Theatre can often be a family business. Both metaphorically as a cast bonds together and becomes a “theatre family” also when family members are in productions together, working on different parts of a show. Our latest Fagin’s Gang feature, Rennah St. Clair has found herself in this exact situation. Her father, Tim St. Clair has been the resident music director at Greenville Theatre since 2012 and she has done multiple shows here with and without some of her sisters. Though she does know a lot of people in the cast of Oliver! already she told me that she “really enjoys making new friends and having new experiences.” At 14, Rennah is the oldest female member of Fagin’s Gang. She said,
“It’s fun because they look up to me, but also nerve-wracking because if I don’t do something right they follow my example.”
Rennah told me regardless of her family's involvement in theatre she feels like she would have cultivated an interest and love of theatre without their guidance. Performing since she was 3 years old, she told me that she loves the environment of theatre, being able to make a family in the theatre, and just how fun performing is. Some of her favorite shows to listen to are Hamilton, Mary Poppins, and Tuck Everlasting. Rennah has quite the extensive resume at 14. The first role she remembers was Baby Sour Kangaroo in Suessical the Musical when she was around 7 years old and then Flounder in The Little Mermaid when she was 8, both at Artios Academy. She also did her first show at Greenville Theatre when she was 8. She was in the ensemble of Music Man and both her mother and father were also in that production. All three of them are actually featured in the Greenville Theatre lobby photo of Music Man. Next was Oliver! for Rennah at Artios Academy where she was also a member of Fagin’s Gang in that production. This time around she is playing Captain, a leader amongst the kids, really showcasing her growth and experience in theatre. Rennah then came back to Greenville Theatre to play young Cossette in Les Miserables (2014), Balinda in A Christmas Carol (2015), Jane in Mary Poppins (2016) and most recently an ensemble member of Beauty and the Beast (2018). . “Cossette and Jane were both dream roles of mine, so was Matilda, but no one ever did the show,” she said jokingly. Cossette was actually played by both Rennah and Camilla Escobar. Taking turns playing the role every other performance and switching between ensemble on the off nights. Mary Poppins was also the production where Rennah’s professionalism was put to the test. One night while performing Samuel Floyd accidentally swung his chimney sweep brush at her face causing her to begin bleeding.
“I realized I was bleeding, and ran off stage. No one noticed I had gone until after the number. I didn’t need stitches but I’ll always have this scar from the show now," she said giggling.
In between some of these Greenville Theatre shows Rennah was also Flounder in The Little Mermaid at Artios, Timon in Lion King Jr., Spiker, an evil ant. in James and The Giant Peach, and then the Wicked Witch in Shrek Jr. all at the Mauldin Cultural Center (a program her father started). She is also currently in rehearsal for Aladdin Jr. as Manal, one of Jasmine’s friends. She really enjoyed playing Spiker in James and The Giant Peach because it was her first villain role, and she got to have “creepy makeup." Above is a picture of her Spiker makeup, how cool is that?
Besides performing, I asked Rennah what else she likes to spend her time doing. She told me she’s been playing piano for about 5 years now, taking lessons from both family members and teachers alike. She told me that playing piano helps give her a break from acting and dive into another aspect of performing. She also enjoys photography and told me someday she would like to start her own photography buisness. Her father, who often films weddings,
has also extended an invite to his daughter to tag along and learn the next time he works on a wedding which she’s very excited about. She also enjoys hanging out with her family. With 5 sisters who all love performing they are always quick to make up their own shows at home. Her favorite they have worked on has been their own version of Wicked, where she starred as Glinda. In fact, Rennah has only done 1 show without a family member involved, and that was Mary Poppins. With her family she also enjoys hiking and taking family trips, such as the first time they went to Disney World together. Rennah and her sister’s are homeschooled and she told me, “I like being homeschooled because it gives me more opportunities to do things during the day.”
Looking into the future, Rennah told me she knows she will be working in theatre for the rest of her life. She has a real interest in directing and someday would like to direct children’s shows.
Wrapping up the interview going back to Oliver!, Rennah told me that the one word she would use to describe this show would be “crazy”, and that the most exhausting song from the show in her opinion is ‘Be Back Soon,’ so it offers a great challenge for her. She also raved about the costumes, designed by Thomas Brooks. “Why are rags so comfortable?” She questioned, smiling.
The won't be the last you hear of the St. Clair girls since two of Rennah's sisters are in this production as well. Tickets go on sale for Oliver! in less than a week so mark your calendars and stay tuned to see who we get to know from Fagin's Gang on Thursday.