Columbia-based Silhouette Stages began as Shadow Block Productions in May 2003 with a production of “Quilters” — the name referred to the blocks individually sewn into the quilts. Like a quilt, the company grew over time, expanding from its initial mission of producing rarely seen, small-cast musicals to more ambitious productions.
In 2008, Shadow Block moved to Slayton House Theater in Columbia and became Silhouette Stages. The company now produces three shows each season, with a typical audience of about 100 per performance. Silhouette also hosts three community Cabaret Nights and several performing arts workshops each year.
“Our mission is twofold,” said company president Jeremy Goldman. “For our artists, our mission is to promote a welcoming and creative environment for a broad range of talent and experience to come together in a shared love of high-quality theatre. For our audiences, our mission is to bring high-quality theatrical productions to Howard County at an affordable price to offer our local community the joys of the live theater experience.”
Though it started small, Goldman says Silhouette Stages “seems to be at its best when it comes to large musical comedies,” with its most popular shows including “Spamalot” (2015), “Young Frankenstein” (2016), “Legally Blonde” (2017), and “Anything Goes” (2019). The 2016 production of “Next To Normal” won the Ruby Griffith Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in a Musical, and the 2018 production of “Big Fish” received five WATCH Award nominations, including the Leta Hall Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical. Twelve of the company’s last 14 productions were also included in this publication’s “Top 5 Shows of the Week.”
While Silhouette has no core company, it does have “a small core of performers that like to come back and audition for us over and over, which we love,” Goldman said. Maddie Bohrer has been involved in multiple Silhouette productions. “I am so thankful for a theatre so close to where I live in Columbia, full of such talented and kind people,” she said.
“Silhouette really changed my life and welcomed me with open arms when I moved to Maryland in 2016,” said Lindsey Litka, who starred in “Legally Blonde” in 2017. “The people there not only put on top-notch shows, but they also care about the community that they are serving. They hold themselves to high standards and go out of their way to make sure that the people that volunteer for them and the community that they perform for are happy.” (This was especially true for Litka, who met her future fiancé during “Young Frankenstein” in 2016 — she was Inga and he was Igor.)
Silhouette’s current season will close with “Cabaret,” directed by Stephen Foreman, playing May 17 to June 2. Silhouette Stages has just announced its 2019-2020 season, which will kick off in October with “She Loves Me,” directed by Stephen Foreman. In March 2020 comes “Calendar Girls,” directed by Conni Ross, with the season closing in June 2020 with “Catch Me If You Can,” directed by Atticus Boidy. For more information on Silhouette Stages, click here.