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‘Rocky Horror Show’ to Hit WCU Stage Feb. 19-21

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The campy cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show,” a musical comedy that pays homage to the science fiction and B-grade horror movies of the mid-20th century, will warp its way through time to hit the stage in February at Western Carolina University as part of the School of Stage and Screen’s 2014-15 theatrical season.

The production, the opening Mainstage series production of the spring semester, will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, through Saturday, Feb. 21, in Hoey Auditorium on the WCU campus, with a special late-night Saturday showing at 10:30 p.m. Feb. 21.

The show contains profanity and sexual content that is not appropriate for children.

The play tells the story of Brad and Janet, a newlywed couple whose car breaks down during a storm, forcing them to seek refuge in the nearest shelter they can find. The naive model citizens stumble upon the mansion of Dr. Frank “N” Furter, a mad scientist who also happens to be a transvestite from another planet.

Inside the home, they meet an assortment of unusual characters including RiffRaff the butler, maid Magenta and sidekick Columbia, and two of the doctor’s “experiments” – biker Eddie and the muscle-bound Rocky. Meanwhile, an investigator named Dr. Scott has grown suspicious of Frank “N” Furter and arrives on the scene.

“The Rocky Horror Show” features a number of popular songs including “The Time Warp” and “Sweet Transvestite.” In addition to theatrical runs in London, Los Angeles and New York, the play spawned a motion picture that became a cult classic, well-known for late-night screenings and audience participation.

“’The Rocky Horror Show’ is iconic,” said Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre who is serving as production supervisor. “It’s the greatest theatrical cult event in the show business.”

Western Carolina’s production is being directed by Kristen Hedberg, adjunct faculty member in the WCU School of Music, with music direction by Katya Stanislavskaya, assistant professor and director of WCU’s program in musical theatre, and choreography by students Madee Seagle and assistant Sydney Troxler.

In a nod to the famous film version, a few scenes of the production have been filmed and will be projected onto a large screen, Hedberg said.

“With ‘The Rocky Horror Show,’ the collaboration amongst our artistic team has been imaginative, smart and refreshing,” she said. “While assuring veteran ‘Rocky’ audience members that expected traditions will be honored and upheld, audience members will also find themselves in a newly imaginative world that reflects our concept and point of view through the physical design and realization of character by the performers.”

The cast features WCU students Alex Drost as Frank “N” Furter, Kylee Smith as Janet, James Hendley as Brad, Joshua Farrar as Rocky, Samantha Alicandri as Magenta, Paige Smith as RiffRaff, Hannah Day as Columbia, Cierra Sokoloski as Eddie, Will Bryant as Dr. Scott and Cory Phelps as the Narrator.

The show was written by Richard O’Brien, who played the role of RiffRaff in the original theatrical and film versions. “The Rocky Horror Show” is performed at WCU by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

Tickets are $21 for adults, $16 for seniors (age 60 and older), $16 for faculty and staff and $7 for students.

Audience members interested in participating with traditional interactive props and “talk back lines” must purchase tickets in the first four rows and should call the box office for assistance. In addition, those audience members will need to purchase an “interactive kit” at the door for $5. Proceeds from the sale of the kits will benefit the University Players.

For tickets, call the box office of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at 828-227-2479 or visit the website bardoartscenter.wcu.edu www.bardoartscenter.wcu.edu and select “Ticketed Events” located under “Visit the Box Office.”

Attic Salt’s “Women and Wallace” Opens Thursday

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Another show in 35below! Attic Salt Theatre Company, the team who produced 2013’s hit All in the Timing, will open the quirky comedy Women and Wallace this Thursday at 7:30 pm!

Women and Wallace is a dark comedy that playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman penned when he was only 18. It won a place in the prestigious Playwright’s Horizon’s Young Playwright Festival in 1988. Though it’s not exactly a well-known title (one reviewer lamented that it is “known only to the theatrical hipster elite”), the much-lauded play had an off-Broadway run, as well as a television adaptation for PBS’ American Playhouse.

Women and Wallace is directed by Jeff Catanese and stars Garrett Funk, Kirby Gibson, Jackie Collison, Jane Hallstrom, Alison Young and Candice Owen. Women and Wallace opens on Thursday, April 3rd and runs through Saturday, April 19th, with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm.

All tickets are $15.00.

