What If Productions aims to provide the discerning Charleston, SC audience with an eclectic array of the jewels of contemporary American theatre, the ambitious work of emerging artists of varied genres and a trusted source for experiencing the many avenues of professional live entertainment both locally and from abroad.
What If? Productions was founded in 2010 by Kyle Barnette and Brian Porter, two ambitious actors who met as fellow artists on stage at Memphis, TN's acclaimed Playhouse on the Square. Prior to their current permanent home at 84 1/2 Society St., What If? produced its inaugural production Hedwig & the Angry Inch, starring Porter and directed by Barnette, at the historic American Theatre on Upper King Street in Charleston. The company's first season was produced in both the black box space at 477 King St. (now home to Pure Theatre) as well as Theatre 99 on Meeting St. before moving into their current base at the Threshold Theatre on Society St.
Since its inception Barnette has maintained the company's artistic helm as the Founding Artistic Director along with Founding Director Porter. In 2013 Associate Director Darryl LaPlante joined the company working as asst. director and director on many shows.
With landmark and mold-breaking productions including Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche, Saucy Jack & the Space Vixens, The Cannibals and Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story, What If? has established itself as a leader in the Charleston arts community by challenging the norms of entertainment expectations, pushing the boundaries of artist expression and providing top quality, live professional theatre in the Lowcountry.
Kyle Barnette (Founding Artistic Director)
Recognized as one of Charleston Regional Business Journal's prestigious 40 Under 40 community leaders (class of 2010), Kyle co-founded What If? Productions in the spring of 2010. Prior to moving to Charleston he co-founded the Emerald Isle Repertory in Michigan, served as Administrative Director at Ansley Park Playhouse in Atlanta and was a Resident Company Actor at Memphis' Playhouse on the Square. Kyle worked as the Administrative Director for Charleston Ballet Theatre upon moving to the city in 2007. His direction of the 2013 revival of Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche was voted Best Theatrical Production by Charleston City Paper. Kyle has directed many acclaimed productions for What If? including Cabaret, The Cannibals, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, The House of Yes, Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up and Kimberly Akimbo. He has also directed The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee, The Foreigner and Steel Magnolias for Charleston Stage. As an actor Kyle has appeared on stage for What If? in The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, Hearts Full of Blood and Bash and at Charleston Stage in The Underpants, Young Frankenstein, Shear Madness, Twelfth Night and The 39 Steps.
Brian Porter (Founding Director)
Considered one of Charleston's most sought after and celebrated musical theatre performers, two time Best Actor nominee (Charleston City Paper) Brian
co-founded What If? Productions in the spring of 2010.
Prior to moving to Charleston Brian was the Founding Executive Director of Emerald Isle Repertory Theatre and worked as an Associate Company Actor at Memphis' Playhouse on the Square. By day Brian is the Director of Administration for Charleston Stage where he frequently appears on stage as well.
Named Charleston's 'Most Drool Worthy Performer' by Charleston City Paper in 2011 for his back to back performances in Hedwig & the Angry Inch at What If? and as the Emcee in Charleston Stage's Cabaret, Brian's WIP acting credits include Cabaret (Emcee), Saucy Jack & the Space Vixens (Jack), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour) and Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story (Loeb) for What If?. Charleston Stage credits include Shear Madness, Catch Me If You Can, The 39 Steps, Twelfth Night, Anything Goes, A Christmas Carol, Gershwin at Folly and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Caroline Tweedy (Production Manager)