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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

On Stage This Weekend: "Crazy for You"

   ARTS has a terrific musical taking the stage this weekend - the Gershwin musical Crazy for You!

  Here's everything you need to know:

   Arts Resources for the Tri-State presents Crazy for You, the New Gershwin Musical Comedy, by Ken Ludwig. The show runs October 24, 25, 26, 31, November 1, 2. 

   Songs from the show include: I Got Rhythm, Shall We Dance, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Someone to Watch Over Me, and more classic Gershwin Tunes. 

   The show features comedy, tap-dancing, and wonderful music - all of which make Crazy for You a must see show this Fall!

   Online Tickets now available! Click here to purchase:!current-production/cb3i

   Tickets for the show only are $15. Dinner and Show: $30 - for dinner reservation you must call 304-733-2787.

   Directed by Stephen Vance
   Choreographed by Constance Anthony
   Musical Direction by John W. Campbell

Michael Naglee - Bobby Child
Jocelyn Clark Knapp - Polly Baker
Amy Knell Carlson - Tess
Tiffany Caldwell Trent - Patsy
Sheila Meade - Sheila
Nora Joseph Ankrom - Betsy
Jenn Naglee - Mitzi
Cyndi Mac Fuller - Louise
Marcus Albert - Sam
Luke Matlock - Mingo
Bill Stambaugh - Moose
Jason D. Roach - Jimmy
Tristan Reynolds - Custus
Andrew Surber - Junior
Dylan M. Clark - Lank Hawkins
Joanna Berner - Irene
Mike Murdock - Bela Zangler
Todd L Green - Everett Baker
Karen Kelly Pruitt - Lottie Child
Bil Neal - Eugene Fodor
Becky Tippett McClelland - Patricia Fodor

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Huntington is Named "Certified Arts Community"

   Hey, they made a major announcement this week about Huntington - here's the press release from the city's website:

   Mayor Steve Williams announced Tuesday that the City of Huntington has been named as a Certified Arts Community by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

   In receiving the designation, Huntington joins a select few communities across the state that have been recognized for capitalizing on the impact that the arts have on economic development, education, civic involvement and quality of life.

   “The WVCA recognizes the importance of cooperation between arts and humanities groups, business leaders and jurisdictional agencies,” Renee Margocee, director of arts for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, wrote in her letter notifying Huntington officials of the designation. “Your efforts to encourage a full and vibrant artistic community in Huntington were clearly evident in your very strong application.”

   Williams said Huntington has always been a flourishing arts community as evidenced by its long-established arts institutions and their cultural offerings which Tri-State residents continue to support. The next decade will see unprecedented growth in the arts with additions such as Marshall University’s Visual Arts Center and Cabell County Schools’ expeditionary learning school.

   Being recognized as a Certified Arts Community adds to ongoing local efforts to unify resources and promotes more collaboration, Williams said. He cited the recent establishment of the Mayor’s Council for the Arts as a prime example of these efforts.

   “The arts have sustained us all in days of peril and have enabled us to soar to unexpected heights during days of jubilance,” Williams said. “The fact that our city is now a certified Arts Community validates the artistic endeavors of all our citizens. The Mayor’s Council for the Arts will seek to advocate and celebrate our artistic passions in such a fashion that will enable our entire community to mutually prosper.”

   Margaret Mary Layne, executive director of the Huntington Museum of Art, said the decision to apply for the designation led to the formation of the Huntington Arts Summit. The Summit was the first initiative that brought together various arts organizations as a cohesive group, she said.

   “While Huntington has long been an arts community, there is a flourishing creativity that has occurred here in the past several years that has enhanced the long-standing contributions of the Marshall Artists Series, the Huntington Symphony Orchestra and the Huntington Museum of Art,” Layne said. “Creativity is the buzz word for the future in every aspect of our lives. Huntington has creativity in spades.”

   Tyson Compton, executive director of the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the application process brought to light the full scope of arts resources that Huntington has to offer. The CVB will use this designation as another tool in promoting the arts and culture scene to visitors, he said.

   “One of the next steps that I see is to have an ‘Experience the Arts’ page on the CVB website that will highlight each venue, performance and exhibit that will serve to entice visitors and reinforce locally that the arts are a vibrant part of our mix,” Compton said. “I’m very excited about where this will lead us next.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Stage This Weekend - "Venus in Fur"

   Taking the stage this weekend in St. Albans is a play that's edgy and adult - Venus in Fur.

   Power shifts back and forth between a man and a woman - a director and an actress, a dominant and a submissive, perhaps even a mortal and an otherworldly force - in David Ives' Venus in Fur

   Playwright Thomas Novachek is at a loss. There are simply no actresses talented enough to play his leading lady. Then in walks Vanda, a mysterious siren with the uncanny ability to inhabit his character. 
She's sexy and full of surprises. 

   He's not as much in control as he thinks he is. All bets are off when the audition quickly escalates into a seductive power play. With loads of cheek and a hint of the erotic, Venus in Fur keeps you on the edge of your seat as you question "who is really in charge here?"

   Packed with smart, intense and edgily comic interchanges about sex roles, sexual politics and, well, sex, there’s little doubt about why Ives' compact 2011 Broadway hit has become the most-produced play of the current season.

   Starring Rob Boone and Marlette Carter.
 Directed by Greg Morris.

   Shows will be presented on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., and 
Oct. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.

   Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. For more information, 
visit this website.

   The play contains mature language and themes - parental discretion is advised. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tri-State Youth Orchestra's Fall Concerts

   The Tri-State Youth Orchestra String section will present their annual Fall Concert on October 19 at 7 p.m. in the Ballroom at ARTS Renaissance Center. This is the kickoff concert for the 18th season for the orchestra. This season you'll hear selections form Beethoven and Dvorak. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $5 for adults, students 12 and under are free. For more information contact Ron Caviani
   The Tri-State Youth Orchestra will host auditions for vacancies in the wind brass and percussion section on Oct. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the basement of ARTS Renaissance Center at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Students should know their scales, have a prepared piece and be ready to sight read. The orchestra reheases Thursdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and performs four to five concerts during each season. For more information contact Ron Caviani at
   The Cabell County String Orchestra will present their annual Halloween Concert on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Cabell Midland High School auditorium. This concert features music from the holiday season and combines both Huntington High School and Cabell Midland High School orchestras. Area middle school orchestra students will also perform with the orchestra for a combined performance. This year the high school theme is "Evil Eye and Hideous Heart" from Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.  For more information contact Ron Caviani at or 304-743-7425. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

On Stage This Weekend

   There are four great shows taking the stage this weekend - three based on classic stories, and one based on a classic cartoon! Here's the list:

- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Marshall University's Theatre Alliance presents the classic story by Mark Twain, adapted by Laura Eason, at The Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on
Oct. 9 - 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Call 304-696-2787 for more information. 

- Wonderland High - Huntington High School's Theatre Department presents this new play - this is the first time it has been staged anywhere. It'll be presented at the Huntington High Auditorium on Oct. 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 12 at 3 p.m.

- Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. - Children's Theater of Charleston presents the musical Oct. 10 - 11 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 11 - 12 at 2 p.m. at the Civic Center Little Theater at 200 Civic Center Drive in Charleston. Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for students ages 4 - 18. For more information, call 304-741-9099.

- The Dracula Spectacula - Appalachian Community Theatres present the musical on Oct 10, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Homeplace "In The Pines" Amphitheater at 445 Kentucky Route 172 in Staffordsville, Ky. Tickets are $5.

   So get out there and support your community theatre!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

"Wonderland High"

   Huntington High School's Theatre Department has a special show coming up this weekend! The school was selected to present the premiere performance of the new musical Wonderland High.

   The play, which is loosely connected to the classic Alice in Wonderland story, has never been presented before. Huntington High, under the guidance of director Helen Freeman and music director Mark Smith, was selected to tackle this show. 

   Representatives from Music Theatre International will attend the performance to evaluate the show for future licensing and presentation.

   It's a real challenge to tackle a show like this - one that's never been staged before - and audiences get to see the final result of weeks of rehearsal this weekend.

   It'll be presented at the Huntington High Auditorium on Oct. 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

   Don't miss it!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

ARTS to Hold Resident Company Auditions

   ARTS has announced its Resident Company Auditions for its 2015 season!

   ARTS will be continuing its ground-breaking reinvention of how community theatre works with both its third full season (with seven shows) and its third year of auditions for the ARTS Resident Company! These auditions will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 9, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

   At these auditions, you will need to prepare a monologue (classical or contemporary / dramatic or comedic - it should be memorized. Show us your best work.), at least 16 bars of a song to sing (there are lots of difficult musicals this year, and we need to hear your range - again, bring your "A" game), be prepared to do some basic movement / dance with Coni Anthony to see how well you can move, and have an interview with some of the directors and choreographers for the upcoming season. The directors for the current season are: Mike Murdock, Stephen Vance, Bil Neal, Amy Carlson, Leah Turley, Gene Anthony and the Resident Choreographer is Coni Anthony.

   There will be an accompanist provided to play your music. Please bring it with you. If you have to sing a capella, you may, but you will still be asked to run scales with the accompanist.

   Monologues and songs may be of any length, just be aware you have approximately 15 minutes in your audition slot for the monologue, song and interview with the directors. A 1 to 2 minute monologue and 16 bars of a song are standard. Show us your very best work. Dress appropriately for an audition and to move a little.

   You need not bring shoes / dance attire to change into, but you can if you wish. The movement will be just that - seeing how well you can move.

   There is no certain number of Company members we are looking for at this time. Offers will be made to everyone that the directors think can fit into at least four shows in the seven show season.

   You may call for an audition spot on either date listed above. Each audition spot is approximately 15 minutes. Those interested in auditioning should contact Nora Ankrom by Facebook message, e-mail, or by phone call / text at 304-544-1319, to get a time slot reserved on either available audition day, whichever works best for you.

The seven-show, 2015 ARTS Season:

Our Town - directed by Stephen Vance - January 30, 31, February 1, 6, 7, 8 (Ballroom)

Company - directed by Amy Carlson - March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 (Ballroom)

Fuddy Meers - directed by Mike Murdock - May 8, 9, 15, 16 (Ballroom)

Into The Woods - directed by Bil Neal - June 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 (Mainstage)

Medea - directed by Leah Turley - August 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 (Mainstage)

Brigadoon - directed by Gene & Coni Anthony - October 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 (Mainstage)

ARTS New Works Festival - managed by Mike Murdock - December 4, 5, 11, 12 (all over ARTS)

   For more information about company, the commitment, and the benefits, go to: