Tri-State Theater
Let's discuss upcoming shows, secrets behind the scenes, things you never knew about the theater and why live theater is so darn entertaining.

Friday, January 30, 2015

On Stage This Weekend: "Our Town" and "Dancing With Grace"

   You have two great shows to choose from this weekend - one in Huntington, and the other in Charleston. Here's the rundown, courtesy of Ryan Hardiman:

 - Our Town (Play) by Thornton Wilder
Arts Resources for the Tri-State (ARTS)
Fri. - Sat., Jan. 30-31, Feb. 6-7 at 8 p.m.
Matinees Sun., Feb. 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.
ARTS Ballroom
900 8th St. Huntington, WV
General Admission
$15 Show Only / $30 Dinner and show

 Reservations required for dinner - call 304-733-2787.

- Dancing With Grace (Play) by Dan Kehde
Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC)
Thurs. - Sat., Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 5-7 at 8 p.m.
WVSU Capitol Center Theatre
123 Summers Street in Charleston
$15 Adults / $8 Students and Seniors
304-342-6522


   So get out there and support your community theatre!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On Stage This Weekend: "Our Town"


   As best as I can remember, Our Town was my first staged play (as a member of the audience). I was amazed, seeing my friends on stage at Hayes Junior High, putting on this amazing, thoughtful and moving performance.

   That was the last time I saw the show (I'd rather not think about how long ago that was), so I'm really looking forward to seeing what ARTS does with the show!

   It's the story of an American family, told in a unique format, using a minimal set. The focus is on the story and the characters.

   It's taking the stage in Huntington this weekend - and if you want to take advantage of the dinner offered, you'd better get your reservation in - Saturday's dinner is sold out! 

  Here's everything you need to know about the play:

   Our Town runs January 30, 31, February 1, 6, 7 and 8. 

   Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. Sunday Matinees are at 2 p.m. 

   General Admission tickets are only $15. Dinner and show tickets are available for Friday and Saturday shows for only $30. 

   The menu is:
ARTS House Salad w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette
Glazed Game Hen in Fresh Cooked Greens
Carrots and Wild Rice
Dinner Roll
Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Slice

   Dinner is available by reservation only by calling 304-733-2787 and leaving a message.

   Dinner seating is limited and will sell out, make your reservations today.

   Seating for the show is very limited. The only way to guarantee your seat is to secure your ticket early by making dinner reservations, becoming a season ticket holder, or by purchasing your tickets online at artstristate.org

   Act today, don't miss your chance to see Our Town!

Monday, January 26, 2015

"Dave Barry's Guide to Guys"

   This is an event you don't want to miss - it's an annual dinner and show presented by First United Methodist Church!

   It's a combination of terrific food and a great show - I make it a point to be there every year - and this year the show is based around one of America's funniest writers, Dave Barry! 

   Here's what you need to know:

First Church Dinner Theater 2015

dave barry’s complete guide to guys

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winning humorist Dave Barry and adapted for stage by Emily Dye, this year’s production will take a hilarious look at the foibles of guys (not men) down through the centuries. Through a series of skits, we will explore critical questions such as:

- What is a guy?
- Are you a guy?
- How do you have a relationship with a guy?
- How did a guy discover the New World? 
- Who invented the whoopee cushion?

(NOTE: No actual guys were harmed in this production)
                  
     First Church Dinner Theater has been a winter highlight in Huntington since 1991.  It is an integral part of First United Methodist Church’s Mission program, raising nearly $50,000 for Mission projects through 22 productions. For example, last year’s proceeds helped Ebenezer Outreach Center, the Campus Christian Center, food and clothing for local families in need, Christmas in Nicaragua, and other West Virginia mission projects.

