Live Arts presents The Matchmaker

Live ArtsLive Arts is bringing a Thornton Wilder classic to their Downstage. I had the oppurtunity this past weekend to talk with the director, Mendy St. Ours; the acting couch/assistant director, Carol Pederson; the set designer, Mary Butcher; and 5 of the actors (of a cast of 18), Chris Patrick, Casey Wagner, Ronda Hewitt, Denise Stewart and Chris Baumer.

Will Slusher, the assistant set designer, who Mary Butcher says was “an incredible asset to the show – indispensable to the design and construction of the set,” was busy with the table saw during this interview.

This Thornton Wilder farce opens at Live Arts Friday March 6, 2009.

March 6 to March 28

Live Arts Presents Sweeney Todd

Ray Nedzel climbed into the balcony of Live Arts to hear some wonderful singing in the production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Then he had conversions with Lydia Horan, who plays Mrs. Lovett; John Gibson, the director; Ken Ferguson, who is in the ensemble; and Doug Schneider, who plays Sweeney. But lucky for you he recorded it all in a Sweeney Todd Podcast — A ToddCast. Listen here.

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a Musical Thriller.
Dec. 12 to Jan 10

Live Arts Presents Flyin West

Live Arts opens its Upstage with Pearl Cleage’s Flyin’ West.
The Sisters of Flyin West

I had a chance to talk with Ray Smith, the director of the show, and most of the cast which includes, Carrie Stuart, David Straughn, Jared Ivory, Sharon Millner, Stori Ayers and Ty Daniels.

Flyin’ West tells the story 4 African American Women Pioneers just after slavery was abolished and they flew west for a live and home of their own.

Opens Friday, October 24 – runs to November 22, 2008

For more information or tickets:
Live Arts Box Office: 434-977-4177 x 108

Live Arts presents Doubt

Live ArtsLive Arts opens its 2008/09 season with John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play DOUBT: A Parable.

Ventolin helps me a lot from asthma attacks. I must have a salbutamol spray with me. I found a great offer on and now I buy Ventolin only there.
I had a chance to talk with Fran Smith, the director of the show, and all the cast members, Doris Safie, Amada Lacy Pierson Finger, Tim Reid and Simona Holloway-Warren. I also talked with Grady Smith and Cheryl Haley who were there painting the set. It was just 2 days before opening night. We talked in the lobby of Live Arts.

For more information or tickets:
Live Arts Box Office: 434-977-4177 x 108

Live Arts presents Disney’s High School Musical

Live Arts is on the cutting edge again… just ask any ‘tween. HSM at Live Arts

In the great tradition of American Musical Comedy Love Stories, Live Arts is presenting Disney’s High School Musical this summer from July 11 to August 2, on the main stage, with all local talent.

As the actors warmed up for their final rehearsal, I had a chance to sit in the back of the theatre and talk to the director, designer and then briefly meet the cast.

Disney’s High School Musical
Live Arts
Box Office:
434-977-4177 x 108

Live Arts Season Announcement 2008-2009

I had a conversation with John Gibson, Artistic Director for Live Arts, the day after he announced Live Arts’ next season’s schedule to a packed house.

The full interview is well worth listening to; you’ll hear the season in the first six minutes.

Stop reading now if you want to be surprised, because below is the list of Live Arts next season:

  • Disney’s High School Musical
  • Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
  • Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage
  • Sweeny Todd by (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, based on Christopher Bond’s stage version of the story.)
  • 2 Weeks of New Modern Dance
  • Visit to a Small Planet by Gore Vidal
  • The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder
  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo
  • Tartuffe by Moliere
  • Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl

Need more — Listen. Need more live arts —

Live Arts presents Mother Courage

Mother Courage and Her Children opens March 28th at Live Arts, downstage, the big stage, with Fran Smith [a Live Arts founder] playing the title character. Mother Courage was written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht — one of the heroes of modern theatre. This play is often considered the greatest anti-war play of all times. And now, Live Arts presents a new translation/adaptation by one of the greatest living English playwrights, David Hare.

If you can you image a time where war dominates the headlines, where economies hinge on that very war, and where the men in power say the war is necessary, yet won’t fight themselves – if you can image that – you might just find yourself among friends at Live Arts over the next month.

Satch Huizenga directs Mother Courage at Live Arts and we stole a few minutes of his time to ask how this 59 year old play remains timeless.

@ Live Arts March 28 to April 19, 2008 or Box Office: 434-977-4177

[ photo: Fran Smith and Ron Hasson in Mother Courage and her Children at Live Arts – (c) Will Kerner ]

Live Arts presents In The Blood

In the Blood, by Suzan-Lori Parks, is a play about Hester, a homeless mother of five. Hester is a daughter of our society, the mother or our children, and a victim of her own well meant intentions. She is us; and she is the person we walk by, judge and ignore. Listen here to a conversation with the show’s director, Clinton Johston; and lead actor, Aisha RenG(c)e Moore.

In the Blood plays at Live Arts
March 14 to 29 (preview on 13th)
Box Office: 434-977-4177

[ Pictured: Mark Washington and Aisha RenG(c)e Moore
– from In the Blood at Live Arts. Photos V(c) Will Kerner ]