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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Actors for Children Theatre Wins Three Awards at Theatre Festival

   Actors for Children Theatre of Flatwoods will represent Kentucky at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March 2015, after winning top honors at the Community Theatre Festival of the Kentucky Theatre Association this past weekend.
   ACT received three awards in adjudicated performance at KTA, including Outstanding Production for Monsters Under the Bed written by Gay H. Hammond; Outstanding Ensemble and Best Costume and Make-Up Design.  
   The festival, held November 21-22, 2014 on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, included performances by ACT and community theatres from Ft. Thomas, Middlesboro, Bardstown, Murray and Richmond.
   “ACT is pleased to represent the state of Kentucky for the second year in a row at the SETC Community Theatre Festival,” said Sarah Diamond Burroway, director and co-founder of ACT.  
   At SETC, ACT will perform in adjudicated competition with community theatre troupes from ten state including Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
“Monsters Under the Bed provides a great story for children,” Burroway said.  “It’s fun and quirky and shares an imaginative anthology of scenes, stories and poems with the underlying message for children that sometimes the things we fear really aren’t what they seem to be,” she concluded.
Cast members include:  ACT co-founder Bill Burroway, Emma Grace Imes and Miranda Hutchinson, all of Flatwoods; Ethan Darby and Kristina Richins, both of Ashland; and Matthew Johnson of Wheelersburg, Ohio.
ACT is a troupe of adult actors who perform theatre for youth in settings like schools, arts centers, libraries and other venues.  For more information about booking a performances by Actors for Children Theatre, contact director Sarah Diamond Burroway at 606-922-2903.  Or, look for Actors for Children Theatre on Facebook.
Photo by Brad Bear

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Catching Up...

   Whew! It's been a hectic couple of weeks for your ol' pal Chuck.
   - My oldest son married his beautiful fiancée last week in a lovely wedding ceremony. His brother got hitched to his beautiful fiancée in the spring, so it's been a wonderful (and busy) year for the Minsker family!
   - Then last weekend I caught the final performance of Little Women the Musical, and I'm so glad I did! It was a wonderful show, with amazing performances by the talented cast, several lovely and very moving songs, lots of heart and a terrific set. 
   - I also want to send out congratulations to our pals at ACT (Actors for Children's Theatre) - they took part in the Kentucky Theatre Association's 2014 Community Theatre Festival in Richmond, Ky., and took home several major awards for their production Monsters Under the Bed, including "Best Costumes & Makeup," "Best Ensemble" and "Outstanding Production"! They will represent Kentucky at the Southeastern Theatre Conference' s Community Theatre Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn. - congratulations! 
   - It's shaping up to be a busy December for community theatre groups, with lots of terrific shows on tap - we'll have a complete listing soon.
   So we all have a lot to be thankful for! Have a great holiday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Final Weekend for "Little Women: the Musical"

   First Stage Theatre Company puts a new musical twist on the 2005 Broadway show  Little Women: The Musical, based on the classic Louisa May Alcott novel set in the Civil War. The musical production rolls into its last weekend with shows at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22  and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23.

   Based on Alcott’s classic  semi-autobiographical novel, it focuses on the four March sisters — brassy, tomboy-like, aspiring writer Jo (Meg Barber), romantic Meg (Sarah Bryan), pretentious Amy (Rileigh Smirl), and kind-hearted Beth (Erica Clonch) — and their beloved Marmee (Tamara Meadows).

   The ladies are “home alone” in Concord, Mass., trying to keep things together while the family patriarch is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. Like a year in the life, “Little Women” is intercut with the vignettes in which their lives unfold are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio.

   Director Mary Smirl said the musical is packed with emotions as the family deals the day-to-day drama and monumental events as their lives turn in the wake of war.

    “We have two weddings, the birth of twins, a death and so there is every emotion,” Smirl said. “It is a joyful, beautiful and hopeful story. It takes place within a year, four seasons and it moves quickly. There is not a lot of serious, heavy-duty dialogue.”

   Smirl said they picked the coming-of-age musical because of its strong literary and historical relevance.

   “When the production committee meets we try to pick things that one the kids will enjoy being a part of and two a show that we can do for the schools,” Smirl said. “This is a classic novel and it is historical as well.”

   The shows take place at the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium in Huntington City Hall. Tickets are $12 and $10 students/seniors. Call 304-416-KIDS for more info.

On Stage This Weekend

    On stage this weekend - several terrific shows:

- Little Women: the Musical - First Stage Theatre Company presents the classic story Nov. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Huntington City Hall JCS Auditorium at 800 5th Avenue.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. It’s based on the novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, which follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. 

- The Three Sisters - Marshall’s Theatre Alliance presents the classic play by Anton Chekhov on Nov. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. In Chekhov’s wistful tale of love and war, Olga, Masha and Irina, army daughters, posted in a backwater, long to get to Moscow where, they imagine, their lives will be transformed and fulfilled. They fall in love, try to engage with the local people, and remember happier times. “The Three Sisters” is truly one of the great treasures of 19th century theatre.