First United Methodist Church, 1124 5th Ave., Huntington
Friday, February 13; and Saturday, February 14

Dinner served at 6:30 p.m.     Show at 8 p.m.
Choice of entrees: Prime Rib au Jus or Glazed Cornish hen, with
Tossed Salad         Baked Potato
Green Peas and Pearl Onions
Dilly Rolls
Assorted Valentine Desserts

Dinner plus Show:  Adult - $25   Child under 12 - $8
Show only (as space permits) - $5
Babysitting available on request for all shows (advance notice required)

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED FOR ALL DINNERS
Call:  304-522-0357 or 740-867-8576 


All profits benefit the Missions of First United Methodist Church

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Stage This Weekend

    There are several great shows out there this weekend (though you may have to drive a bit to get to them) - here's the list, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

- August Osage County (Play)
by Tracy Letts
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
Fri. - Sat., Jan. 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
724 Market St, Parkersburg, WV
Adult $15 • Senior $13 • Student $13
(304) 485-1300 or http://www.actorsguildonline.org/
Rated: AGP-R. This play contains adult content and language and is not recommended for those under the age of 18.

- The Odd Couple (Play)
by Neil Simon
Mid Ohio Valley Players, Inc.
Fri. - Sat., Jan. 23 - 24, 30 - 31 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Jan. 25 at 3 p.m.
229 Putnam St, Marietta, Ohio 45750
Adults - $11, Students & Seniors - $9, Youth (up to 16 years old) - $6. Opening Night is BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!!!
Tickets available in advance at Marty's Print Shop & Marietta CVB.
Box Office opens 2 hours before show time. Don't forget to take advantage of our Dinner & a Show special (details can be found at our website http://midohiovalleyplayers.org/

- Murderous Megacon! (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Fri. - Sat., Jan. 23 - 24 at 7 p.m.
Greenhouse of Teays Valley, Hurricane, WV
Tickets by Reservation Only
Call 304.397.6316 / $45 per Guest

- The Murderer Who Came to Dinner! (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Sat., Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
Hawks Nest State Park, Ansted, WV
Tickets by Reservation Only: 304.658.5212
$59 per Guest / Overnight Packages also available

- Murderous Match Game! (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Sun., Jan. 25 at 2:45 p.m.
Fireside Restaurant in St. Marys, W.Va.
Pleasants County Chamber of Commerce Fundraiser
Tickets by Reservation Only: 304.685.9909 / $25 per Guest

    So get out there and support your community theatre!

Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention in March

   My pal Sarah Diamond Burroway sends along this info about an upcoming theatre convention:
   As the premiere gathering of theatre professionalsthe 2015 SETC Convention will bring over 4,000 actors, professional company representatives, design and technical professionals, theatre educators, students from high schools and universities, commercial exhibitors, community theatre producers and theatre lovers to Chattanooga, TN, March 4-8, 2015 for America’s Largest Theatre Convention of its kind. 
   Centered at the Chattanooga Convention Center, this year’s SETC Convention will spread throughout downtown and take up residence in the local theatres, Chattanooga Theatre Centre and Tivoli Theatre.
   Attendees will participate in a variety of over 300 theatrical workshops, master classes, presentations, and hands-on training during the four day event, including attending keynote speeches by legend of stage and screen and 2015 SETC Distinguished Career Award Winner, Ben Vereen; master voice and speech teacher, Kristin Linklater; and physical theater innovator Paata Tsikurishvili. 
   Convention also features multiple festivals that are open to the public of Chattanooga, including the Theatre for Youth Festival (March 5), performed for the children and public of Chattanooga for free at the Marriott Downtown Chattanooga.  
   The High School Theatre Festival (March 5-6), housed at the Tivoli Theatre, features 20 schools from the 10 southeastern states with tickets available for purchase at the door. 
   The Community Theatre Festival (March 4-7), will be at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Tickets for the Community Theatre Festival can be purchased at the Chattanooga Theatre Center box office. 
   The Fringe Festival and Ten Minute Play Festival (March 5) are open to convention attendees only. 
   Commercial exhibitors offer demonstrations and sneak peeks at some of the products by over 50 companies. Prospective students can talk and engage with school faculty and representatives from over 120 universities, colleges and training institutions.
   Auditions and off-stage interviews are held for undergraduate and graduate programs. SETC members will be given the opportunity to audition and interview for jobs, both on and off stage, as over 800 actors will audition and 700 will interview for over 84 professional companies that come from all over the United States. 
   Join SETC pre-convention for Teachers Institute for Drama-Based Instruction: Activating Learning in and Through the Arts, offered Wednesday, March 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is open to all regional educators for grades 7-12. In this day-long seminar, Katie Dawson and Lara Dossett from The University of Texas at Austin, will explore the theory and practice of drama-based instruction and its use in the arts and non-arts curriculum. She will share examples and resources which explore how drama-based instruction can be used for sustainable improvement in K-12 school culture, teacher satisfaction and student success. Cost is $85. Contact info@setc.org or call 336-272-3645 for more information.
   Onsite registration for the SETC Convention begins March 4 at noon. Cost is $230 for students, $317 for individuals, and $247 for seniors. CALL 336-272-3645 FOR MORE INFORMATION. Registration information and the Convention program can be found online at www.setc.org

