Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Silent Auction at Costume Drama


This year, Costume Drama: A Fashion Show has expanded to be both a creative event and a fundraiser for ACT. We've added a silent auction and a pre and post party to the evening ... with a jazz band, champagne, appetizers and desserts!

The silent auction items are incredible. With over $18,000 worth of amazing items to bid on - including many of the dresses you'll see in the show! - there are so many ways to support ACT while walking away with original artwork, adventure experiences, beer packages, wine tastings, jewelry and more!

Buy your tickets to Costume Drama: A Fashion Show online or call us at 828-254-1320.

Here's a list of the items at our silent auction:





Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not Now, Darling: Cast List

We're thrilled to announce the cast for Not Now, Darling, our final show of the season! So exciting to see so many first time names on this list as well as familiar ones!

Gilbert Bodley ... Michael Keene
Maude Bodley ... Cary Nichols
Arnold Crouch ... Jerry Crouch
Miss Tipdale ... Kristen Livengood
Harry McMichael ... Steve Turner
Janie McMichael ... Heather Ingle
Mrs. Frencham ... Jorja Ursin
Mr. Frencham ... Bruce Gruber
Miss Whittington ... Emily Crock
Sue Lawson ... Rachel Adams
Mr. Lawson ... Christian Carmean

Not Now, Darling is a confection of a show that runs on the Mainstage August 14-30, 2015. We can't wait to see this retro farce!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Great American Trailer Park Musical: Cast List

Congratulations to the cast of The Great American Trailer Park Musical! This is going to be fun, y'all!

Betty - Delina Hensley
Lin - Reeni Lindblom
Pickles - Kristen Hipps
Jeannie - Mandy Bean
Norbert - David Dowd
Pippi - Chelsey Lee Gaddy
Duke - Dylan Murray

We always love it when a cast includes new faces on the ACT Mainstage as well as familiar ones!

Thank you to everyone who auditioned for this show. There's so much amazing talent in Asheville - and it was very hard to make this decision. The next auditions at ACT are for Not Now, Darling - and we hope we see you all again!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

French Quarter at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel

Our friends and next-door neighbors at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel have come up with a great idea for dinner during the run of A Streetcar Named Desire. They've created a French Quarter inspired menu that will be available throughout the run of Streetcar. The prix fixe menu is a four course delight that begins with a gumbo and ends with beignets. And, if you make a reservation for dinner or lunch, parking at the Renaissance is free!

They're also donating $10 back from each dinner to us. Laissez les bon temps rouler!


Friday, March 27, 2015

How We Did That: The "Streetcar" Publicity Photo

One of the issues with which we constantly struggle is timing of the publicity photo. In order to meet the deadlines of print media - and especially the monthly magazines - we need to have a photo ready sometimes only days after we have a cast. At that point, we haven't had time to build or pull costumes, the set is only a distant vision, and we're usually in production on another show at that time. So we have to do what we do best: get creative!

For A Streetcar Named Desire, we wanted to capture a bit of drama in the publicity photo. We also wanted to share a little about the relationship between Blanche and Stanley - without sharing too much. Plus, we wanted to get across that it was a period piece (Streetcar takes place in 1947) that mainly takes place inside Stella and Stanley's apartment in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Not easy without a set and costumes!

Fortunately, everyone on the creative team was game to try something new. Theatre is certainly a collaborative art - and we're grateful that the collaboration extends off the stage as well!

Here's what we did:





And here's what we ended up with!

Photo by Tommy Propest

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen: Jerry Crouch, Stephen Veltman, Deborah Austin, Jill Summers, Jennifer Russ, Dan Clancy, Thomas Propest, Craig Burgwardt, and Tommy Propest.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Announcing Our 70th Season!

Our 70th Season brings three huge musicals, two first-class comedies, and our most successful family title ever to the ACT Mainstage for 2015-16!  

October 2-25, 2015
Young Frankenstein
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan * Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Directed by Jerry Crouch
Auditions: July 25-26, 2015

OPENING MUSICAL The electrifying musical adaptation of Mel Brooks' monstrously funny cult comedy film is scientifically-proven, monstrously good entertainment. Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked side-kick, Igor, and a leggy lab assistant, Inga, Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity continuously abounds.

December 4-20, 2015
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
By Barbara Robinson
Directed by Lori Hilliard
Auditions: October 5-6, 2015

HOLIDAY SPECIAL A re-invention of our most popular holiday show EVER! The six Herdman children are the terror of their town. When they end up as the leads in the annual Christmas pageant, their interesting interpretation of the story (which they have never heard before) helps everyone rediscover the meaning of the holiday.

February 12 – March 6, 2016
Seussical
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty * Music by Stephen Flaherty * Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens * Co-Conceived by Eric Idle
Directed by TBD
Auditions: December 7-8, 2015

SPRING MUSICAL "Oh, the thinks you can think" when Dr. Seuss's best-loved storybook characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper! The Cat in the Hat is the host and emcee (and all-around mischief-maker) in this romp through the Seuss classics. When the sweet, good-natured elephant Horton hears a small cry for help coming from a small speck of dust, he promises to rescue and guard it because "a person's a person, no matter how small." An incredible crazy-quilt adventure that champions the power of imagination and the benefits of inclusivity!

