Theatre Denton will perform at a South Korean festival in July

Theatre Denton will perform its production of Singin’ in the Rain at the Daegu International Musical Festival in South Korea in July.

The annual festival in Daegu features various musical performances.

The cast will perform five times over the last three days of the three-week festival, which concludes with its final performance on July 6. The Theatre Denton production will also participate in the festival’s July 7 gala red carpet and awards ceremony.

The directing team, including directors Aileene Stark, Pete Kelly and Jett Cheek, flew in on June 27 to get everything ready. The rest of the company, accompanied by board member Pete Kamp, will follow on July 1.

Kelly and Stark said they originally planned to perform at the festival over four days, but organizers added an additional day of performances.

“It’s a great adventure for many of them,” Kelly said. “For Aileene (Stark) and I, it’s very exciting. We’ll be working with a professional theater team in a foreign country.”

Last year, “Singin’ in the Rain” was a local success and a favorite of one of the orchestra members, Hank Chang.

Chang contacted the organizers of the Daegu International Musical Festival during last year’s festival.

Kelly said festival coordinators mentioned to Chang that they were looking for musical productions for their festival. Chang suggested inviting Theatre Denton to perform, and organizers asked him to send a link to the audition.

Chang sent a link to a video of the production and the organizers assured Chang that they would invite the entire cast and orchestra to perform at their festival in 2024.

The official invitation was valid until December 2023. The festival provides flights and accommodation for the 46 people who make up the cast, orchestra and directing team. It also provides sets and other technical support for the show.

The entire production has been working to raise money to cover additional expenses, arrange costume shipping and other details, while maintaining rehearsals to adapt the show to the needs of a traveling show.

The production at the Daegu Opera House features a 1,500-seat venue and a much larger stage than the Campus Theater.

The production has been rehearsing at various available venues over the past few months, including Ryan High School, to prepare for the festival.

Kelly and Stark said they believed they were invited to the festival because of the talented cast and because the musical is a timeless, entertaining classic.

“I think it’s because it’s so energetic,” Kelly said. “It’s a timeless love story. And it’s fun and there’s a lot of great, uplifting music to go with it.”

According to Kelly and Stark, the production is the only American act scheduled to perform at the festival.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent not only theater in general, but American theater in the state of Texas and the United States of America,” said Kelly.