, U.Va.


Company Member Profile - James Scales

Welcome back to our Company Member Profile series on the Heritage Blog! Today we want to introduce you to the one the only James Scales!

While a lot of people reading this might recognize you from your turns on the stage, would you mind taking a moment to describe what it is you do for Heritage on a day to day basis? When you aren't performing that is.

I’m the business manager, both for Heritage and the UVA Department of Drama.  If it involves money coming in or going out, it crosses my desk at some point. This morning I’m looking at a final proof of the Heritage playbill, making sure that all of Drama’s accounts are in good shape for fiscal year-end (and moving money around as necessary), reviewing a television ad, discussing how to put an out-of-town employee onto the payroll…. 

How did you first get involved in theatre? When did you realize that it was something you wanted to be a part of for the rest of your life?

I started acting when I was eleven.  I started thinking seriously about it as a career when I was a junior in college, but I wasn’t prepared to live the life of an actor—not knowing where or when your next job would be.  So I went to law school, my original plan A.  Three years out of law school, I started working here, where I’ve been able to act often enough to keep that side of me happy. 

What is your favorite play or musical?

I’ll go with shows I’ve worked on.  Favorite play: ARCADIA by Tom Stoppard.  I was Assistant Director to Betsy Tucker for UVA’s production in 1999.  JP Scheidler (who I’m thrilled to be working with again this summer) was Septimus.  First-year student Sarah Drew was Thomasina.  It was a lovely production.  The play is so rich and overflowing with ideas.  Favorite musical: THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.  It was a show I loved from the first time I saw it in New York, and I was so happy to be a part of it here.  The cast is pretty much onstage the whole show, so we really became a tight ensemble.  We laughed so much in rehearsals.  We only had six performances, but I would have been happy doing that show indefinitely.

What is your favorite thing to do in Cville?

We used to live downtown when my oldest child was a newborn, and we loved to just take a turn down the length of the mall and back.  We’d always run into someone we knew.  Great people-watching!

What is your favorite non-theatre related activity?

Watching and talking movies.  I used to work at Sneak Reviews.  I miss that part of my life, when I got to talk movies every day. 

Desert island questions: you can only bring the following to a desert island, what do you choose:

  • Book  Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  • Movie  Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS (extended edition). That counts as one!
  • TV show  Doctor Who (50 years worth of viewing material)
  • Two food items  Peanut Butter and Coffee

What show are you most looking forward to this season?

I’m looking forward to each of them in their own way.  How’s that for a non-answer!  I think the time is right to revisit Woody Guthrie’s anthems of economic justice, and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and new ones in WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICAN SONG.  I’ve long admired the work of my friends Richard Warner and Jude Reagan, but I’ve never seen them onstage together, which is what CHAPATTI holds for me.  I can’t wait to see Bob Chapel tackle another Sondheim musical in the Culbreth (I don’t think he’s ever done one without me before!) with COMPANY.  BASKERVILLE and Barry Lubin promise to be tons of fun.  And, of course, I’m happy to be part of MIDDLETOWN with my daughter Colleen.  That experience has been a treat!

Star Wars or Star Trek?

I love me some Star Trek, but watching Star Wars can still make me feel like I’m nine years old again. I’m so happy to be able to share that experience with my own children with the new films.  (I don’t let them watch the prequels. Life’s too short.)

Marvel Comics or DC?

I enjoy visiting DC several times a year. It’s an easy day trip from Charlottesville. You know what my favorite of the Marvel movies has been?  BIG HERO 6.  I don’t think a lot of people saw it, but it’s very good.

Dogs or Cats?

We promised our children that they could have a pet when the older child is ten, which is now less than a year away.  When the weather is terrible, I try to point out “Boy! I’m sure glad I don’t have to take a dog for a walk in this rain/snow/microburst/derecho!”  Still, a year from now I’ll probably be a dog owner again. 

Coke or Pepsi

(Diet) Coke. 