A-B Tech Drama Club Mounts Cult Musical Halloween Weekend

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech Community College’s Drama Department will present a student-driven production of Richard O’Brien’s cult musical “The Rocky Horror Show,” directed by Summer Peffers.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2 in Ferguson Auditorium on the Asheville campus. Tickets are $5 for A-B Tech students, veterans and area students and $10 for adults. Tickets will be sold at the door, first come, first served.

Rocky Horror costumes and audience participation are encouraged, but the usual “props” cannot be thrown in the auditorium.

On the way to visit an old college professor, two clean cut young people, Brad Majors and his fiancée Janet Weiss, get caught in a storm and seek help at the freaky Frankenstein mansion. Little do they know that the mansion is inhabited by alien transsexuals from the planet Transylvania or that Dr. Frank-N-Furter is in the midst of one of his maniacal experiments, creating a muscle man named Rocky Horror.

Director Peffers was drawn to The Rocky Horror Show, “because it’s a very controversial show that has a deeper meaning than people think.  It’s fun, but it’s profound,” she said.

Produced and directed by Australian Jim Sharman, the original London production ran for a total of 2,960 performances and won the 1973 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. Its 1974 U.S. debut in Los Angeles had a successful nine-month run but its 1975 Broadway debut lasted only three previews and 45 showings, despite gaining a Tony nomination and three Drama Desk nominations. The musical was ranked 8th in a BBC Radio listener poll of the Nation’s Number One Essential Musicals.

Principal players include Tab Merkle as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Lauren Rivas as Janet, Wesley Bailey as Riff Raff, David Krarup as Rocky, Stacy Sexton as Magenta, Casey Brittini as Columbia, Robert Eadie as Brad, and Robbie Riley as Dr. Scott.  Phil Koch is the stage manager, and Hannah Gerard is the assistant stage manager. Sam Thomas is the costume director, and Mackenzie King is the properties master.  Instructor Laura Chaney heads the design team with her Stagecraft and Stage Makeup classes.

The A-B Tech Drama Club was founded in 2003 to encourage students to participate in drama at the community college.  A-B Tech Drama produced its first play, The Boys Next Door, in 2004. The Rocky Horror Show is the company’s 18th production.

For more information, contact Peter Carver at 828-398-7890 or [email protected].

Tomas Kubinek Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible at DWT

Friday, December 21st, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Described by London’s Time Out magazine as “hilarious and enormously talented,” Tomas Kubinek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible brings his collision of absurdist theatre and circus magic to Diana Wortham Theatre, Saturday January 19, 2013 at 8:00pm. Via comedy, clowning, mime, magic, acrobatics, and music, Kubinek’s exuberant show is equal parts comic brilliance, virtuosic vaudeville, and irresistible charm.

Born in Prague, Kubínek and his parents left Czechoslovakia when he was only 3 years old to escape the 1968 Soviet Invasion and were granted asylum in Ontario, Canada. It was there that a young Tomáš witnessed his first circus, which sparked a passionate interest in clowns, circus, theatre, and magic. After he began performing in his early teens, Kubínek saved money and traveled to Europe to study with some of the world’s greatest teachers of theatre. Through experimentation with live performance, and his various studies and collaborations, Kubínek developed an entertaining and thrilling style all his own.

Tomáš Kubínek has appeared in over 30 countries around the world. He was the headline performer at the First International Congress of Fools in Moscow, toured across Italy, and performed a sold-out run at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall Purcell Theater as the featured solo-artist of the London International Mime Festival. In 1997 and 1999 Kubínek played limited engagement runs at Broadway’s New Victory Theater. Both runs sold out in advance and received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The New York Times lauded his work as “Absolutely expert and consistently charming!”

Besides his solo work, Tomáš Kubínek has collaborated with many other artists from all over the world. He has been featured on Czech National Television with the celebrated actor and clown Boleslav Polivka on Mr. Polivka’s annual television specials, and he has performed in numerous guerilla-style absurdist theater sketches with writer and comedian Frank van Keeken at the HBO Workspace in Los Angeles. While touring with his solo work Kubínek also teaches master classes for theatre students and professionals and occasionally writes and directs new works, collaborating on pieces for solo artists and theater companies.

