Monday, January 23, 2017

Cast List: Peter and the Starcatcher

Thank you to all the community members and UNC Asheville students who auditioned for Peter and the Starcatcher! We are excited to announce the cast:

Molly - Chloe Zeitounian *
Peter - Alex Daly *
Black Stache - John Hall
Prentiss - Justin Day **
Ted - Julian Gonzalez **
Aster - Monroe Moore *
Teacher- Missy Sullivan **
Captain Robert Falcon Scott - Lea Gilbert **
Grempkin/Fighting Prawn/Mack - Alexa Edelman
Smee - Pat LaCorte
Slank/Hawking Clam - Mike Yow
Bumbrake - Bradshaw Call
Alf - Anna Zurliene **

* = ACT Mainstage debut
** = UNC Asheville student

Demolition Derby

By Amelia Driscoll

Demolition Derby is the renovation catchphrase these days.

With demolition in full swing—and moving FAST—it’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we were putting on a show. Much has changed since then. If you’ve been following our Facebook or Instagram pages, you’ve probably seen pictures of the Green Room, dressing rooms, and Mainstage.

Over the past two weeks, they’ve transformed.

Two huge dumpsters were brought in and stationed just outside of the loading dock. Much of the first few days consisted of filling them with all of the old chairs. With pulleys and rigging equipment, Jill, Adam and their team lowered speakers and lighting instruments. The booth, as well, was emptied of all sound and light boards, monitors, cables, and spots. With the chairs gone, construction workers built false doors to block off the entrances to the Mainstage from the lobby and began tearing up the carpet. It soon became a “Hard Hat Only” zone.
Mainstage carpet coming up! Photo by Jill Summers

Meanwhile, in the Green Room and dressing rooms, staff cleaned out everything from props, to kitchen utensils and mugs, costume racks, wigs, makeup, and fabric. As much as could be saved was saved, and the rest donated or thrown away. Even the washer, dryer, and refrigerator were moved! ACT’s lobby is packed full of items to be donated or sold.

Construction workers took over and walls came down. All interior walls of the wig room were torn apart to make a larger dressing room. Bathroom walls were demolished too, and toilets, mirrors and kitchen cabinets removed.
Picture taken from the stage door. Yes, that’s where the wig room used to be! Photo by Jill Summers

Inside the men’s dressing room looking through to the women’s dressing room. Photo by Jill Summers
Everyday something is changing. If you blink, you’ll miss it. We can’t wait to find out what will happen this week!

Want to find out with us? Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Let's Do This!

Photo by Anthony Guidone

By Amelia Driscoll

All hands on deck, hard hats on, tool belts fastened. Let’s do this!

Over the past week, Asheville Community Theatre’s Mainstage took a final curtain call, and while this wasn’t the closing performance of the theatre, it was the closing of a chapter - the last 70 years. For 70 years, ACT’s Mainstage was home to more than 250 shows totaling over 2,200 performances. It was a space for a community to gather - as an audience member, volunteer, or part of the cast or crew - and for a community to grow.

For many, walking in the door and sitting in their favorite gold chair or turning on the bulbs above their dressing room mirror recalls memories of milestones. First stage kisses or kisses under the alter (yes, it’s true, we’ve even held weddings here); tears of proudness over conquered stage fright; the realization that a character onstage was them and they were not alone.

The beginning of demolition brings a sense of loss that comes on expectedly, though not entirely unwelcome. A chance for reflection. To say goodbye and thank you.

This week, the chairs where parents held their children on their laps were taken out, the booth where stage managers said the words, “Stand by for the house lights to dim” was emptied, and the Green Room where casts gathered for sing-a-longs and pep talks was cleaned out from the kitchen cabinets to the call boards.

So, while we can’t take with us the divot in the floor from the dropped hammer during a late night rush to finish a set or the faded paint where a Tanglewood camper painted his masterpiece, we can take the promise that soon - very soon - we’ll get to do it all again. Act Two. Even better than Act One.

More stage kisses will happen and more tears of joy. More fear overcome and more liberation unlocked. This is theatre, and demolition week breaks ground on a world of possibilities. So, to that we say, let’s do this!

PS - Want to share some of your ACT memories? Post them in the Comments section!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Renovation ACT

Since 1946, Asheville Community Theatre has been producing dramas, comedies, musicals and more. For years, we were a vagabond company, producing shows in auditoriums all over the city. But in 1972, the curtain opened for our first show in our permanent home (it was Camelot - and we still have cast members from that show who are still heavily involved at ACT!). We are grateful to those board members and community leaders who worked so hard to secure a long-lasting space for ACT, and we are thrilled to embark on a renovation to that space.

We've divided the project into three phases. Phase One is the renovation of the Mainstage auditorium, the Green Room and the dressing room spaces. Phase Two is new construction - we're planning a new black box theatre in our own backyard! Phase Three will renovate the existing Blomberg Annex (currently our costume, prop, and furniture storage) into an Education Complex.

Phase One is up first. And it begins this month! We're putting in new seating, updating lighting and sound equipment, optimizing the acoustics in the room with panels and baffles, hanging a new grid, and completely upgrading the Green Room and the dressing rooms (if you've ever been in one of our shows, you know how long we've needed this).

ACT Mainstage backstage floor plan
Look at those aisles! We're working with the local office of architectural firm McMillan Pazdan and Smith for Phase One.
We'll be working all through the spring on Phase One, and will reveal the updated interior in August 2017 when we open The Producers.

We're going to be posting before/afters, preparations, and other exciting updates on this blog, on our Facebook page (we've started a Renovation ACT album) and on our Instagram page. We hope you'll follow our progress! #renovationACT

For more information about our Capital Campaign, including how you can get involved as a Lead or Major donor to help us build the future of ACT, contact Executive Director Susan Harper by email or by phone at 828-254-1320 x29.