Heritage Theatre Festival to present WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG

Heritage Theatre Festival is celebrating America’s birthday this year with a musical tribute to one of our nation’s greatest cultural treasures. Woody Guthrie’s American Song, opening June 30 at Culbreth Theatre, is an acclaimed ensemble musical  that has been delighting audiences for more than a quarter of a century with its foot-stomping, hand-clapping, and soul-stirring tribute to a man whose unforgettable music and enduring spirit are deeply  woven into his beloved nation’s cultural fabric.

Woody Guthrie’s American Song, written by Peter Glazer (whose father was a longtime Guthrie sideman) and directed by Bryan Garey, will be presented in Culbreth Theatre from June 30 through July 8. Tickets for adults are $30 if purchased before June 30 and $35 if purchased on or after that date. Student/Child tickets are available for $15 regardless of when purchased. Single and season tickets for the 2017 Heritage Theatre Festival season are available at the UVA Arts Box Office (located in the lobby of the Drama Building), online at www.heritagetheatrefestival.org or by phone at 434-924-3376.

From “This Land is Your Land” to “900 Miles” to “Bound for Glory,” Woody Guthrie’s songs helped carry a nation through the dark days of the Great Depression and in many ways still carry it today, serving up lessons in humanity, humility, perseverance and hope that remain vitally important in the world we live in. They also served as an inspiration for a new generation of cultural standard bearers including Bruce Springsteen, Wilco, and U2, all of whom credit Guthrie as a primary influence.

 Woody Guthrie’s American Song, hailed as “A dazzling explosion of Guthrie’s genius” by the Boston Globe, features a talented array of actors and musicians who will take audiences on a musical journey and across a range of tales that are as vast as the country Guthrie cherished  - from the Dust Bowl to the California coast to the streets of New York City and beyond. The show also offers glimpses into Guthrie’s own life through his humble musings and deft and timeless insight.

The production will also feature a familiar face for local music lovers. Michael Clem, known for his work with the internationally-acclaimed band Eddie from Ohio and for his work locally with his Michael Clem Trio, will make his theatrical debut in the production. The move to the stage is serendipitous for Clem, who first got the folk “bug” as a child while watching Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie in a PBS concert broadcast.

Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Garey said, is far from your typical musical theatre experience.  “This is a folk concert/storytelling experience as much as anything. It’s a great chance for people to appreciate the work, and sort of humble genius, of an American master, no matter how much they knew about him coming in. We have had people working on the show who didn’t know much about Woody Guthrie, and now say they find themselves wanting to sing the whole time.”

One of the pillars of Guthrie’s simple genius is his ability to capture all of our most profound hopes and deepest fears, regardless of our age or era. “He is able to profoundly describe the human experience, including through great adversity,” Garey said. “And he has the supreme gift of being able to use music to help people deal with their insecurity in a turbulent world, and to provide them with real empathy and comfort –which is obviously something that we can use more of in our world today.”

Garey added that Guthrie’s songs and stories transcend political affiliations, and speak to a larger need to come together as people first. “He talks about the power of the people and that there is power in togetherness in a way that is not about liberals or conservatives. It’s a reminder that music has a unique power to inspire all of us to remember what is truly important.  This July will mark the 105th anniversary of his birth and here he is still pushing us, through his music, to be better.”

The show’s appeal also transcends generational boundaries, Garey said. “This is a great evening that can be shared by an entire family that features great storytelling, fascinating history, and absolutely incredible music.”

The 2017 Heritage Theatre Festival will continue with Chapatti, Christian O’Reilly’s touching drama about an unusual bond forged  by late-in-life neighbors around finding homes for their respective pets (July 6-15 in the Helms Theatre); Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a madcap whodunit in which five actors play 40 characters (July 22-29 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre) and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Company, featuring all-time classic Broadway hits like “Being Alive” (July 28-August 4 in the Culbreth Theatre). Putting an exclamation point on the season’s proceedings this summer will be International Clown Hall of Fame member Barry Lubin, the face of the Big Apple Circus, who will bring his iconic and irrepressible character “Grandma” for performances at the Ruth Caplin Theatre on August 4 and 5.