Tomáš Kubínek’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz; and by Mainstage Special Attraction Series Sponsor Diamond Brand Outdoors; with additional support from Media Sponsor The Laurel of Asheville.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Diana Wortham Theatre Announces Performance of The Giver

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Who: The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life Stage Presentation of The Giver by Lois Lowry

When: October 23, 2012 • 8:00pm

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place

Ticket Prices: Regular $25; Students $20; Child $15

Student Rush day-of-the-show (with valid ID) $10

Info/Tickets: Box Office (828) 257-4530 · www.dwtheatre.com

Tickets on sale August 21st


Beloved for its ability to spark the imagination of audiences of all ages, The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life® Series presents Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning novel The Giver in a compelling stage production at Diana Wortham Theatre on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. This relevant, deeply moving and beautifully directed stage adaptation performed by veteran New York actor Mara Stephens hits home as it brings The Giver to life in an atmosphere of discovery. The evening presentation of The Giver on Tuesday October 23 is in addition to three Mainstage Matinee Series performances on October 23 and 24, which are all sold out with waiting lists.

Lois Lowry’s groundbreaking tale The Giver introduces audiences to Jonas, a twelve-year-old boy living in a dystopian world where all is the same, who is selected to receive the memories of a far different life. As Jonas trains to become the Receiver of Memories, the buried truth about the world that he was born into becomes hauntingly clear to both Jonas and the audience. Featuring a popular thought-provoking interactive discussion session pre- and post-performance, The Giver challenges audience members to explore themes including individuality, ethics and social constructs.

The book, originally published in 1993, was the recipient of the 1994 Newbery Medal for Literature and is due for release as a major motion picture in 2013. A Literature to Life® Award winner, The Giver was adapted in 2009 and marked the first young adult novel on the Literature to Life® roster.  Newly adapted by Associate Artistic Director Elise Thoron, this piece features sixty minutes of solo-performance and focuses on the relationship between the young Jonas and his mentor, The Giver.

Mara Stephens is a graduate of University of Vermont and has been performing on Broadway, off Broadway and regionally for the past 15 years. Her first professional show in 1995 was “Coming Through” with The American Place Theater, directed by Wynn Handman. She was in the original cast of the Broadway musical, Titanic. Her stage career has included performances in venues and workshops across the country, and she has appeared in film and television in Law & Order, Slings & Arrows, Cold Feet, and King of the Corner.

The American Place Theatre, now in its fiftieth season, is one of the nation’s first non-commercial, Off-Broadway theaters. Conceived in 1963, the theatre has received over 30 Village Voice OBIE Awards for Off-Broadway theatrical productions and 16 Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) Awards, which recognize excellence in black theatre. It is critically acclaimed as a birthing place for artistic endeavors at the crossroads of literature and live performance. Literature to Life®, The American Place Theatre’s performance-based literacy program that premiered in 1992, presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of significant American literary works. This educational program gives audiences a new form of access to literature by bringing to life the world of books with compelling stage performances. Says acclaimed actress Meryl Streep of the program, “A generation of Americans is leaving reading behind. The American Place Theatre has an extraordinary program that is doing something about it.”

Intersections Book Club: The first meeting of the Intersections Book Club is October 9, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre to discuss The Giver. The discussion is casual and provides an opportunity for book lovers to talk about the concepts of the novel and to meet fellow patrons and book lovers. The only requirement is to read the book before arriving. The discussion is open and provided free of charge to the public. Please RSVP by calling 828-210-9837 or e-mailing [email protected]

Pre-show discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the presentation, ticket holders can attend a free pre-performance discussion in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre at 7:00 p.m. before the 8:00 p.m. performance

The American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life®Asheville performance of The Giver is made possible by Performance Sponsors Carol & Bob Deutsch, and by Mainstage Theatre Series Sponsors First Citizens Bank and Ward and Smith, P.A., with additional support from Media Sponsors WCQS 88.1 FM and WNC magazine.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Asheville Renaissance Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Keigwin and Company Perform at Diana Wortham Theatre

Friday, March 30th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Keigwin and Company perform at the Diana Wortham Theatre March 30 and 31. A knockout fusion of pop culture and high art. The smart, sexy, and entertaining works of Larry Keigwin gorgeously blend contemporary dance and cabaret flare with the verve of New York Fashion Week and MTV. The New York Times has called this provocative and engaging company “witty, kinetic and musically responsive” and “a parcel of pure explosive energy.” Keigwin’s work embodies a theatrical sensibility, overflowing with both style and heart, which has led to rave reviews and invitations to perform at great venues such as the Kennedy Center, Summerdance Santa Barbara, New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and now Asheville.

Pre-show discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the performances, ticket holders can attend free pre-performance discussions led by Larry Keigwin, company founder and choreographer, in The Forum at Pack Place at 7:00 p.m. before both performances.

