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The Magic of Theatre

Published: May 18, 2017

Ruth Eckerd Hall offers a wide variety of entertainment but one in particular holds a unique interest – live theatre. I have been performing on the theatrical stage from the age of nine and I’ve had the chance to participate in all aspects of the theatre: actor, director, and stage manager among others.

Seeing a live stage performance is always a magical experience for me that fills me with emotion as I sit in a darkened theatre
and am transported to faraway places and times, introduced to characters that can be eerily familiar or exotic and strange.


The Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall has been a magical place and home to a professional theatre company, Hat Trick Theatre. Hat Trick has brought gut-busting comedies, chilling thrillers, emotional dramas and historical adventures to life within the confines of the Murray Theatre.

Hat Trick

Long before a single ticket is sold, the production staff - director, costume set and lighting designers, stage manager and producer - gather to set the foundations of the show. When all of these elements are determined, they focus on creating the production.

Once the show has been cast, rehearsals begin.
The cast will gather as often as five days a week to rehearse the individual scenes and begin to absorb their dialogue.


The final week before the show opens, the cast and crew work each night performing the show as a whole, incorporating all of the final
production elements: set, lighting, props, costumes, sound cues, and (possibly) special effects.


The work is hard, but the actors rarely see it that way.



So what separates the Murray Theatre from other venues of the same size? Our very own Director of Education, Paul McColgan has been an audience member, a producer and a performer in the Murray Theatre!

“I think the Murray is special because it is able to provide both a grand and intimate theater setting at the same time. It’s large enough to do a full-size, multi-level set, but the audience is close enough to really feel engaged even all the way at the back row. I think that’s really important in today’s local theater scene, but also very rare, and the Murray Theater pulls that off perfectly,” says Paul.

“As a designer, I don’t have to worry about the limitations of my space, and as producer, I am confident that we will be creating a special experience for all of our guests. Hat Trick has been lucky to perform in many wonderful spaces that met one or the other of these scenarios, but here at the Murray is the first time we have seen both together.”

Ruth Eckerd Hall is honored to have Hat Trick Theatre Productions as our resident theater company. Get to know the crew! Read More