Parking for Heritage Theatre Festival performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.

 Cast of Woody Guthrie's American Song

Interview with Director Bryan Garey

If you enjoyed last week’s interview with Colleen Kelly, then we hope you’ll dig this. This weekend we sat down with the one, the only, Bryan Garey to talk about the unique challenges of directing Woody Guthrie’s American Song; you’ll find our interview below!

Hi Bryan! Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions. With Woody Guthrie’s American Song opening this week, we just wanted to sit down with you and get your thoughts on the show and your team’s process. Let’s dive right in - What was your experience with Woody Guthrie prior to directing this show?

Like most folks, my knowledge of Woody Guthrie was limited to “influential folk singer and song writer” and “This Land is Your Land.”  This wonderful piece exposes all of us to his incredible music, so beautiful, melodic, and meaningful.  And, it introduces us to his life story and the stories of people during his lifetime.  Like us, folks were going through tough times and Woody found a way to provide insight, empathy, and comfort through his words and music.

Guthrie’s catalog ranges from the obscure to the, well, "This Land is Your Land" - did you feel a need to balance the show relative to each song's individual fame?

The music is so good, no balancing was needed.  What we try to do is honor the music by performing it well and also bringing the audience into the time and the work.  Folks will be singing along and leave the theatre humming the tunes and, I hope, reflecting on Woody’s life and work.  Many may also find comfort in the music as it is universal and is relevant to our struggles today.

Your cast came to this process with a very diverse skill set, and range of experiences as performers. What work did you do to unite those talents to a cohesive vision?

We rehearsed as a team the entire 3-week process and created an open and collaborative environment where many good ideas where shared and incorporated from everyone throughout the rehearsal time.  We also tapped into strengths…different musical talents, comic talents, etc., so that this is truly an ensemble piece.

What was your favorite part about working on this show? And what would you like your audience to feel when the curtain closes?

The music, first and foremost.  People will love the songs and performances.  And, as a bonus, they will learn about Woody and the American people of the 30’s and 40’s.  Finally, they may even be surprised as how much this work is alive and relevant today.  We need relief and comfort from the day-to-day struggles we all face.  Woody Guthrie provided that in his time and for our time, too.

Thanks again Bryan, really looking forward to seeing the show this weekend! Can’t wait to see what this ensemble has created!

If you haven’t yet, clink the box office link at the top of the page and grab your tickets now! On the 4th of July we’re doing a special matinee followed by a hot dog cookout for the Company and all those attending the matinee! A pretty cool way to kick off your Independence Day celebrations!

The Festival Begins!

Welcome back to the Heritage Blog! Hard to believe we’re already here, but the first show of the Heritage Theatre Festival season opens this Friday! That’s right, you heard me, THIS FRIDAY. As in two days. From now. Unless you’re reading this late… in which case it might already be open and you’re missing it. Or maybe you’re reading it during intermission, in which case I hope you are enjoying yourself! If you don’t have tickets yet, get them now - the shows are selling out fast. Go, go, click the box office link above. Go on, I’ll wait…

Phew, isn’t that a relief? So, you’ve got your tickets for Middletown and you can’t wait to see it; but you’re thinking to yourself - what’s next? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s Woody Guthrie’s American Song. That’s what’s next. And trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this one either. I’ve been talking to the cast and they are tearing it up in rehearsals. This is a super talented group of musicians and actors, and actor-musicians; heck, there are even some musician-actors; and they are all looking forward to showing you what they’ve been up to in just 9 days time!

So we’ve mentioned that Woody Guthrie’s American Song is an exploration of Woody Guthrie’s catalog, but haven’t had the chance to talk about how the heck it all ties together into a show yet. The main through-line is that the cast of 5 take on several characters that embody the feeling of Guthrie’s music in different times and places. The amount of responsibilities our actors juggle is pretty amazing, they have to move seamlessly between scene and song, playing their own instruments, and beautifully weaving together tight, complex harmonies. Seriously, this music is beautiful.

