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Photos by Sally Boyett.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Back in 2013, professional New York actor, dancer, and singer Sally Boyett decided to found The Classic Theatre of Maryland (CTM) to help educate private schooled and homeschooled children in the wonderful ways of theatre. 

What began as a nonprofit in the basement of an office building in Annapolis with a budget of only $5,000 has now grown into a theatrical behemoth that produces monthly cabarets and classic shows while boasting an impressive budget of over $600,000 per year. 

Although Boyett founded the company by herself, she credits a lot of her success to a few people she has collaborated with along the way – Donald Hicken and Nancy Krebs, among others. 

Photos by Sally Boyett.

Hicken regularly co-adapts plays with Boyett for the Theatre, including A Christmas CarolSecret Garden, and Treasure Island. Krebs has served as the company’s voice and dialect coach on every production since CTM first opened its doors in 2013. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Boyett was determined to keep her talent paid and employed. Due to a particularly successful season in 2019 and through the aid of government grants, CTM was able to double the salary of their actors during 2020 amidst the pandemic.

One of the innovative ways that Boyett kept her actors employed during 2020 was by creating a filmed version of Macbeth in collaboration with Cabeza Hueca Films’ Mario Ramos. 

They partnered with four historic properties in Anne Arundel to film the production. Filming only took fourteen days and proved to be a fiscally advantageous venture. Boyett shares, “It was definitely difficult during Covid to find a way to stay producing in order to continue to provide an artistic home for our company.”

Photos by Sally Boyett.

CTM’s venue contains a 75-seat cabaret room with a full bar and a 125-seat theater where their seven main productions take place throughout the year. The Theatre is a fully professional company that hires primarily equity actors. 

Boyett herself has been a member of Equity since 1993. For their current production of White Christmas, 50% of the talent hails from New York City.

This year is the inaugural year of CTM producing the stage adaptation of White Christmas. Boyett has long held a fierce dream to direct the show, and it has finally come to fruition. 

She describes the show as such – “It’s Irving Berlin’s musical treasure about two song and dance men who put on a show for the benefit of their old commanding general with the help of their romantic love interests and a delightful ensemble who sings and tap dance their way into the audience’s heart. There’s some drama, but primarily it’s a musical confection. It’s perfect for all ages. There’s something in it for everyone. It’s fantastic music and jaw-dropping tap dancing.” 

Photos by Sally Boyett.

Boyett serves as the director for this production. She considers herself a classical director and a bit of a historian. Historical accuracy is of the utmost importance to her in every production that CTM does. White Christmas is no exception. 

However, she believes that the script holds up well to the test of time. In lieu of a live orchestra (which has become more difficult to hire since the pandemic due to regulations), Boyett has elected to use the 2008 Broadway orchestrations and tracks that contain a recording of a 46-piece orchestra. 

This production has had some obstacles to overcome, but Boyett is confident in the talent that she has chosen. White Christmas was rehearsed over just four weeks of half-day rehearsals. However, she shares, “It’s always a miracle how fast the show comes together once it opens.” 

Expect ridiculously elaborate costumes (125 of them to be exact!), lighting, and other technical elements. This creative decision was made to compensate for the simple set that the show currently shares with CTM’s production of A Christmas Carol

Photos by Sally Boyett.

The two shows are running simultaneously this Christmas season and share a lot of the same actors. 

White Christmas will be playing at the Classic Theatre of Maryland through December 24th, 2022, at 1804 West Street, Suite 200, Annapolis, MD 21401. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit their website here

Contact our news desk at news@thebaynet.com

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