THEATRE WEST VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES NEW SLOGAN AND SEASON
Theatre West Virginia is “Where Legends Live!”
(March 26, 2012 – Beckley, WV) Theatre West Virginia (TWV) is “Where Legends Live!” This new slogan was created by Casting Director Marion Waggoner.
“I believe it truly speaks to the gravity of TWV; its products, as well as those who have been involved over the years. It's a testament, as much as a slogan,” said Waggoner.
Theatre West Virginia recently underwent a financial setback when it had to close its doors December 29, 2011. It wasn’t until the West Virginia state government gave the theatre funding of $210,000 earlier this month that the theatre was able to re-open.
Those two months lost could have been damaging to the theatre’s success of producing a summer season, but Theatre West Virginia’s staff hit the ground running. It was decided that one of the best ways to help the theatre financially was to create a clear image of what Theatre West Virginia stands for. “Where Legends Live!” illustrates why everyone from actors to board members to legislators fought so hard to preserve the only entity that fuses art and West Virginia history.
Theatre West Virginia’s fifty-second season will start rehearsals on May 21, 2012. Honey in the Rock, the nation’s oldest Civil War drama, opens at Cliffside Amphitheatre on June 12th. Hatfields & McCoys, the famous feud fueled by yellow journalism that made the mountains bleed red, opens June 13th. Directors for these productions are J.J. Cobb and Marion Waggoner respectively. These two will run in rotating repertory through July 27th.
Concerts are back at Theatre West Virginia this summer. The Embers will perform beach music on June 22nd and the always-popular Phil Dirt and the Dozers will perform old time rock n’ roll classics on August 17th.
Rounding out the season will be the triumphant return of Rocket Boys: The Musical August 1 - 16. “Rocket Boys” had its very successful world premiere at Theatre West Virginia last summer and Theatre West Virginia is thrilled to bring it back once more.
Rocket Boys is based on the 1998 New York Times #1 bestseller by West Virginia native and NASA engineer Homer Hickam Jr. (also immortalized in the 1999 film October Sky). In Hickam’s memoir, Homer (known then as Sonny) sees Sputnik, the world’s first satellite, fly across the 1957 October sky. This singular event catapults Sonny to reach for the stars and reject his coal-mining roots to join the space race. This funny, yet deeply moving story with its universal theme of perseverance is something everyone can relate to.
Hickam co-wrote the book with Carl Anthony Tramon, a Broadway actor who also originated the role of Sonny. Tramon will return to the role this summer. Award-winning composer/lyricist team Dan Tramon and Diana Belkowski wrote the music. This summer’s production will be directed by Rich Jagunic who co-directed last year’s world premiere with Marina Hunley-Graham. The production is produced in association with Brighter Sky Productions and Universal Pictures.
“Rocket Boys” takes place in Coalwood, WV, a short drive from Theatre West Virginia located at Grandview, WV. Performing the show so close to where it originated provides an experience unique to patrons here.
Co-author/actor Carl Anthony Tramon elaborates, “ If you look at most of the musicals about Americana, the characters are typically written superficially. What’s so great about this book and musical is that the people are not only real, but extraordinary, and without pretense. They work staggeringly hard, fight passionately, think remarkably, laugh hysterically,and above all, love completely. To me that exemplifies West Virginia. How refreshing it will be, I think, to the native audience, to see their home depicted with such vibrant authenticity.”
What Tramon describes are living legends. Each of Theatre West Virginia’s productions this summer bring to life characters who reach for the stars while fighting extenuating circumstances, very much like the staff, cast, crew, and board of Theatre West Virginia.
Tickets for Theatre West Virginia’s productions are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by phone (304-256-6800 or 800-666-9142) or online at www.theatrewestvirginia.com . Tickets range $7 - $19 for all theatrical performances. All concert tickets are $22.
ABOUT THEATRE WEST VIRGINIA: Theatre West Virginia’s mission is to produce, present, and administer the highest quality performing arts programs (i.e., plays, dance,musicals) for the entertainment and cultural enrichment of the public in West Virginia. Theatre West Virginia carries out its mission in the areas of community development, arts in education, and Theatre West Virginia’s professional training academy.
Theatre West Virginia has been dedicated to community development for over fifty years to promote history and tourism while leading the performing arts within the state. Theatre West Virginia’s historical plays started in 1961 and the theatre has always reached for the next level within the creative arts. Honey in the Rock, the nation’s oldest Civil War drama, was the first production with Hatfields & McCoys shortly following in 1971. Through the years, we’ve added Broadway musicals to our repertoire that developed a long-standing reputation in the arts community. Theatre West Virginia’s desire to be on the cutting edge of artistic excellence evolved into testing new works, which include last summer’s successful world premiere of Rocket Boys: The Musical.
Theatre West Virginia has an estimated economic impact of two to eight million dollars each summer. Through the annual season of 65 performances at Cliffside Amphitheatre, we attract 30,000 patrons representing 47 of the 50 states, while attracting six to ten foreign countries. Over the past 51 seasons an estimated 1.5 million patrons have seen a production at Cliffside Amphitheatre. Theatre West Virginia’s educational touring company is the only professional educational touring company in West Virginia. Since 1972 it has been bridging the gap of arts education in the state’s schools that has been created due to budget cuts. Over two million schoolchildren of West Virginia and surrounding areas have been exposed to a Theatre West Virginia educational production.
For more information, please contact the offices of Theatre West Virginia by calling 304-256-6800 or toll free at 800-666-9142 or visiting us online at www.theatrewestvirginia.com. Mailing address is P.O. Box 1205, Beckley, WV 25802