Alisa Ledyard, a member of this band of intrepid performers, talked with us about how exciting it is to work on something that at the outset seems very simple, but when you break it down becomes increasingly intricate. And based on the laughter coming out of the rehearsal rooms, the rest of the creative team seems to be loving it, too.

I know what you are thinking now. You don’t want to wait 9 days! You want to see what this show is all about as soon as possible. Well, I have good news for you. If you head down to the Charlottesville City Market bright and early this Saturday, you will get to see the cast of Woody Guthrie’s American Song live and in person. The cast will be performing live from the Market on WTJU’s Atlantic Weekly show around 9:00am.

We can’t wait to see people turning up this weekend as Middletown gets things rolling, we’ve got a feeling that this is going to be a summer of theater to remember.

Heritage Theatre Festival Opens 2017 Season with Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN

Heritage Theatre Festival is kicking off its 2017 season with Will Eno’s critically-acclaimed play Middletown, a deeply moving and often funny look into the lives, loves, fears, and hopes of residents of a most typical small town that examines and challenges our views of what passes for “normal” in today’s world.

Middletown, directed by HTF Interim Artistic Director and UVA Drama Department Chair Colleen Kelly, will be presented in the Ruth Caplin Theatre from June 23 through July 1. Tickets for adults are $25 if purchased before June 23 and $30 if purchased on or after that date. Student/Child tickets are available for $15 regardless of when purchased. Single and season tickets for the 2017 Heritage Theatre Festival season are available at the UVA Arts Box Office (located in the lobby of the Drama Building), online at www.heritagetheatrefestival.org or by phone at 434-924-3376.

Eno, once hailed by Christopher Isherwood of the New York Times as “Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation,” has said that Middletown owes an “inspiration debt” to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, he was conscious to take the play in a decidedly different direction. The result is a story full of quirky neighbors and new friends where characters use disarming honesty to highlight both the absurdity and the poignancy of the millions of tiny moments that make up all of our lives. From the budding friendship between an expectant mother and an itinerant local handyman to the prickly observations of the local beat cop to the brooding, and clearly troubled, mechanic, Eno weaves a tapestry that can feel both surprising and familiar while serving up plenty of food for thought about all of our lives.

“What really appeals to me about this play is the playfulness of Will Eno’s language,” Kelly said. “Characters weave and vault between waxing poetic and making pedestrian observation about life.”

In addition, Kelly said, there is a universal nature to the situations in which the play’s characters find themselves. “Like the residents of Middletown, we are all alive in the ‘middle’ of something—a world created by past and future ancestors, an existence between birth and death, a day that spans a sunrise and sunset, or, as is the case with one character, just between two crappy jobs. Regardless of differences, we are all humans just breathing and trying to get through life a day at a time. One character in the play observes, ‘That’s the trouble, the beauty, the trouble.’”

The 2017 Heritage Theatre Festival will continue with Woody Guthrie’s American Song, an ensemble musical celebrating the life and songs of one of our nation’s true cultural treasures; (July 30-July 8 at the Culbreth Theatre); Chapatti, Christian O’Reilly’s touching drama about an unusual bond forged  by late-in-life neighbors around finding homes for their respective pets (July 6-15 in the Helms Theatre); Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a madcap whodunit in which five actors play 40 characters (July 22-29 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre) and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Company, featuring all-time classic Broadway hits like “Being Alive (July 28-August 4 in the Culbreth Theatre). Putting an exclamation point on the season’s proceedings this summer will be International Clown Hall of Fame member Barry Lubin, the face of the Big Apple Circus, who will bring his iconic and irrepressible character “Grandma” for performances at the Ruth Caplin Theatre on August 4 and 5.

Parking for Heritage Theatre Festival performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters. 

