Posts Tagged studio roanoke
At Studio Roanoke, the black box theatre in Roanoke, Va. which recently closed, the tradition was for actors and actresses to sign the wall in the dressing room — along with a key quote from the show.
Here’s the part of the wall dedicated to my show “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” which turned out to be the next-to-play show there. (The show was about the Moscow theatre siege of 2002.)
Kind of reminds me of the cover for The Rolling Stones’ originally wanted for their album “Beggars Banquet.”
MORE ON “57 HOURS IN THE HOUSE OF CULTURE”:
* Photos from the show
* Audience reaction to the show
* Review: “It ain’t ‘Oklahoma!'”
* Congressman Goodlatte attends the show
* Review: “Most interactive show I’ve seen”
* Media interviews about the show
* The set takes shape
* Rehearsal photos
* Rehearsal begins
* The poster for the show
Studio Roanoke, which for three years has put Roanoke on the map as a venue for new plays, is closing. The Roanoke Times has the sad news here.
The theatre’s founder and chief patron, Kenley Smith, is moving to Nashville and plans to sell the building that housed the non-profit community theatre.
Faced with trying to mount a new season with no home and without what is surely its main donor, the board has voted to close.
Sadly, most theatre goers in the Roanoke Valley won’t miss Studio Roanoke, because most of them likely never attended a show there. Roanoke Valley theatre companies such as Showtimers and Attic Productions play to strong houses, but they perform the standards. (Full disclosure: My wife, Trina, is directing one of those standards, “The Sound of Music,” at Attic, opening July 26.) The market for new plays is quite small. Some shows at Studio Roanoke drew well, others did not, but even drawing well meant 30 to 60 people (which was a full house for most stage configurations.) On the other hand, if you look at the 990 tax forms for Studio Roanoke, you’ll see that ticket sales generated nearly $32,000 in 2009 and $28,500 in 2010 (figures for 2011 not posted yet.). With a different business model, you ought to be able to run a non-profit theatre on that kind of revenue. You just can’t do it on ticket revenue alone, though. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are the official production photos (courtesy of David Gross) from my show about the Moscow theatre siege, “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” that was produced at Studio Roanoke in May 2012.
My show on the Moscow theatre siege — “57 Hours in the House of Culture” — is off to a fantastic start at Studio Roanoke. And now I have other production news to report:
* Studio Roanoke has announced its new season, and my Christmas show about the origin of Santa Claus, is among of the offerings. “Klaus” isn’t something for the children. It attempts to explain where Santa Claus came from. Here’s the description I wrote for Studio Roanoke’s calendar:
A holiday play for a mature audience, it is a dark and humorous tale of the origin of Santa Claus. Where did he come from? Set in the early 1700s when the Jacobite movement to overthrow the German-born Hanoverian kings of England and restore the ousted Stuart family to the throne was still very much alive, and involves physics, philosophy, treason against the king, a love story, and some cooking.
Studio Roanoke is also extending the shows in its next season from two weeks to three, reflecting a popular demand for more weekend shows (and fewer weekday ones.)
You can find the entire season on the Studio Roanoke website.
* Meanwhile, I’ve also had two pieces accepted into the annual “Gone in 60 Seconds” festival in New York City. This is a festival dedicated to one-minute plays. This year it runs June 8-9 at Brooklyn College. Both of my scripts accepted this year deal with baseball: “The Uniform” and “Sunset in North Dakota.” The latter is a one-minute version of a five-minute piece that I had done at No Shame Theatre in Roanoke, Va. last summer.
These upcoming productions join ones previously announced for other scripts in Maryland and Oregon.
We had nearly a full house for the first Friday night of “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” my show about the Moscow theatre siege now playing at Studio Roanoke.
Among those attending was Roanoke’s congressman — Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County — and his wife, Maryellen.
The Goodlattes are noted theatre-goers. About a year ago, they attended the Attic Productions youth show to see my one-act, “Curiosity Killed the Cat.”
The congressman said he took notes so he could do more research on the Moscow theatre siege.
We have our first review of “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” my show about the Moscow theatre siege, which opened May 16 at Studio Roanoke.
Heather Brush of the Cave Spring Connection says, in part:
“This surround sound and action atmosphere draws the non-acting audience in to an intimate experience and most interactive show I’ve seen. There were shocking moments and sad ones, with bits of humor, and all were experienced rather than simply witnessed. Panic at their moments of death is palpable in the darkness and smoky air, and then the ease of acceptance of what has come to pass as the violin plays a lullaby. It was a truly memorable experience as reality was suspended.”
You can read her full review here.
And here are some more photos of the cast and crew, shot on May 15 after the final preview night: Read the rest of this entry »
I am in the midst of a mini-media tour to promote “57 Hours at the House of Culture,” my upcoming show about the Moscow theatre siege at Studio Roanoke.
* I did an on-air interview on May 11 with 101.5 The Musicplace — and also worked in a plug for Roanoke as “Virginia’s Theatre City.” You can find a replay of the interview here.
* On May 15, actor Gary Reid and I appeared on “Daytime Blue Ridge,” the noontime program on WSLS-TV (Channel 10), the NBC affiliate in Roanoke. Gary, who plays the audience member Andrei, peformed one of his monologues, while I talked about the show. You can see it here. We shared the bill with legendary Roanoke singer Jane Powell, who even had the weather guy rocking out as she sang her rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” You’ll notice I wore my Lady Gaga tie for the occasion.
The set for my show about the Moscow theatre siege is taking shape at Studio Roanoke.
We don’t want to give away too many production secrets, but here are some photos to give you a taste of what’s to come.
The key thing: The goal of the production is to make you feel you’re there, at the House of Culture in Moscow when Chechen terrorists seized it in 2002 and held it for 57 hours. (Hence, the name of the show: “57 Hours in the House of Culture.”
With that in mind, we are trying to reproduce — in abstract form, at least — what the set at the theatre really looked like. Fortunately, it was a spare set for the musical “Nord-Ost.”
My show opens May 16 and runs through May 27 at Studio Roanoke.
A few close-ups:
Rehearsals are well underway for “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” my show about the Moscow theatre siege that runs May 16-27 at Studio Roanoke.
I really like what director Brian O’Sullivan is doing with the show.
It promises to be just as dark and spooky as I envisioned — if it not more so.
Here are some rehearsal photos. You’ll notice that many of the players are laying down on the floor. That’s because their characters are dead.
It’s a good thing the FBI wasn’t listening in on our production meeting Tuesday for my upcoming show at Studio Roanoke — otherwise, the G-men would have heard us talking about, oh, how to build a bomb, and assemble a small arsenal of weapons. Including an actual AK-47.
All these, of course, are not for revolution, but for art — specifically, “57 Hours in the House of Culture,” my show about the 2002 Moscow theatre siege that runs May 16-27.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Studio Roanoke technical director Joanna Jessee showed off her sketch for what the set will look like, based on previously conversations she’s had with director Brian O’Sullivan. The plan is to recreate — in somewhat abstract form — the actual set that was in place at the House of Culture (aka, the Dubrokva Theatre) on the night that Chechen terrorists stormed the place in October 2002.
Here’s another photo from Tuesday’s production meeting. Rehearsals got underway Sunday.