Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cast List for "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Wow! We had over 90 people audition for To Kill a Mockingbird - and word from the director was that he could have cast this show several times over.  Asheville, you are a talented town! We're so excited that the cast includes some old friends and so many new ones!

Here's the list:


SCOUT - CLAIRE AMON
SCOUT - LILLY DONALDSON
JEM - COPELAND TIMMER
JEM - CADE WOOTEN
DILL - NOAH CLARY
DILL - HENRY LATHROP
ATTICUS - PHILLIP PACKER
CALPURNIA - REV. AUBRA LOVE
MISS MAUDIE - KERRY SHANNON
MISS STEPHANIE - HONOR MOOR
MRS. DUBOSE - ELAINE BLANTON
HECK TATE - RICHARD HURLEY
JUDGE TAYLOR - DONNIE DALTON
REV. SYKES - DON C. LOCKE / DENNIS HILL
MAYELLA EWELL - HOLLIS ANDERSON
BOB EWELL - CHARLIE PASSACANTANDO
CUNNINGHAM - DAVID QUINN
MR. GILMER - MCRAE HILLIARD
TOM ROBINSON - MICAH MACKENZIE
BOO RADLEY - RUSSELL LEDBETTER
LINK DEAS - PAT LACORTE

Friday, February 17, 2012

More photos from "Chicago"

Can't get enough of Chicago? We can't either! Check out these great photos!


Photo by Tommy Propest


Photo by Tommy Propest

Photo by Ewa Skowska

Photo by Ewa Skowska

Photo by Tommy Propest

Photo by Tommy Propest

Photo by Tommy Propest

Photo by Tommy Propest

Photo by Ewa Skowska

Photo by Ewa Skowska
Photo by Ewa Skowska


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicago Research

True story - before Chicago was a musical, it was a play (also titled Chicago, written by Maurine Dallas Watkins). Watkins was a reporter, and the play was based on a few of the more sensational crimes she covered.

Director Jerry Crouch brought in copies of the original articles (some written by Watkins) and shared them with the cast and crew.  It's been fascinating to read the interviews with Belva Gaertner (on whom the character Velma Kelly is based) and Beulah May Annan (Roxie Hart is based on her), both of whom were suspected of murder and eventually acquitted.

We'll leave a copy of Jerry's research in the Box Office - stop by if you'd like to read for yourself what Belva, the "most stylish woman on Murderess Row," had to say about juries, gin, or guns!

Chicago: At rehearsal with Tina and Jacob

video
Last week, Tina Pisano-Foor, the choreographer for Chicago, and Jacob Walas, the dance captain, got together for a quick rehearsal during the day. We were excited to film a quick snippet to share.

Keep in mind that this was filmed on the fly with a cellphone, so we're certain not to be nominated for "Best Digital Short" at the Oscars.  But it does give an idea of some of the choreography you'll see when you join us for Chicago.

Tickets are going fast.  You can get yours here!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What I Love About Coming to Work

Actually, it's a lot of different things. This morning, it was getting to talk with Tamara, our business manager, before anyone else had arrived.  Then, it was hearing the syncopated rhythms of Tina and Jacob's feet (our choreographer and dance captain for Chicago) as they worked through a new bit. And then it was having lunch with Waylon, one of my dearest friends, who I met when he wandered in to volunteer.

Junior Prom by Mary Charles Griffin. Oil on canvas. 6 panels. 108 x 96
But the first thing that struck me this morning, this beautiful, sunny, non-February-in-the-mountains morning, was the artwork that's currently hanging in our lobby.

Excuse my photo, because it doesn't do justice to the incredible blast of vividity that is this painting. The painting is 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide - 72 square feet of pulsating color (and, incidentally, the approximate size of my 2 bathrooms put together).

The artist is Mary Charles Griffin, called "Charlie" by most everyone who knows her.  Her studio is based in the River Arts District, and I am profoundly grateful to have a job where I am greeted by 10 of her gorgeous paintings. This show will be up through the end of March. And then I will be lucky enough to be greeted by a new show featuring the work of a local painter, or photographer, or jewelry maker.  Who knows?

Sara LeDonne does.  A long-time volunteer at ACT, she curates the Lobby Gallery (she also builds and paints sets, designs and decorates for fundraising events, creates frames and shadowboxes for displaying theatre memories, runs light boards and sound boards, and gives out kooky socks for Christmas).  She is dedicated to featuring the work of Asheville-based artists, sharing and showcasing their work with patrons who buy tickets at our Box Office, with parents dropping their children off for after-school classes, with casts who rehearse in the lobby while the stage is being painted.

She shares this work with me. And I am thankful!

The Power of Theatre

You may have seen this photo floating around on Facebook - it was originally posted by Ron Darling (with Seattle Children's Theatre and their production of Harold and the Purple Crayon.) It's a photo of a performance report, issued by the stage manager, after a performance of that show yesterday (Feb. 1).

This photo tells me that theatre is meaningful and important and life-changing in two ways. First, and obviously, the powerful story in the "Performance Notes." That this story, this performance, this moment when the lights went down made a very personal and profound connection to a 5 year old student who sat in the dark, talking and commenting to his teacher, communicating in a way he hadn't before. And second, that as of this moment, approximately 20 hours after Ron Darling posted it, this photo has been shared 3,180 times. That's huge. That's viral. That tells me that thousands of other people believe that theatre isn't just fun (even though it is a lot of fun) and that it isn't just a hobby (even though it's a great one) but that it is an agent for good and change in our communities. In every community.

And they're right.