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Auditions on Feb. 7

   If you'll forgive some self-promotion, First Stage Theatre is getting ready to take on a new challenge - courtesy of a very old play.

   For the first time in its 25-year history, the children's theatre is tackling a Shakespeare play - and I get to direct it! Here's the press release announcing the auditions:

----------------

   First Stage Theatre Company will hold auditions for the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pea Ridge United Methodist Church at 5747 East Pea Ridge Road in Huntington, W.Va. 

   Auditions are open to students ages 10 through high school seniors - there are parts available for all ages in that range. Participants can arrive and sign up at any time between 10 and 4. There is no charge to audition or to take part in a First Stage production, and no theatre experience is required. 

   The comedy by William Shakespeare includes royalty, commoners and hapless entertainers, creatures of magic and love spells gone wrong. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most beloved (and funniest) plays.

   Auditioners will also be given a few lines from the script to read - memorization is not required (in other words, they can read from the sheet while auditioning).

   The play is being directed by Chuck Minsker, with Assistant Director Robyn Welch and Producer Leslie Comer-Porter. 

   The play will be presented April 17, 18 and 19, 2015, at the Cabell County Public Library in Huntington. There will also be a special school performance on April 16.

   A Midsummer Night’s Dream will wrap up First Stage’s 25th season.

   Based in Huntington, W.Va., the First Stage Theatre Company is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an educational, developmental experience for young people through the performing arts.

   For more information, contact Chuck Minsker at 304-736-4366, or visit the First Stage website at: www.firststagetheare.org; on Facebook it’s: https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Stage-Theatre-Company/151408134941398.  

--------------

   Let me add how happy I am to be working with my directing team on this play! The team includes Robyn Welch, who grew up on stage with First Stage. She's now a teacher, and has worked as an assistant on several shows, including Disney's Little Mermaid, Jr.

   Our producer is the amazing Leslie Comer-Porter, who's worked her magic on several shows with me, including "Little Mermaid" and last fall's Disney's Aladdin, Jr. The producer job is a heck of a challenge, and you need someone as organized, efficient and hard-working as Leslie - she's terrific!

   The show's going to be a real challenge, but it's also going to be a lot of fun! I've been a fan of "Midsummer" for decades, and I've been hoping First Stage would tackle it. I can't wait to get started!

"Our Town"


   The next show to take the stage in Huntington is the classic Our Town - here's everything you need to know about the play, courtesy of our pals at ARTS:

   We are just one week away from opening night of Our Town

   The show runs January 30, 31, February 1, 6, 7, 8. 

   Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. Sunday Matinees are at 2 p.m. 

   General Admission tickets are only $15.
   Dinner and show tickets are available for Friday and Saturday shows for only $30. 