- Cinderella - Huntington High School presents the classic fairy tale about the girl who falls in love with a Prince - thanks to some help from her fairy Godmother. The show will be staged Nov. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.

- A Doll's House - This is the inaugural performance of the St. Joseph Catholic High School Drama Society, presenting Henrik Ibsen’s immortal drama, Admission is free (donations are accepted), but seating is limited. Performances are Nov. 21 and 22 at 8 p.m, at St. Joseph Catholic High School at 600 13th Street in Huntington. The production is entirely conceived, directed, acted, and crewed by students of St. Joseph.

- KTA 2014 Community Theatre Festival - the Play Festival features these contributors:
Fri., Nov. 21 from 1 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Middlesboro Little Theatre - "The Miracle Worker"
The Village Players of Ft. Thomas - "On Weapons and Wounds"
Rose Barn Theatre - "One Day in Cleveland
Sat., Nov. 22 from 11:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Bardstown Community Theatre - "She's Gone"
Actors for Children Theatre - "Monsters Under The Bed"
Playhouse in the Park - "Hard Candy"
Brock Auditorium
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Ky
Day Pass Admission: $5 at the door

- The Children's Hour - Morehead State University Theatre present the play Nov. 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at the LCL Theatre in Brekinridge Hall in Morehead, Ky. Tickets are $10, $5 for seniors and non-MSU students, Free with ID to MSU students.

- An Enemy of the PeopleWest Virginia State University Dept. of Theatre present the play on Nov. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. at the Skeen Theatre, Cole Complex at WV State University in  Institute. Admission by donation.

    So get out there and support your community theatre!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On Stage This Weekend: "Cinderella"

   The timeless classic Cinderella tells the story of a neglected young girl, Cinderella, who is trying to find love.
   Cinderella will be produced by Huntington High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 and 22 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23.
   Cinderella is portrayed by senior, Leslie Collins. She is a captain of the Speech and Debate team and is a Thespian Officer. Her theatre resume is filled with many Huntington High shows as well as multiple community shows. The prince is played by Franklin Norton, HHS's student body president and member of the Morning Show team. The show also features veteran senior actresses Cassi Hall and Lilly Dyer as the infamous stepsisters and Emily Underwood as the magical Fairy Godmother.
   According to Collins, "This is a family-friendly show that is entertaining for all ages. It has been a while since a theatre in the Huntington area has done a show like it. After all, everyone loves a good happily ever after."
   General admission is $5.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Local Stars Flying High

    We love to brag on our local stars - and here's the latest on a daredevil duo!

    Mary Ellen Wolfe, who grew up on local stages playing everything from Annie to Dorothy, now stars with her husband Tyce Nielsen as Duo Transcend.

   They're now appearing as part of CabaRAE in Hawaii, where they perform acrobatics with "nerves of steel" - it's a swift, award-winning trapeze act. Together, they bring strength, grace, sensuality and passion to the CabaRAE stage. 

   You can learn more about the show at this website

   Congratulations, Mary Ellen and Tyce!

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   Lots of great shows to choose from, including a musical and a non-musical about sisters, and two productions of A Doll's House (one in Huntington, one in Charleston). 

   Here's the rundown, courtesy of my pal Ryan Hardiman:

- Little Women the Musical
First Stage Theatre Company
Fri. - Sat., Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees Sunday, Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.
JCS Auditorium
Huntington City Hall
800 5th Avenue, Huntington
Adults $12 / $10 Students & Seniors

- The Three Sisters (Play)
By Anton Chekov
Marshall Theatre Alliance
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m.
and Thurs. - Sat., Nov. 20 - 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Joan C. Edwards Playhouse
One John Marshall Drive
Marshall University
Tickets $20 at the door, $15 for Marshall faculty and senior citizens, and free for Marshall students with valid MU student ID

- A Doll's House (Play)
by Henrik Ibsen
St. Joseph Catholic High School Drama Society
Fri. - Sat., Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m.
St. Joseph Catholic High School
600 13th Street, Huntington
FREE - Limited seating
Donations accepted

- A Doll's House (Play)
by Henrik Ibsen
George Washington High School's Theatre of the Nevertheless
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m.
Matinee Sun., Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.
George Washington High School
1522 Tennis Club Rd, Charleston
$12 Adults / $10 Students

- This Was Your Life! (Interactive Murder Dinner Party)
Murder and Merriment
Fri. and Sat., Nov. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m.
The Greenhouse of Teays Valley, Hurricane, W.Va.
Tickets $45
Reservations Required: 304-397-6316

    So get out there and support your local theatre!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

On Stage This Weekend - "Little Women: the Musical"

   On stage this weekend, First Stage Theatre Company (Huntington's long-running children's theatre) presents Little Women: the Musical. 

   It’s based on the beloved novel by American author Louisa May Alcott, which follows the lives of four sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March - and details their passage from childhood to womanhood. It's a great story and loaded with terrific songs (and be sure to bring a hanky - there are some tear-jerking moments, too). 

    It takes the stage Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. at the Huntington City Hall JCS Auditorium at 800 5th Avenue.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. For more info, call 304-416-KIDS.