REGGIE CARTER: A LIFE IN THEATER
at The Adams Theater
Reginald Carter fell in love with theater and stagehand work when he was only five or six years old, when he helped the head of his dance studio with an annual production.
That studio director moved on to another theater, but they kept in touch–and once Reggie found out there were people who were paid to do this work professionally, he was hooked. “I was there every weekend,” he said–and of course, the stagehands taught him a thing or two.
Reggie grew up in Detroit at a time where the city’s makeup was changing, and where it was notoriously difficult to get into the Stage Employees Union. “What got me in was the riots in 1967,” he said. Due to a large influx of people moving from the city to the suburbs, he found himself picking up more gigs–his first “official” gig was as a spotlight operator at age 11–and officially joined the union in 1987, moving to New York City and union work there shortly after. Among many, many other jobs, Reggie has been head carpenter for the Cosby Show, and has worked on Broadway productions such as The Wiz, Fiddler on the Roof, Music Man, Mamma Mia 2, and Cats.
Reggie and Yina connected when he was in the area, looking at theater spaces and learning about the Berkshires’ arts and culture landscape. He’s now a partner in the theater, lending decades of expertise.
Aside from performances, Reggie can see a future for the theater as a center for theater education, offering opportunities for aspiring theater professionals in the area.
Despite facing 15-16 hour days and punishing show schedules, Reggie finds immense satisfaction in his work. It’s his life; he was raised in a family that deeply valued arts and education, and he’s committed to excelling at his craft. “When you hear that crowd screaming and laughing, that's your payback,” he said. “We create magic. We're doing what you can't do onstage."