Wednesday, May 23, 2012


It's been a week full of discoveries for me, these last 7 days or so. I discovered -- thanks to an alert by Phil Crosby at Triangle Players -- that this blog was offline for a half-day or so because of attempted hacking. I think that's somewhat comical -- was someone looking for a venue to post some malicious theater gossip?

I discovered just how amazing the "Live Art" project that SPARC is organizing is going to be. Or more specifically, I got a more complete sense of what it's going to be and it is indeed going to be an extravaganza. Erin Thomas-Foley has brought together an incredible fleet of people, all of whom seem to have a special glow emanating from them, and they are working with scores of kids whose earnest dedication is a real inspiration. Get tickets now.

I also had the chance to discover what people have been talking about as far as "Scorched Earth" goes -- both good and bad -- as it closed down its world premiere run at (what was) the Barksdale at Willow Lawn. I'll write more about that in the next day or so.

Style came out with its “Best Of 2012” issue, though good luck discovering a copy at a local newsstand (I hear there are some out there but haven’t yet seen proof). Among the theater-related entries are: Best Local Actor, Best Local Actress, Best Local Comedy Group, and Best Local Theatre Company. A couple of “wild cards” I threw in were Actress Most Likely to Suffer Psychological Whiplash (there were a few options for this one) and Best Under the Radar Theatre Company.

Of course the big discovery -- the big unveiling really -- was the introduction of Virginia Repertory to the world. It was a move that had been rumored to be happening for years and Mr. Miller actually had a chat with a group of critics in town more than a year ago where he laid out the rough plans for this move. As such, my excitement about the reality of it was somewhat muted until I happened to drive by the November Theatre yesterday and saw the new marquee. There is something about seeing the name big and bold that really makes an impact.

Of course, my excitement also comes with some melancholy. Theatre IV, in particular, is a name woven into the fabric of many of my memories. I met some of my first friends in Richmond working a Theatre IV show. I met my wife during one of their productions and one of my sons and both of my daughters have spent time working on Theatre IV shows. It’ll be a while before Virginia Rep rolls off my tongue as easily as Theatre IV or Barksdale did. But, unlike a huge swath of Richmonders, I’m not a stasis-obsessive – I like change. And this is a big, bold change that bodes well for the future of local theater, I think. So welcome, VA Rep! I can’t wait to see what fun you have in store for all of us.

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