April 8 – 24, 2016 
The Man Who Came to Dinner 
By George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Directed by TBD
Auditions: February 15-16, 2016

AMERICAN CLASSIC Snooty critic Sheridan Whiteside, having dined at the home of the Stanleys, slips on their doorstep, breaking his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the cranky and demanding invalid; ex-convicts are invited to meals; transatlantic calls bring a $784 phone bill; and the arrival of strange gifts from his friends (penguins in the library, an octopus in the cellar) all cause further chaos and hilarious hijinks.

June 3-26, 2016 
La Cage Aux Folles
Book by Harvey Fierstein * Lyrics and Music by Jerry Herman
Directed by Jerry Crouch
Auditions: April 11-12, 2016

SUMMER MUSICAL This Tony-award winning musical was made into the Robin Williams' hit movie The Birdcage. After twenty years of un-wedded bliss Georges and Albin, two men partnered for better-or-worse get a bit of both when Georges' son announces his engagement to the daughter of a conservative politician. Further complicating the situation is the 'family business': Albin and Georges run a drag nightclub where Albin is the star performer. Georges reluctantly agrees to masquerade as "normal" when he meets the family of the bride-to-be. But Albin has other plans, with hilarious results.

August 12-28, 2016
Crimes of the Heart 
By Beth Henley
Directed by TBD
Auditions: June 6-7, 2016

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER Warm-hearted, irreverent, zany and brilliantly imaginative, the play teems with humanity and humor as it examines the plight of three young Mississippi sisters who have reunited to await news of their dying grandfather. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew their small town, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. The play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future—with a telling so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Streetcar Named Desire: Cast List

Eunice Hubbell is Kathy O'Connor *
Stanley Kowalski is Dan Clancy
Steve Hubbell is Steve Turner
Stella Kowalski is Devyn Ray *
Blanche DuBois is Jennifer Russ
Harold Mitchell (Mitch) is Robert Walker *
Pablo Gonzales is Adrian Suskauer *
Young Man is Ben Goldfinger *
Doctor is Mike Vaniman
Nurse is Meda Thurston *
Flower Vendor is Ruth Planey

*Denotes first time actor on the ACT Mainstage

From the director, Jerry Crouch, "51 actors auditioned for these 12 roles over two nights earlier this week. Thanks to all who auditioned and to my support staff at ACT for their expertise during this exciting process to cast this world famous drama."

A Streetcar Named Desire opens Friday, April 17 and runs for 3 weekends through Sunday, May 3. For tickets call 828-254-1320 or go online.

Set Design by Jack Lindsay and Costume Design by Deborah Austin; Stage Managed by Beth Mayo

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Up with Ralph Redpath

Ralph Redpath has a career in the theatre that spans decades. Over the years at ACT, he’s directed everything from Inherit the Wind to Miss Evers’ Boys; most recently, he directed the acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird. He has appeared in or directed over 100 shows during his 44 year history as a member of the acting/directing company at Flat Rock Playhouse. Ralph holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he trained alongside Meryl Streep. Up next at ACT, he’ll direct Not Now, Darling which opens in August 2015.

Ralph is also teaching our Adult Acting Class this spring, and we caught up with him to talk characters, collaboration, and critique.


ACT: What can students expect to work on in the class? 

RR: We do monologues and scene studies, with the scenes usually between two people. We work on character development. Usually, I will pick something for each student, but we also have people bring things in that they’d like to work on, that they’d like feedback on. In my class, everyone participates in honest and respectful critique. It’s very collaborative in that sense.

ACT: What do you want people to know about your class?

RR: It’s a kind class. No one yells, no one screams. It’s a safe space to experiment and to try new things. Trying something new is so important, and in this class, the pressure is off so that you can. It’s a great way to learn, to get help, and also to really increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself.

At the same time, there’s outside work that you have to do. You do have to learn your lines. That’s expected.

ACT: What’s most exciting for you as a teacher?

RR: You get to watch people open, watch people as they find parts of themselves. And if you’re a theatre junkie like I am, it’s pretty exciting to spend time exploring the text. I love hearing students’ interpretations of a script and thinking, “I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

I had a student last year whose native language was not English and she had never taken an acting class before. She did a scene from The Glass Menagerie; she was totally unfamiliar with the script or with the characters. The innocence and the openness she brought to the scene were just beautiful.

I also love to see someone really surprise themselves. Someone will have a comedic scene, someone who’s never really done comedy before, and they’ll do the scene and get a laugh, and they are totally not expecting it. That’s wonderful to see.

ACT: Why should someone take this class?

RR: Dancers practice. Musicians practice. You want to get better at something, you practice. Taking an acting class is keeping the gears going. Plus, you get to walk away with experience that you can take with you into an audition.

* * *

Many thanks to Ralph for spending a great afternoon with us! Now it's your turn! Want to take Ralph's class? Click here to register!