Actors John Paul Scheidler, Chiquita Melvin, Priyanka Shetty, and Randy Risher in MIDDLETOWN.  Photo by Michael Bailey

Q&A with Colleen Kelly the Director of MIDDLETOWN

Middletown opens this weekend! What’s that?! You want to hear from the show’s director, Colleen Kelly? Well, you’re in luck! We here at the Heritage Blog got a chance to sit down and chat with her about the upcoming production, check it out below!

Hi Colleen, thanks for taking some time out of tech week to sit down with me and answer a few questions! I know you’re busy, so let’s not waste any time, what about Middletown first drew you to the play?

Two things. First, the story. I was intrigued by this contemporary spin on Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. The citizens of Middletown, however, are more diverse and quirky [than in Our Town] and I was captivated by how the characters deal with the challenges of a modern world. Second, I was drawn to Will Eno’s playful language. He has such a talent for juggling the poetic with the pedestrian and the profound with the simplistic.

Speaking of the citizens of Middletown, your cast spans a huge age and experience range, do you find yourself having to wear a bunch of different director hats to get the best out of everyone? 

I do, but nothing has been a surprise. When I was casting the show, I knew I wanted a company that reflected the age and life-experience of Middletown citizens. As a director, I try to adjust my own directing style and the rehearsal schedule to accommodate what the play demands and the cast needs. For example, I anticipated that a very young actor in the play might be shy about speaking her lines aloud so I scheduled time for her to lead a few vocal warmups with cast members to boost her confidence—during those times she was responsible for assuring actors had a strong physical presence and lines could be heard and understood.

That’s awesome, I’m sure everyone enjoyed that. You mentioned Will Eno’s wonderfully odd writing style, what are some things you are asking the actors to focus on when it comes to the text?

The play has several themes as through lines and Mr. Eno uses repetition of words and ideas throughout. I’ve asked the actors to be aware of connective themes in the play and be aware when other characters use the same words or phrases that they use, but, as characters, to stick to their specific point of view. It is OK if a theme takes a right turn in one scene and a left in another. It is OK if ideas have varying importance to characters in the play or a word has a different definition for one character than it has for another.

You referred to Middletown as a contemporary take on Our Town, do you find yourself leaning into that as a source of inspiration, or are you pulling away from those ideas?

That connection was certainly on my mind when I first decided to direct the play, but then I just focused on directing Middletown. The stories of the citizens of Wilder’s Grover’s Corners and Eno’s Middletown parallel in that people are born and people die and, during the time between, they just try to figure it all out. However, figuring it all out in 1938 is much different than figuring it all out in 2017.

What has been your favorite part of working on this play?

Throughout the whole rehearsal process, each actor has brought their unique talent and perspective to this story of Middletown, and it has been a joy to shape all of that into a cohesive message. The play has a prologue, 2 acts and 24 scenes. Another exciting element of directing this play—and, perhaps, the most challenging—is staging the flow between scenes. Sometimes the challenge is practical: how to get set pieces and actors on and off the stage. Sometimes the challenge is aesthetic: how to seamlessly continue a theme or abruptly change a point of view. Finding these solutions with the cast has been exciting, and I’m looking forward to sharing the work with our audience!

Thanks again for your time Colleen, best of luck with your final week of rehearsals, we’re all really looking forward to seeing the show!

Pop Quiz! What do a doctor, a pregnant woman, a handyman, and an astronaut have in common??

No, it’s not actually a quiz, I’ll tell you the answer: they were all just involved in the publicity photo shoot for Middletown. If that makes you wonder what the heck this play is about, then you are not alone! Our actors braved the Monday heat in order to get a great image that encapsulates just how wonderfully weird Will Eno’s play is. When they are not running around taking photos in costume our actors are rehearsing their tails off. Can you believe that we are only 9 days away from opening night?!

