Four professional mainstage shows open this weekend. A national tour rolled in on Wednesday. As part of the Acts of Faith festival, Jewish Family Theatre at the JCC raises the curtain on “Conversations with my Father.” Theatre VCU’s “The Elephant Man” finishes up on Sunday (U of R’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” came and went like the breeze last weekend). Five other mainstage shows are still running. How can you NOT see a show this weekend? I’m seeing two.
Weeks like this remind me of the sad state of arts journalism. With all of this going on, I am just amazed that there isn’t a full-time staff person involved with any local media outlet who is wholly or even least partially dedicated to covering theater. While all of the live stage activity is a testament to the vibrancy of the local scene, the lack of dedicated coverage leaves a big hole in the consciousness of most local patrons. Richmonders may have been bombarded by “Lion King” ads in print and on TV but only those predisposed to looking for stage stuff will know about “August: Osage County.” Only those willing to look a little further afield will know about “Topdog/Underdog” at Sycamore Rouge. Volunteer journalists like me can’t get the word to the greater population and Facebook and Twitter can only do so much.
So it’s up to us, theater fans. Get the word out, tell your friends AND your enemies about everything that’s happening on Richmond stages. Put posters up at work. Use gatherings like Monday’s “Stand for Women’s Rights” action to talk to people about the great shows you’ve seen (in addition to protesting the heinous bills being considered by the hypocritical Virginia legislature).
There’s so much good stuff happening; it’d be a shame for people to miss it.
PS: If you haven't seen it, you may want to check out this item in Style about the change of leadership at AART. It's an online only item that didn't make it into print this week.