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Kingsport Theatre Guild ushers in fall season with 'The Great Gatsby'

Amy Millhorn Leonard • Oct 4, 2018 at 10:30 AM

Kingsport Theatre Guild has recently appointed the very talented John Kaywood as production liaison. Coming up in October John will direct “The Great Gatsby,” marking a career milestone of the 100th show he has worked on. This is a tremendous accomplishment especially for someone who only started working in theatre in 2009. John is happy to be with Kingsport Theatre Guild and says, “I hope to continue to help produce good quality shows that people want to come and see.”

So, what is John’s role as production liaison? He keeps the theatre running smoothly by assisting in all areas of theatre productions including directing, technical aspects of lighting and sound, set and costume design and construction, assisting actors and anything else needed. Executive director Tina Radtke is very excited to have John on board. “He has become my right hand and very valuable. I am not sure what I would do without him,” she says.

John is a graduate of the 2013 Honors-in-Discipline program from East Tennessee State University with a bachelor's degree in Theatre and Dance. He was very active in collegiate theatre and has served in many roles at Johnson City Community Theatre, Jonesborough Repertory Theatre and others as well as the Kingsport Theatre Guild. John also directed the 2015 New York City International Fringe Festival. His theatre directorial credits include: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Diary of a Wildflower,” “An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe,” “Pinkalicious!” and, most recently, “The Odd Couple.” He sincerely believes “in using highly technical sound and lighting, making good artsy production decisions and producing quality shows, the theatre seats will fill up and more people will want to come.” John aspires to meet his next career goal of 200 shows soon.

Both John and Tina are very excited for Kingsport Theatre Guild’s fall season especially “The Great Gatsby.” The show’s set will include large moving staircases and highly technical lighting to give the audience a sense of movement of cars and planes in a busy setting of New York’s Long Island in 1922. “The Great Gatsby” is based upon the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It spins the tale of a World War I veteran and Yale graduate Nick Carraway who moves to New York from the Midwest. There, he becomes involved in the mysteries and lifestyles of millionaire Jay Gatsby, debutante Daisy Fay Buchanan, friend Tom and other characters during the “Roaring 20s.”

“The Great Gatsby” will run Oct. 12-13 and Oct. 19-20 at 7 p.m. with matinee shows at 2 p.m., Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-21 at Kingsport Renaissance Center’s main stage. Special performances for high school students will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 as “The Great Gatsby” is required reading.

“A Tuna Christmas,” a hilarious sequel to “Greater Tuna” will follow in November at Kingsport Theatre Guild’s downtown Kingsport venue inside Taylored Events & Catering located at 115 Shelby Street. Show dates will be Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18 at 2 p.m. “A Tuna Christmas” returns to radio station OKKK in Texas’s third smallest town where comedic radio hosts Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie talk about Christmas happenings including Joe Bob Lipsey’s play, “A Christmas Carol.”

Then in December, enjoy “typical Nunsense humor” and new Christmas songs when the guild will present “Nuncrackers, the Nunsense Christmas Musical,” on their main stage at the Renaissance Center. Father Virgil and four of Mt. Saint Helen’s nuns are set to appear on TV! This heartwarming, funny musical will be showing Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 15-16 at 2 p.m. School performance dates will be held the Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 at 10 a.m.

To round out Kingsport Theatre Guild’s 2018-19 season look for “The Beatles Slept Here” at the downtown venue in January followed by the elaborate and timeless production of “My Fair Lady” on the main stage in February and then “9 to 5: The Musical” in April.

Order tickets online at http://kingsporttheatre.org/ or call (423) 392-8427.

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