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WELCOME to 'Remember When,’ a chance for Savannah art veterans to reminisce on some of their favorite events in the city’s history.
Today, we’re catching up with the Savannah Children’s Theatre’s Laura Keena Wild. For years now, the Children’s Theater has played one of the most vital roles in shaping the future of the theater community in Savannah by teaching kids and fostering creativity. As it turns out, acting and theater is something that started at a young age for Wild as well.
Way back in 1995, when Wild was 11 years old, she attended a production of Romeo & Juliet in Telfair Square, as part of City Lights’ Shakespeare in the Park.
Today, she’s looking back on that monumental event in her life.
What sticks out in your mind about this particular show?
It was an ethereal theatrical experience. Verona in Telfair Square. Summer heat and Spanish moss hanging off the Live Oaks. Beautifully directed by Jim Holt and Jody Chapin. Amazing acting by all including JinHi Soucy Rand, Kelly Blackmarr and Jim Morekis.
At that time in Savannah, what do you remember most about the theater community and the arts scene in general?
I was young, and the city was a little smaller and a little slower paced, but the arts scene was really vibrant. My family and I were really involved in the community. My parents were very active with the coastal heritage society scene, my brother, dad and I did shows with numerous community theatres.
City Lights, The Little Theatre, the city theatre program which was headed up at the time by Kelie Miley. I was also involved in Junior Strings, which was headed up by the Savannah Symphony. I was really fortunate to have so many arts programs at my fingertips.
Do you remember where you were at in the trajectory of your life in theater at that point?
I would have been almost 11 years old when I saw R&J. I did my first play (Peter Pan) when I was 7 and I couldn’t get enough theatre, on and off the stage. And the performance captured my attention. The language, the setting, the energy.
Is there one moment from the show or the experience overall that stands out to you, all these years later?
I think it was just a perfect moment. Watching amazing theatre in a beautiful place with family and childhood friends. And I’m lucky enough to be back in that beautiful place and that I get to work with some of those childhood friends. I’m a lucky one, no doubt.