By: Megan Roche
Succasunna’s Sam Scalamoni sits in his directors chair proudly. The musical theater director and actor has done much in his career but nothing excites him more than working on original pieces that come to life through theater.
“I love to tell stories and I love to figure out how to capture an audience. What I do, moves people. I am always excited about creating something new and working on something original and building that idea from the ground up,” Scalamoni says excitedly.
Scalamoni got his start in the professional acting world at the age of 15. Starting his career at a dinner theater, his big break came when he landed a role in Les Miserable on Broadway.
“At the time, we were kind of like Hamilton, so it was a really exciting show to be in. I was in the show within the first two years of it opening so it was a really exciting time to be a part of it,” Scalamoni recalls.
It’s thanks to the directors of Les Miserable on Broadway that he really developed his love for directing.
“As I continued to work as an actor, I slowly started making a transition into directing. I felt like I was building my career in two different directions, and I was really inspired by the directors of Les Mis to make the leap into the theater world that way. In 1999, I decided to stop acting and dedicate my career fulltime to directing,” Scalamoni shares.
Scalamoni is in it for the long haul when it comes to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. An associate director, he has worked with the Broadway cast, and has mounted many productions of the show worldwide, with the next coming to Tokyo in 2022. In other director credits, he is also the director of the national tours of Elf the Musical and The Elf on The Shelf: A Christmas Musical. He credits his original works as his drive to continue working in the directing world.
“Those original works are the moments where I’m sitting in a room and we’re having those creative discussions, ‘what if this happens, what if we did this, what if we did that,’ those are the moments where I realize this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and this is what I was put here to do,” Scalamoni says.
Back in Roxbury, Scalamoni’s home for 17 years, he is a founding member and the artistic director of the Skyline Theater Company. His heart is truly in the bringing the magic of live theater to all ages.
“Bringing kids and families together to share in a live show where there’s acting and singing and dancing is magical. There’s something about a live show that connects to you emotionally that you can’t get from a television show or from reading a book. I want to bring the story to life and get it out there on stage for families to make memories,” Scalamoni says.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Scalamoni had to pivot, much like every other American. He started offering coaching services to actors around the world, dealing with the art of how to audition on a Zoom call.
“It was a very challenging time for everyone, but especially artists. However, it’s been really gratifying now to be back to audition in a room and auditioning with people. I’m so blessed that we’re rehearsing and mounting shows again,” Scalamoni shares.
What’s next for Scalamoni? He currently has three shows in development; A Thousand Faces, based on the life of film legend Lon Chaney, Unbelievable, a musical about baseball legend Jackie Mitchell, and a stage adaptation of the MGM Musical, Summer Stock.
For more information about Scalamoni, visit www.samscalamoni.com.