The wife of a John S. Davidson Fine Arts School graduate, Atlanta transplant Rebecca Brune suspected that there was a lot of talent in Augusta.
Last month, 112 students auditioned for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, , said Mrs. Brune, who recently took over as artistic director for the Augusta Players Youth Theatre. Her debut directorial performance with the group will be next month.
While in high school in Atlanta, Mrs. Brune discovered her passion for the theater. In a real-life version of Disney's High School Musical, which coincidentally is the youth wing's June production, Mrs. Brune played center on the basketball team and participated in drama.
Her first show was Bye Bye Birdie. She also performed in Mame and Guys and Dolls.
"When I got to college, I found my singing voice," she said.
At Georgia Southern University, she majored in vocal performance and became interested in opera. She performed in Pirates of Penzance and The Marriage of Figaro. She met her husband, Brandon, during one of the shows. He is performing in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre's production of Cabaret, which opens Friday.
The couple's first child, Roland, was born Oct. 22.
"In college, I did a lot of student directing and stage managing," she said.
Since moving to Augusta about a year ago, Mrs. Brune has worked with Storyland Theatre and been involved with school outreach programs. The season for the youth theater was set before she took the position as director.
She expects about twice as many teens to audition for High School Musical as turned out for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
"I'm excited about High School Musical. There has been so much interest," she said.
She's already looking ahead to next season and wants to do three shows. She said she plans to do a play for 6-to 10-year-olds and two for older children and teens. The middle and high school offerings will include a musical and a drama or comedy.
She wants to hone the children's acting skills and involve them in all aspects of theater, such as set construction and costume making.
"Part of the fun of theater is the nitty-gritty," she said.
Reach Charmain Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.