 With the premiere looming so close, Director Colleen Kelly has started gathering all the cast together now for runs of the show. This is a crucial period in the rehearsal process as all actors are now off-book (which means their lines are memorized) and they are really able to get a sense for how their character and scenes fit into the play as a whole. Noticing one little detail in another scene can inspire an actor to change something massive about their own performance. These early runs are also a great opportunity for Colleen to start doing her work of shaping the overall flow and focus of the play. It’s important that this is where all the performance elements are worked out because in a few short days Middletown will enter tech week, which is the opportunity for all of our technical staff to make refinements to their various designs. While nothing in live theatre is ever set in stone (that’s what we love about it), for the sake of the designers, the actors are asked to be as show ready as possible when tech week begins; and from my sneaky little peek at rehearsal yesterday (shh don’t tell anyone…) I think they’re in great shape.

Across the lobby another show is cranking their amps up to 11 and forging ahead as well. One of the cool things about a festival like this is that there is always something new happening in the building, a new show opens nearly every week so there is never a lack of work to be done! To describe Woody Guthrie’s American Song as a horse of a different color, from Middletown, would be an understatement. While there are many characters and scenes in the show, the central character is Guthrie’s music. Rehearsals almost resemble band practice as much as anything else! Stay tuned (get it?*) for more details on Woody Guthrie’s American Song as things progress, but I assure you, this is a show that you will not want to miss. See y'all next week!

Welcome to our Company Profile Series on the HTF Blog!

Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to amazing Shelby Edwards, our Company Manager. Read on to learn more about her and what she does here at Heritage!

Q: Many people might be unfamiliar with the role of a Company Manager, how would you describe what it is that you do?

A:The best description I have for Company Manager would be "Company Mom". In short I aid in making sure each company member has all of their needs met while working with Heritage Theatre Festival. This includes setting up living arrangements, transporting company members to and from the airport and/or train station, and ensuring their stay here in Charlottesville is one that is high quality. Additional responsibilities include checking mail daily, attending weekly production meetings and sending emails to the company as needed.

Q: How did you first get involved in theatre? When did you fall in love with it?

A: I was first involved with theatre as an adolescent, I did a vaudeville performance camp. I really fell in love with theatre my senior year of high school when I was in a local production of In the Heights and I am reminded why I love theatre everyday when I come to work.

Q: What is your favorite play or musical?

A: My favorite musical is Once on This Island and my dream role is "Ti Moune"

Q: What is your favorite thing to do around Cville?

A: My favorite thing to do in Charlottesville is my volunteer work with young adults. Once a week I visit the Music Resource Center on Ridge street. I grew as an artist substantially through that program and I think it is imperative to give back to the community. 

Q: When you aren’t working in theatre what keeps you busy?

A: I run an open mic night in the Charlottesville Area called "CVille Series" in partnership with the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, located downtown. This season we are having an open mic once a month, with the first falling on June 9th at 7.

Q: You are stuck on a desert island, you can only bring one book, one movie, one tv show, and two items of food - what do you choose?

A: If I were stuck on a desert island I would bring To Kill A Mockingbird, the movie Beyond The Lights, and my favorite show is Empire so I'd bring that too. My two food items of choice would avocado and carrots.

Q: What show are you most looking forward to this season?

A: Ok, so I know I said my favorite musical is Once on This Island, but Company is my other other favorite show. I saw it for the first time in high school and I'm probably going to cry when I see it opening night.

Q: Dogs or Cats?

A: Dogs because most cats have an attitude problem.

Q: Pepsi or Coke?

A: Coke because it was my mother's favorite soda!

What a week it has been!

What a week it has been! Since our company meeting last week, things have really kicked into overdrive here in Cville. All of our departments are working non-stop to bring our season to life, from costume fittings and painting parties to voice-over recordings, rehearsals, and everything in between. We recently spoke to some of the cast members of Middletown and they are loving their rehearsals so far.  Building a community as weird and as wacky as the one in Middletown seems to be a blast, and our actors are taking on all walks of life in this poignant Will Eno comedy. Heck, there’s even an astronaut! Right now Director Colleen Kelly is taking time to work with each scene and character individually to make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle are well formed before they are finally all put together.

