Over the past two years, King George III of Hamilton, Euan Morton, has developed a soft spot for the Jonesborough Repertory Theater.
After making several friendships through the theater company, he offered to give a benefit concert to raise support for the small local theater which, with so many art venues, has lost income due to COVID.
Her relationship with the Jonesborough Repertory Theater began in New York City when several theater staff, artists and teachers participated in the Broadway Teachers Workshop. The annual workshop includes classes, interviews and performances by Broadway artists. Morton was one of those artists in 2019.
Krista Wharton, Jonesborough Repertory Theater board member and performer, was moved by what Morton said at her seminar. “Euan talked about how he loved our country and how he wanted to give back, how he wanted to be a good citizen. It made me realize how genuine he was and inspired me to see him play, ”she said.
When she told him after school that she had bought tickets for Hamilton, he invited her and everyone who attended the show with her for a behind-the-scenes tour. She was joined by Jennifer Ross-Bernhardt, Lorianne Carver and Beverly Ferguson.
And the friendships began.
“The five of us went to dinner after the show,” Morton said. aren’t supposed to talk about it at dinner. We quickly became friends, exchanged numbers and kept in touch.
Morton has been involved in the theater most of his life.
As a teenager, he left his native Scotland to attend the Mountview Academy of Theater Arts in London. After a decade in England, he moved to New York.
His best-known Broadway role, for which he received a Tony nomination, was Boy George in Taboo. He also played the title role of Hedwig on the Hedwig and the Angry Inch National Tour.
It was while touring with Hedwig that he received a call to audition for the role of King George in Hamilton.
He then portrayed King George for 2.5 years before Broadway darkened during the pandemic. Fortunately, the show resumes rehearsals in mid-August and will reopen on September 14, giving it just enough time to come to Johnson City to give a benefit concert.
“I guess I’m passionate about helping people,” Morton said. “I don’t think about it when I do. I’m not thinking of “Who can I help today?” Sometimes it comes out of my mouth, ‘Oh, let me help you.’ It is not always a conscious thought, but rather an emotional drive.
The community of Jonesborough Repertory Theater is grateful that he felt this emotion during his trip to Jonesborough last year. He came on a visit to reconnect with his old friends, see the theater and get to know the people involved.
Then one evening, during a conversation about the theater and its community, it came out of her mouth, “Oh, let me help you. “
“It was because of the passion of women like Krista and Lorianne,” he said, “for whom art and theater might not be the first thing they do in their lives. It’s not their career; it’s the thing they really appreciate. Here is a theater offering people of all types a place to enjoy their art and discover their artistic side. And that’s what the Jonesborough Repertory Theater does. It’s not just about the perfect lines and all the prices… it’s art for the good of the people. “
Morton is passionate about the theater, but that’s not his only interest. He leads an active life outside the stage and is currently preparing a double baccalaureate in sociology and history.
“I am very interested in the periods of the world wars, I have always been so since my childhood. I’m also interested in American military history, and I’m also interested in the history of women’s liberation and the women’s movement.
“We (our company) focus a lot on civil and human rights and the rights for this and that, but we very rarely focus on why women are not paid equally in the workplace. This is a fairly fair and progressive question. For me, this is a historical problem and it continues to be so today. It’s a conversation that no one bother to have. After a pause he added: “And I would appreciate it if you put that in the article.”
He hopes one day, after Hamilton, to become a teacher. But for now, it will only take one day at a time.
“I stopped guessing about the future. As I go to school to learn how to teach, I am also fully aware that if incredible work came with acting, I would probably say ‘yes’. “
In the meantime, Morton is delighted to be giving the benefit concert to help support JRT. It will feature an eclectic combination of his favorite songs including Peggy Lee’s “Let’s Love”, jazz music by Noël Coward, songs by the Carpenters and Neil Sedaka, and more.
Its accompanist is the famous composer and pianist Bryan Reeder.
If you are going to:
The concert will take place on August 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the DP Culp Center at East Tennessee State University. General tickets cost $ 35. Premium tickets cost $ 50, which includes a 30-minute conversation, during which Morton will answer questions from members of the public.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit jonesboroughtheater.com or call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423-753-1010.
Everyone who purchases a ticket will be entered into a raffle to win two tickets to Hamilton, which must be used between Thanksgiving 2022 and New Years Day. You have to be there to win. Other restrictions may apply.