Pull out your phone in a live theatrical performance, and you might get the stink eye, or even a request to leave. But given the unavoidable technological climate, some theatres, including the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, are beginning to experiment with Tweet Seats, where patrons can safely share their ideas and thoughts about the performances, free from any menacing glares.
The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton is known for being traditional, but you might be surprised by what constitutes tradition when it comes to the bard.
In Shakespeare’s time, the lights did not go down as the curtain came up. That’s why the Blackfriar Theater’s racy motto is, “We Do It with the Lights On.” And during the current five-show series, performers are taking just 48-hours to find costumes and rehearse. Theater spokeswoman, Cathy Bagwell Marsh, says for the Bard, it was all about business.
“Because the more you did, the more money you made.”
The power of love, and its not so distant relative, hate, are explored in one of Sam Shepard’s most enduring plays. “Fool for Love” opens next week on the main stage at Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts.
Sam Shepard's plays tend to roam the vast spaces of the wild west and the small spaces of the human psyche; His characters, larger than life, his themes reminiscent of Greek theater, though set in the present day.
Many operas are set in Europe – sung in Italian or German, but the Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville plans to bring the art form closer to home with a performance of Susannah -- a story set in Appalachia.
Susannah is a role prized by sopranos like Renee Flemming, who performed it at the Met. Critics described composer Carlisle Floyd as the American Pucini for the passionate lyrics and music he wrote. He tells the story of a beautiful woman who lives in a small town – New Hope Valley, Tennessee. She sings of her longing to leave and make something of her life.