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Arts Alive! podcast: Jeremy Douglass, ‘Jobsite’s Alice’

Bill DeYoung



As Jobsite’s Alice plays out, night after night (and Sunday matinees too) on the small Shimberg Playhouse stage, assorted singers, actors, puppets and props create a veritable whirling dervish of activity.

Since it’s all adapted from the writings of iconic 19th century word-wrangler Lewis Carroll, not a whit of it makes sense. But that doesn’t matter at all – who needs a plot when the whimsy is so winning?

There, at the back of the hand-painted proscenium stage, sits musical director Jeremy Douglass. He doesn’t say (or sing) anything, but he’s the only member of the Jobsite Theatre company who’s onstage for the entire show. Even the two members of his band are hidden behind a side wall.

Douglass, who plays a number of keyboards and various other instruments, is as important to this production as any member of the cast or crew. Jobsite’s Alice was developed from the ground up, with major contributions from everyone you see onstage (and some you don’t).

Jeremy Douglass wrote all the music – he plays instrumental scores under the poly-syllabic Carrollian dialogue – and he worked with cast members to turn the stories of Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the Jabberwock, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts into lyrics.

On today’s edition of our Arts Alive! podcast (subtitled Option Anxiety), this prolific St. Petersburg musician goes behind the scenes of Jobsite’s Alice to explain how it all came together. He also talks about his earlier work with Jobsite (he’s been music-directing for the company since pre-pandemic days) and the future of his much-loved (and much-missed) band the Florida Bjorkestra.

Click on the arrow below to listen to the interview.

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