Introducing... The Producers of The Dixie Swim Club

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Geneviève Hébert-Carr joined the WCT Youth Group at age 15 and Melissa in 2004’s Crimes of the Heart. Their paths didn’t cross until The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee where the two were cast as the unscripted roles of the ‘student ambassadors’ who prowled the lobby every night before each run looking for unwitting audience volunteers to participate as spellers in the show.

It was working as a team that cemented their friendship, and Mel and Gen went on to appear together in subsequent WCT productions such as Cabaret, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and Things My Mother Taught Me. But their reunion in WCT’s upcoming comedy, The Dixie Swim Club sees this dynamic duo cast in their most challenging roles to-date – producers. 

Early in the process, the two divided the responsibilities between them to lighten the workload, and take advantage of their individual strengths: Gen created the schedules, spreadsheets, tracked expenses, etc., while Mel was in charge of sourcing and managing the ‘human’ resources, production crew, etc. In fact, Mel has commented that the challenge of finding personnel for the production took on an exciting element since many like stage manager Rowena Keyes are new to their roles, and Mel said that it was like they were “learning together how to put on a show.” Gen admitted that it was “nerve-wracking at times not knowing if they would have enough people, especially since they were starting from nothing,” but their perseverance paid off. Mel stated that production is a “different kind of stress from performing.” Much of the work can be done from home, sending emails, making calls, and doing the necessary follow up. Less time at the theatre meant fewer nights away from home and family.

With the production set to open in a few days on April 12, 2018, Gen and Mel were asked if they would take on the producers’ roles again. Both women answered an unequivocal “yes,” and added that “despite some tense moments” they had both had fun. Their advice to others who may be contemplating becoming producers, “Don’t do it alone. It is important to have someone to bounce ideas off of.” And, of course, their ‘pay off’ is seeing the audience’s response to all their hard work in bringing director Eric Newton’s vision for the production to life.

Like Mel and Gen, you too can become part of WCT theatre history. We are always looking for new members to help and learn. Why not give it a try?

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Whitby Courthouse Theatre
416 Centre Street South
Whitby, ON L1N 4W2

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