Germantown Community TheatreIf it's Great Community Theatre, it's got to be GCT!


I Am A Camera  

January 20th. Febuary 5th.

Written by John Van Druten

Directed by John Rone

Show Times:

8 PM Thursday - Saturday


Tickets $14 - $16

Sponsored By Schnucks

Presented by GMAC, TAC and Germantown Arts Alliance


Box Office 754-2680

3037 Forest Hill-Irene Road
Germantown, TN 38138

Office 901-754-2680





I Am A Camera - By John Van Druten

Sponsored by Schnucks

I Am A Camera looks at life in a tawdry Berlin rooming house of 1930 with a stringently photographic eye. A young English novelist named Chris is living in Fraulein Schneider's flat and is trying to write a journal of his experiences. His goal is to become an impartial "camera" that accurately records his experiences. Yet while Jew-baiters brawl in the streets outside and Hitler's Nazi party is becoming an ever-present threat, Chris is insulated in his room, teaching English to German students like Natalia, the daughter of a rich Jewish merchant.

Enter Fritz, a German bon vivant and would-be gigolo, bringing with him Sally Bowles, a mercurial spirit with green fingernail polish, living for the minute, enjoying every second and existing from gin to gin. Sally and Chris form a friendly alliance against the world, as Fritz and Natalia struggle to overcome the religious barriers to their growing love amid the dangers that surround them. Joining their circle of friends is Clive, a rich American, who tempts Chris and Sally to run away from the chaos and join his rootless wandering around the world. Mrs. Watson-Courtneidge, Sally's very proper English mother, arrives unexpectedly in hopes of bringing Sally back to respectability.

To those familiar with Cabaret, the musical version of I Am A Camera the John Van Druten play will be a delightful surprise. Van Druten based his work on The Berlin Stories, autobiographical accounts of life in Germany by English writer Christopher Isherwood. The original 1952 Broadway production of I Am a Camera starred Julie Harris as Sally Bowles. Ms. Harris reprised that role in the 1955 film version of I Am A Camera.

Playwright Joe Masteroff had the idea of developing the story into a musical and brought it to the attention of director Harold Prince, who contacted the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. In 1966, Cabaret, born and earned Joel Grey a Tony award for his portrayal as the iconic Emcee.

Then in 1972, Bob Fosse directed the movie version, starring Liza Minnelli as Sally and Joel Grey reprising his Broadway role as the Emcee. The film went back to the Van Druten play and the Isherwood stories for its plot and cut some of the Broadway score while adding other numbers.

Guest director is John Rone, who has staged two of Van Drutens other plays at GCT: Bell, Book and Candle and The Voice of the Turtle. John has also directed our productions of The Glass Menagerie, Another Part of the Forest, On Golden Pond and Ten Little Indians, among many others. As an actor, he recently reprised the title role in The Foreigner. His cast includes Steven Brown (Lucky Stiff) as Chris, Casey Cannon (Merry Wives of Windsor) as Sally, Janie Paris (The Diary of Anne Frank) as Fraulein Schneider, Erin Shelton (Harvey) as Natalia, Tripp Hurst (Romeo and Juliet) as Fritz, Robb Zelonky (The Diary of Anne Frank) as Clive and Louise Levin (Fools) as Mrs. Watson-Courtneidge. Jennifer Jones is stage manager.

I Am A Camera is a play that mixes uproarious comedy with heartbreaking drama. It is a fascinating snapshot of interesting and unusual characters reaching out for one another in a world that is slowly going mad.

  Casey Cannon and Steven Brown

Casey Cannon as Sally Bowles and Steven Brown as Christopher Isherwood


I Am A Camera.


John Rone

Camera Develops Under Rone Direction

They don't write plays like I Am A Camera anymore, says GCT current guest director John Rone. The clever subtlety of the script belongs to a more civilized time that seems like centuries ago instead of just fifty years.

John is making his fourth stab at one of the famous plays of the 1950s, having previously directed Bell, Book and Candle by Camera playwright John Van Druten, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, and The Moon is Blue by F. Hugh Herbert. He also traveled back further in time to the 1940s for the wartime romance of Van Druten’s The Voice of the Turtle.

I am a fan of Van Druten and his wonderful touch with dialogue and story-telling. Certainly, his ability to make a play out of the writings of Christopher Isherwood was one of the most important events in theatrical history, as it spawned not only a movie version of the play but a Broadway musical called Cabaret which, in turn, has been immortalized as one of the all-time great movie musicals.

John confesses that he has a personal interest in directing this play as he wrote his Masters thesis on the long journey of the Isherwood stories through its various stage and screen incarnations. I certainly feel I have come full circle with I Am A Camera,” John says.

John has not only cast the play with a highly talented group of performers, he has managed to bring in a behind-the-scenes troupe of designers who will help him bring 1930s Germany back to life. These include Bill Short for sets and props, Allen French and Melissa Hanson for lights, and Caroline Redfearn for costumes.

As the song suggests, life may be a cabaret, notes John, referring to the title song of Cabaret, but first there was this wonderful play about a young man hoping to be a camera that records the experiences of his life. I Am A Camera is a wonderful play in its own right, and I look forward to working with the cast and crew to see what develops!


Show Sponsor Spotlight: Schnucks

Edwin H. Schnuck and Anna Donovan Schnuck founded Schnuck Markets, Inc., in St. Louis in 1939. Over the past 64-years, the company has grown to include 100 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi and now ranks number 83 on the list of the nation's largest family-owned and operated companies. Schnucks is greatly involved in the community primarily through their support of major organizations such as the United Way and Variety Club. On a more grass-roots level, they offer modest assistance to hundreds of other organizations operating in the neighborhoods of each market they serve. At GCT, they sponsor a party for patrons and volunteers before the first Sunday matinee of each production and provide a beautiful flower arrangement for all our opening nights.