Eagle Theatre’s upcoming musical centers around a “small town with big heart,” claims Caitlin Geisser, Director of The Spitfire Grill – The Musical.
Artistic Director Ted Wioncek III claims, “It’s a simple story that packs a great deal of downhome punch and opens your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you. It’s quaint yet remarkable. Not unlike the town of our own Eagle Theatre.”
The Spitfire Grill – The Musical follows a feisty parolee who moves to a small town, based on a page from an old travel book, and finds a place for herself working at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill. It is for sale but there are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests raffling it off. Entry fees are one hundred dollars and the best essay on why you want the grill wins. Soon, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full and things are definitely cookin’ at the Spitfire Grill. Filled with an abundance of warmth and spirit, critics have claimed that The Spitfire Grill – The Musical contains some of the most infectious melodies to hit the stage in decades.
“Spitfire is the perfect autumn show. When I think about the Fall, I think about change and new beginnings, and about being home with your family. This musical caters to the ties of your hometown and the reconnection with the all the reasons you love where you are from; a perfectly timely piece to this time of year,” shares Geisser.
Both Geisser and Wioncek graduated from the Southern New Jersey Academy of the Performing Arts, with a nine-year graduation gap between them.
“When I was a sophomore he [Wioncek] came back to the Southern New Jersey Academy of the Performing Arts to direct our show. I’ve always respected Ted and have watched the Eagle Theatre grow over the years. I distinctly remember asking him ‘How do I get to do what you do?’” jokes Geisser.
Geisser recently completed her undergraduate degree in musical theater from Wright State University. Soon after, she found her way to Eagle Theatre as an assistant director for Little Women and The Last 5 Years.
Geisser explained, “I love the professional, yet family-oriented atmosphere of Eagle Theatre. I know that this is a place where I am given the freedom to learn and grow and have loved the support and guidance I’ve been provided. This atmosphere is so evident in the way our patrons view the theatre too.”
Wioncek claims, “The atmosphere is intentional. We strive to create an environment where passionate and determined artists are free to create. This spirit surrounds the entire town of Hammonton. That is one of the many reasons Geisser is a perfect fit for Eagle Theatre; she is a rare and unique talent, one Eagle Theatre is eager to share with the world.”
Though Geisser may be new to Eagle Theatre, she has been honing her craft for years.
“I’m almost always the youngest person in the room at all times. I credit this to doing things in ‘reverse order’ than most people my age. Most people pursue an acting career first and while my degree is in acting, I’ve always balanced this with directing. I have always believed in creating opportunities for myself and have spent a good chunk of my life working against people not believing I could do something because I was a “young girl.” At age 17, I directed my first full production You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, immediately followed by a production of Spelling Bee.
Geisser, a Vineland native, attended school in Ohio, and currently resides in New York.
“I love that no matter where my career has taken me, it comes full circle. I’m proud to be back home,” concluded Geisser.
The Spitfire Grill – The Musical
208 Vine Street
Hammonton, NJ 08037
November 16th – December 16th
General Admission: Tickets – $29 – $39
Run Time: Approximately 2 hours
Tickets can be purchased at www.eagletheatre.org
Or contact the box office at 609-704-5012.