K+C in the news: Click here to read the featured article in this week’s Mountain Xpress.

March 30 & 31, 2012 • 8:00 p.m.

Tickets: Regular $35, Student $30
Groups of 10-19: $32 each
Groups of 20 or more: $30 each
No child ticket price available. Some parents may find portions of this performance unsuitable for children.

Drama Club presents The Importance of Being Earnest

Monday, March 26th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The A-B Tech Drama Club presents The Importance of Being Earnest at 7:30 p.m. April 12, 13, 19, 20 and 21 at the Carriage House Theatre on the Asheville campus.

The production is directed by A-B Tech drama instructor Peter Carver and features a cast of A-B Tech students and faculty including Allison Stinson as Lady Bracknell, Aaron Borgmann as Jack Worthing, Alex Lohman as Gwendolyn Bracknell, Ted Rolle as Algernon Moncrieff and Karma West as Cecily Cardew.

Written by Oscar Wilde, the play premiered in London in 1895 at St. James’s Theatre. Set in London and the English countryside during the late 19th century, The Importance of Being Earnest is a both a whimsical romantic comedy as well as a sharp-witted satire of Victorian society.

Tickets are $3 for A-B Tech students and staff, $5 for area students and $10 for adults.  Seating is limited. Box office opens April 2.  For information and reservations, call 828-254-1921, ext. 890 or email [email protected]

Diana Wortham Theatre Presents The Importance of Being Earnest

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Diana Wortham Theatre presents The Importance of Being Earnest. Crammed full of larger-than-life characters and with comic timing as sharp as Wilde’s witticisms, Aquila’s Earnest is unmistakable fun. This delightful and tantalizing production overflows with humor, elegance, romantic comedy, and insights into the flamboyant lifestyle of the fashionable British upper classes — as Wilde’s Algernon admits, “If I am occasionally over dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over educated.” Count on creative staging and the beautiful use of physical humor for over-the-top merriment.

Tickets: Regular $35, Student $30, Child $12
Groups of 10-19: $32 each
Groups of 20 or more: $30 each

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Annual Unified Theatre Auditions on Feb. 24 and 25

Monday, January 9th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The A-B Tech Drama Club and the Montford Park Players will host the 11th annual Western North Carolina Theatre League Unified Auditions Feb. 24 and 25 in Ferguson Auditorium on A-B Tech’s Asheville campus.

Modeled after the Southeastern Theatre Conference and National Outdoor Drama Auditions, the annual event allows local actors and technicians to showcase their talents in a professional audition setting for a variety of companies throughout the region. The auditions have drawn up to 23 theatre, media and talent companies.

The purpose of the Unified Auditions is to develop a database of local actors and technical artists for regional, community and professional companies.

Youth auditions, which include anyone under the age of 18 by May 1, will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 24. Youth actors should present a memorized selection, poem, rhyme, monologue, and, if they wish, sing a song. Singing to tapes is not allowed.

Auditions and technical interviews for actors, designers, directors, stage managers, musicians and technicians will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Actors are asked to prepare 90 seconds of material: one monologue or two contrasting monologues or monologue and 16 bars of a song. An accompanist will be available. Please bring your own sheet music in your key, as the accompanist will not transpose.

An Audition Information Workshop will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 in A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium. At this workshop, actors will hear from a panel of directors on effective auditioning techniques and what to expect at the auditions.

To register, upload information, including a headshot, through the online registration form and pay a $30 registration fee at www.unifiedauditions.org.

Diana Wortham Theatre Presents Julie Fowlis November 11

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

ASHEVILLE NC – Julie Fowlis is coming to Diana Wortham Theatre November 11, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

“There are some voices that carry much more than a melody. They transport you to another place, give you goose flesh and make magic out of thin air. Julie Fowlis has just such a voice” (Evening Standard, London). Julie Fowlis is a remarkable performer whose pure, crystalline vocals merit her place in the Eva Cassidy-songbird echelon. The theatre delights in landing a spot on her first-class ensemble’s limited tour of the United States -made especially appropriate as she plays instruments made by The Abell Flute Company of Asheville. Named BBC Radio 2’s Folk Singer of the Year in 2008, The Daily Telegraph’s prediction that “Julie Fowlis could be the first Scottish Gaelic crossover star in the making” is increasingly prescient.

Tickets: Regular $30, Student $25, Child $12

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