   The menu is:
ARTS House Salad w/ Raspberry Vinaigrette
Glazed Game Hen in Fresh Cooked Greens
Carrots and Wild Rice
Dinner Roll
Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Slice
   Dinner is available by reservation only by calling 304.733.2787 and leaving a message.

   Dinner seating is limited and will sell out, make your reservations today.
   Seating for the show is very limited. The only way to guarantee your seat is to secure your ticket early by making dinner reservations, becoming a season ticket holder, or by purchasing your tickets online at artstristate.org

   Act today, don't miss your chance to see Our Town!

--------------
   2015 Season Tickets Are Still Available But Not For Long!
   Through February 8, you can purchase your ARTS Season Ticket for only $75. That's seven shows for the price of five!  This year's shows are Our Town, Company, Fuddy Meers, Into the Woods, Medea, Brigadoon and New Works 2015.
   Call today to reserve your season ticket. 304.733.2787
   There has never been a better time to be at ARTS! Won't you join us?

Friday, January 16, 2015

On Stage This Weekend

   Here's the rundown for shows this weekend, courtesy of my pal Ryan Harridan:

- Guys and Dolls (Musical - Broadway Touring Production)
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
The Clay Center
Fri, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m.
One Clay Square in Charleston
Tickets are $64.25 - $48.50 - $32.50
(Extra charges: Phone orders- $6 for entire order / Prices shown are online prices.)
***Least expensive option is to buy tickets in person, at the box office***
304-561-3570

- August Osage County (Play)
by Tracy Letts
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
Fri. and Sat., Jan. 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.
Matinees Sun., Jan. 18 and 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Actors Guild of Parkersburg
724 Market Street in Parkersburg
Adult $15 • Senior $13 • Student $13
(304) 485-1300 or http://www.actorsguildonline.org/
Rated: AGP-R. This play contains adult content and language and is not recommended for those under the age of 18.

- The Odd Couple (Play)
by Neil Simon
Mid Ohio Valley Players, Inc.
Fri. and Sat., Jan. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 8 p.m.
Matinee Jan. 25 at 3 p.m.
229 Putnam Street in Marietta, Ohio
Tickets are: Adults - $11, Students & Seniors - $9, Youth (up to 16 years old) - $6. Opening NIght is BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!!!
Tickets available in advance at Marty's Print Shop & Marietta CVB.
Box Office opens 2 hours before show time. Don't forget to take advantage of our Dinner & a Show special (details can be found at our website http://midohiovalleyplayers.org/

   So get out there and support your local theatre!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Congrats to Josh Meredith!

   Congratulations to First Stage (and Marshall University) alumni Josh Meredith

   He's been honored with the 2014 BroadwayWorld Columbus Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Thenardier in Les Miserables at the Weathervane Playhouse! 

   Josh is a professional actor in New York City. 


   Congrats from your fans in the Tri-state area!

Coming Up: HART Auditions

   Auditions are coming up later this month for Huntington's summer theatre, HART - here's the info:
   HART will present Disney's Mary Poppins in June 2015, the original musical Collis P! in July 2015, and the children's preshow, Wonderland before both shows.
   Auditions for all three shows will be held at St. Clouds Commons building on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
   Auditions for Mary Poppins are open to ages 5 and up. DANCERS ARE REQUIRED! Gymnasts too! Tell your friends! Cast size will be determined at time of casting - there are lots of ensemble numbers, so we need a big cast! 
   Auditions for Collis P! are open to ages 5 and up and the cast size will be anywhere from 32-44 people. 
   The preshow Wonderland will be two parts. Part 1 presented in June and Part 2 presented in July. 
   You can audition for both shows (all three if you're a child). Be prepared to sing at least a minute of a song, act, and dance! 
   Directing Mary Poppins is Mary Smirl. Directing Collis P! is Clint McElroy. Directing Wonderland is Levi Kelley. Rehearsals will start in March.
   Show dates are: Mary Poppins - June 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.
Collis P! - July 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26.
   If you have any questions, email hartinthepark@gmail.com.