Friday, January 25, 2013

We're Closed: Friday, January 25

Good morning!

The roads are too slick for us this morning, so our business office and box office are closed for the day. Most of us are able to check emails, though, so feel free to shoot any questions our way!

Stay safe and warm!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ACT Partners with New Umbrella to Present "Rubble"

TV fans should head out to the theater  for an evening in which the TV screen and the stage collide.

Mike Reiss, Emmy-award winning writer and producer of The Simpsons, brings his new comedy Rubble to ACT’s Mainstage on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm for a professional reading by an NYC and Asheville-based team of artists. This is the premiere reading of the play. Tickets are free to the public, but reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations, please call ACT at 828-254-1320 or email

Rubble is a ridiculous and absurdist comedy that follows the journey of a middle-aged TV writer as he has a near death experience in Hollywood…in more ways than one! It’s a laugh-out-loud commentary on the state of entertainment today, and anyone who has ever turned on the television is bound to find it stimulating, and painfully funny.

Local favorite actors Willie Repoley, Ralph Redpath, and Charlie Flynn-McIver will be joined in performance by Ken Keeler, former writer for The Simpsons and Futurama, who will play the role of the middle-aged TV writer. “I guess this is method acting,” Keeler says.

New Umbrella Artistic Director Elisabeth Gray will round out the cast, playing all of the female roles—ranging from a bossy studio exec to a French bimbo. Gray will make her Broadway debut this spring in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, while performing her one-woman show Southern (dis)Comfort Off-Broadway, which originated at ACT. “In this reading, each of us gets to play about five different characters. It’s exciting to be involved in such an accessible piece of theater. I can safely say this is a great time to bring along friends who think they hate the theater. They’ll be surprised!” Gray says.

The reading will be directed by NYC-based film and theater director Daniel Zimbler. “I grew up raised on Mike Reiss’s writing on The Simpsons,” Zimbler says. “Directing a reading of his work is like having a chance to direct an episode of The Simpsons. A childhood dream come true!”

The comedy reading will be followed by a Q&A session with celebrated TV writers who have all left Hollywood and made Asheville home. Ken Keeler, writer and producer of both Futurama and The Simpsons, will be joined by Patricia Green, Emmy-award winning writer and producer of such shows as Christy, Cagney & Lacey, Chicago Hope and LA Law, and by Brenda Lilly, co-creator and executive producer of the award winning TV series State of Grace and numerous other works for the screen and for the stage, many of which have graced local stages. She was elected to the Writers Guild Board of Directors and currently teaches at the College of Stage and Screen at Western Carolina University.  

The Q&A session will be open to the public for questions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Announcing our BARK! Pet Portrait Contest Winners

Let us just preface this: We have been choosing Mainstage seasons for 67 years. For each of those 67 years, there have been at least 6 shows per season. So at bare minimum, there have been 402 casts throughout the theatre's history. And, let's say, there's an average of 15 roles available per show. That's over 6,000 roles we've had to cast. So we don't say this lightly:

We think that choosing the dog that will grace the postcard and poster for BARK! The Musical has been the hardest casting decision that has been made in the history of Asheville Community Theatre. But it has been done. And here he is!

Rusty! Photo by Kristi Hedberg
Meet Rusty.  He lives near a lake in Saluda, NC. His person Kay drove a long way to get his picture taken and will be thrilled to find out he's won the contest (says her husband - Kay was at work when we called).

We think Rusty is definitely trying to tell us something - we imagined him panting up to the back door of the house saying "Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?" We could see him telling us excitedly about a new musical that he just heard about that's ALL. ABOUT. DOGS. "Can we go? Can we go? Can we go?"

Maybe Rusty is the type of dog who would drop a slightly slobbery postcard of BARK! in our laps and then look at us with those jubilant brown eyes, begging us to go see the show so that we could come back and sing him all the new songs we learned.  Hopefully while on a long walk together. Maybe by that lake!

In no particular order, 20 more dogs were chosen to have their portraits displayed in the theatre's lobby.  We've had a lot of requests to share all the portraits in a slideshow - and we're working on that!  Check back or follow us on Facebook to see that announced.

All of us at Asheville Community Theatre want to thank the participants of the portrait contest, the photographers Caren Harris, Carly Deyton, Pam Burgess, Kristi Hedberg, and Sandra Stambaugh, and the staffs and volunteers of Animal Compassion Network, Asheville Humane Society, and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue for an incredible event. Hope to see all of you at the show next month!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Calling All Book Clubs!

This April, ACT will present The Grapes of Wrath, the powerful and deeply affecting stage version of one of the masterpieces of American literature.  If you haven't cracked open this classic since 10th grade, now would be a terrific time.  We're encouraging book clubs to read the novel, then attend the play together.  We think the discussions afterwards will be electric.  And doesn't a nice glass of wine go with a book club discussion?  And aren't grapes the main ingredient of wine?  This is just making more and more sense!

Contact ACT and let us know that you're a book club member, and we'll send you a complimentary book mark and a special Discussion Guide that will incorporate information from the page to the stage!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Additional Opportunities for Local Actors

From time to time, we receive emails and phone calls from outside groups who are looking to connect with Asheville actors. These events or auditions are not in any way associated with ACT - but we're happy to pass on the word for local organizations.  We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about one of these opportunities to get in touch with the contact person listed - often the info that we post is all the info that we have - but they'll be able to give you more specifics.

And also, actors - this site is one to bookmark! 

Looking for 1970's Era Icons:
In celebration of 35 years in business, a local company will be celebrating by having a 1970's theme party for clients. The party will be held on a Wednesday or Thursday evening in a Asheville area venue. An exact date has not been chosen. The time of the party will be 6:30pm until 9:30pm, although performers will be asked to only perform for (2) 30-minute slots.
As part of the fun and entertainment, we would like to have several actors and actresses portray 1970's iconic characters such as Elton John, John Lennon/Yoko Ono, Sonny & Cher, Donna Summer, Kiss, Charlie's Angels, John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever), etc. All others will be considered, just let us know your suggestion. Singing or dancing talent is not necessary (although it would be a big plus), as our main objective would be for performers to portray the iconic character while mingling and interacting with guests. We are open to lip-syn performances as well. Participants would be responsible for their own costume. Auditions will be required.

If interested, please contact Karan at with your character idea and desired compensation.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cast List for BARK!

Congratulations to the cast for BARK!  We're SO excited to welcome this fabulous group of ACT veterans and newcomers to the Mainstage for the NC Premiere of this musical.  AND they'll get to work directly with the composer, David Troy Francis, who's now based in Asheville!

Chanel.................................Jackie Canney
Golde..................................Carol Duermit
Boo.....................................MK Penley
King....................................Jeff Catanese
Sam....................................Daniel Hensley
Rocks.................................Garrett Funk