There’s a line in Theatre Macon’s latest production that’s particularly meaningful to Richard Frazier.
The play, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” is Frazier’s first as the company’s new artistic director, having taken over from Jim Crisp, the founding artistic director of 36 years.
The line, Frazier said, is repeated by the leads in “Starchatcher” and is this: “To have faith is to have wings.”
“It’s the perfect expression of how I’m feeling,” Frazier said. “How I’m feeling in this new venture Theatre Macon and I and our community are taking together.”
Frazier said besides the single line, the whole play is significant.
“There’s absolutely a reason it’s starting our new season,” he said. “This year’s theme is ‘Discover Yourself at Theatre Macon,’ meaning discover new and different parts of yourself. ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ is about a young person doing just that: discovering who he is and who he wants to be. Discovering how he relates to others and how he wants to treat others. The play is for our community, but there’s an interesting juxtaposition between it and where I am. I just turned 30, I’m on a new journey I never imagined for myself and there are many, many chapters ahead.”
Frazier, and those who know him, recognize he’s walking new ground — but not. Though his title is new, most of his duties and the people surrounding him aren’t. A Columbus State University graduate with a theater education degree, Frazier taught theater and dance for seven years at Northside High School, a school with a notable theater tradition. He said in 2011, at the suggestion of Northside’s theater director Brian Barnett, he began working and performing with Theatre Macon. In the past seven years, he’s acted, danced, choreographed, directed and filled other production roles alongside theater regulars for patrons and audiences. More and more, he came under the wing of Crisp’s overall tutelage.
“I’ve been so blessed with many mentors and people who’ve believed in me,” he said. “I’m grateful to Jim and Brian and others who constantly pushed me to be the best I can be and to strive for something greater than what I thought possible. They encouraged me to have faith. I want to be the same sort of person to others. Jim has left a remarkable legacy here and I can’t think of a better legacy for myself than it being said I continued his and the theater’s tradition of presenting our community with the highest quality entertainment, some of it new, some of it different, some of it edgy with all of it challenging us to think about ourselves and other people — about our humanity — but all of it rewarding in some way to each audience member. And I want to be known as someone who put people first but who pushed them to be the best person or performer they could be. We have such great people and immense talent to showcase.”
“Peter and the Starcatcher”
Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry St.
When: 8 p.m. Sept 7-8 and 14-15, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 2:30 p.m. Sept 9, 16
Cost: $25, $20 for seniors, $15 for students
Tickets and information: 478-746-9485, www.theatremacon.com