Bruce Ludwig and Julie Hatfield, fresh from Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association’s successful musical “Chicago,” have struck out on their own to form a new theatrical production company called Big Britches Productions.
Ludwig directed “Chicago” and Hatfield was its producer and primary publicist.
“Audience members kept asking what we were going to do next, and we realized we wanted to take a chance and attempt something ambitious,” said Ludwig.
Hatfield added, “We knew full well that we may be too big for our britches, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
A key aspect of their new endeavor is community involvement.
“We saw how communities, including Bingen, White Salmon, and Stevenson, embraced “Chicago,” and we’d like to keep that momentum going,” said Hatfield. “A key aspect is to have a consistent home for our shows, and we are delighted that Bingen Theater will allow us to produce our first season, in between all of its other featured events.”
Big Britches plans to bring three shows a year to Bingen Theater.
“We want to produce entertaining crowd-pleasers, such as well-crafted comedies and satisfying dramas,” explained Ludwig.
Their first show will be Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” (female version), which will open Feb. 8, 2019, for three weekends.
Auditions will be this September, with rehearsals beginning in mid-November. One striking element of Big Britches is its commitment to pay its production team, including performers and crew.
“We’ll be offering a small stipend, with an added bonus for successful shows,” said Hatfield. “Our goal is for Big Britches to benefit our communities, our audiences, and our artists.”
Currently, the best way to contact Ludwig and Hatfield is through Big Britches Productions’ Facebook page.