Rehearsals for Woody Guthrie’s American Song kicked off this week as well. We have an amazing group of actor-musicians who are really excited to bring Woody Guthrie’s unique brand of Americana to the Heritage stage. Under the direction of Bryan Garey, Woody Guthrie’s American Song will be a nostalgia trip for some and an introduction of one of America’s greatest ever folk artists to others. Whether you only know “This Land is Your Land”, or you are a super-fan and know all the sounds in “Car Song”, we can’t wait to talk to you more about the process of building this wonderful show.

While we are working very hard here at HTF, we also recognize that it’s summertime and every theatre festival requires a little play! (see what I did there? **) So, with that in mind, we let our very own Steve Warner loose on the grill and had our first Company Cookout of the season. If you can imagine it, we grilled it… well, so long as what you are imagining is limited to burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, and hotdogs! We rounded the protein out with tons of chips and a variety of Oreos the likes of which has never been seen outside of a Nabisco factory. Naturally, all Company members were invited so it was a fantastic opportunity for all of us to connect with each other, munch on some great food, and enjoy a brief respite from all the rain we’ve had in central Virginia.

Several of our Company members have also been out and about - enjoying all that this fantastic area has to offer. Recent (not so adventurous) adventures have included strolling along the beautiful downtown mall equipped with ice creams followed by a visit to the IX Art Park.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other super exciting piece of news from this week: INDIVIDUAL TICKETS GO ON SALE ON FRIDAY! Woohoo! We at the blog squad got a chance to chat with some of our phenomenal box office staff, and they are excited to help everyone get to see our shows this summer. If you’re reading this after June 9th, then what are you waiting for? Go click that box office tab so you can come see the culmination of all our burger-fueled hard work!

- The Blog Squad

** What I did was a pun.


Welcome to the Heritage Theatre Festival Blog!

Welcome to the Heritage Theatre Festival Blog! We hope you’ll join us here a couple of times a week to get an awesome behind the scenes look at everything that’s happening around the festival, from updates, to company member profiles, director interviews, thoughts from the Artistic Director, AND MORE!

Why a blog you ask? Well, why not a blog?! But actually, we were inspired by all the excitement our fabulous Kick-Off Reception and our very first 2017 Company Meeting generated. We thought, wouldn’t it be cool if those worlds could interact a little more? And voilá! A blog is born! As you may or may not know, all of our Tuesday performances are followed by Talkbacks with the artistic team - and we would love to see you there! But if you can’t make it to those performances we don’t want to leave you out in the cold *** ! We encourage you to watch our Facebook live stream of the talkbacks shortly after the performance ends. We also encourage you to jump into the comment sections both here (still in progress) and on social media to ask your burning questions or simply share your thoughts about what we’re up to this summer in Cville.

Speaking of what we’re up to, we are already well underway working on our first show of the season: Will Eno’s deeply touching and darkly hilarious Middletown. Director (and interim Artistic Director) Colleen Kelly has started rehearsals with our wonderfully talented cast, while our phenomenal technical crew is hard at work creating the world for our actors to inhabit. At this point in the process both sides are approaching the play with a rough sketch; creating the outline and looking at the big picture of what they want to achieve before filling that sketch with the color and the life that you will ultimately see on stage starting June 23rd! Hopefully we will see you back here every week, so we can share even more of the details and fun that we’re having all summer long. If you aren’t already doing so, we’d LOVE to have you follow us on all our social media channels which are listed below for your convenience - but you can also always simply search for the one and only Heritage Theater Festival to find us wherever we are. Thanks for reading, and we can’t wait to see you in our theatres!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeritageTheatreFestival/

Twitter: @uvahtf

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heritagetheatrefestival/


- The HTF Blog Squad

*** Please note it will not actually, or EVER be cold in Charlottesville over the summer!


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