Seattle, where I last had theaters. I have hours and hours worth of material.

Q. And you've revived it for South Carolina?

A. I work with some incredibly talented people. I run a children's theater. And by children's theater I mean theater for children performed by professionals. So we've been doing these children's theater shows for a while. I wanted to do something other than Mark Twain and children's theater. We got a grant to do these shows. A big part of it too is that I miss teaching. The people I work with are younger, so I wanted to teach them this type of theater.

Q. You also perform as Mark Twain. How did that come about?

A. Right, I last performed in Beaufort as Mark Twain. I've been doing a show ("Mark Twain's Final Tour") since 1971 when I was in college. I did an independent study in college where I had to pick a historical figure and put on show. It had sold out houses for four performances. I expanded it and took it on the road and have been doing it ever since. Every now and again I do it. It's like visiting an old friend.



Sprouts Children's Theatre