Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, a stream-of-consciousness novel told from the point of view of one Civil War soldier and deserter, will receive a full production this fall by Boots on the Ground Theater, thanks to a sudden, generous donation by Hamptons architect Preston Phillips.
“The unexpected has happened!” Bonnie Grice, WPPB’s “Eclectic Café” morning host and Boots’s founder and producer, stated. “Due to the overwhelming generosity of Preston Phillips, we met our initial fundraising goal in just one day!”
Phillips donated $5000 — the amount that the theater was trying to raise to stage the production at the Southampton Cultural Center in October — in honor of Sandra Stetson Schifter Martinuzzi (yes, like the Stetson hat, that was her great-grandfather’s creation), a former chair of the SCC.
“Sandie has been a friend and patron for many decades, and this looked like the perfect opportunity to honor her and her commitment to the arts in a tangible way,” said Phillips, adding, “This book had a great impact on me as a teenager growing up in Alabama.”
“I am absolutely blown away by Preston’s donation,” Grice told The Independent. “And his reasons for giving: to honor a dear friend who has championed the Cultural Center. And the fact that Crane’s book had such an impact on him growing up. Wow. We are honored. Thrilled,” she said.
Although Phillips’s generosity fulfilled the goal set by the producers, there are still expenses that can be helped with a donation. “This amazing gift enables us to expand our fundraising goal so that we can increase our production values,” Grice stated. “We plan to invest in high-quality sets and Civil War era costumes among other much-needed elements to make this a truly special historical experience, so please continue to lend your support.” Those interested in donating can visit the www.scc-arts.org website and flag the gift for Boots on the Ground.
Additionally, open auditions for TheRed Badge of Couragewill be held at the Southampton Cultural Center on Sunday, August 26, at 5:30 PM, and Monday, August 27, at 6:30 PM. There are several male roles to fill for professional and student actors.
The production will run between October 19 and November 4.