DIRECTOR'S NOTE 

SAMANTHA BELDING
Director, SRB Productions' Tuck Everlasting
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I was first introduced to the music of Tuck Everlasting when I was in New York three years ago. After performing a song at open karaoke night at Broadway Sessions at 2 a.m., a random woman from the audience (A.K.A. The musical theatre fairy godmother) came up to me and offered me the sheet music for a beautiful song called, “Everlasting.” She pulled the sheet music out of her purse, handed it to me, and then disappeared into the night. I immediately was enamored with the song and added it to my book. I also became extremely intrigued by the musical. Months later, I stumbled across a recording of the Broadway production of Tuck Everlasting and instantly fell in love. It has been my favorite musical for years, and I had an opportunity to see it live two years ago when it was performed locally by TheatreWorks

 

Tuck Everlasting is a light and wholesome musical that tackles serious and existential themes without letting the tone become too dramatic or overwhelming. The world is viewed from the perspective of the main character, an adventurous and imaginative young girl who sees even the simplest things in life as magical. The atmosphere of this show has always stood out to me and makes me feel comfortable and warm as if I am reading a good book. I love how the ensemble tells the story through dance in a beautiful and creative way. I’m also drawn to the recurring themes in the music of Tuck Everlasting. For example, the same melody always plays in the tender, romantic moments throughout the show, and the choreography echoes these moments, as well. The sets and costumes add to the whimsical and fantasy-like tone of the show, despite being set in a small town in New Hampshire. 

 

This musical has made such a lasting impact on me that I knew I had to direct, choreograph, and act in Tuck Everlasting my last year of high school and before leaving for college. I am challenging myself to not only direct the show but also play the role of Jesse, which is a gender bent role that I may not otherwise be able to play in traditional theatre. I was inspired to play this role after studying Andrew Keenan Bolger’s portrayal of Jesse on Broadway. 

 

Directing this show while being a part of the cast has been a huge responsibility and even more challenging due to COVID. We have all worked diligently to create a safe environment for our cast through multiple online and socially distanced/masked rehearsals in our driveway. Our work on Tuck Everlasting has been an exhilarating challenge and has become a vehicle for helping cast members cope with quarantine. Tuck Everlasting is an extremely relevant show that makes us reevaluate the passage of time and the magic of living. On a personal level, I’ve enjoyed working with the friends I have made via several productions in which I’ve participated over the years.

 

One of the main themes of Tuck Everlasting is learning how to let go of your childhood and live your life to the fullest, while still appreciating the wonderful things in your past. I personally connect to this theme since I have been performing in shows via my youth theatre group and other conservatories throughout my life. This has been an incredible opportunity to reconnect with an amazing cast and create art during a time when we didn’t believe it would be possible. I’m so grateful for this chance to direct one of my favorite productions, and the goal is for our audience to be deeply moved and inspired by the messages in this show, particularly given the last year that we have experienced.

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"You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live"