History of Theatre West Virginia
Theatre West Virginia was founded in 1955 as the West Virginia Historical Drama Association by concerned citizens from the Raleigh County region who desired to present West Virginia’s unique culture to as wide an audience as possible.
Honey in the Rock opened in 1961, Hatfields and McCoys in 1970, The Acting Company (touring) began in 1972, The Marionette Company (touring) was added in 1975 and the company started producing Broadway musicals in 1984 to run in rep with the two stock dramas. The West Virginia Dance Company joined TWV from 1985-1991. In 1998, TWV’s Professional Training Academy was started and has continued to grow with each semester. In 2008, a fourth musical was added to the schedule and produced by TWV PTA. Between the summer and winter companies, TWV’s shows are viewed by 100,000 people annually.
In 2011, Theatre West Virginia opened the World Premiere of Rocket Boys the Musical.
TWV’s Professional Training Program for College Interns is coordinated and implemented by Dr. Pam Chabora, a performance specialist and actress with TWV. Each year twelve to fourteen interns are selected from our auditions all over the country. As a TWV PTP Intern, in addition to performing roles in all summer productions, they receive private voice lessons each week, a minimum of two dance classes per week, regularly scheduled Master Classes in Acting, and several Master Classes in other topics such as the Business of Acting and Estell Voice Techniques. Free housing is provided by Mountain State University, a small food stipend, and three undergraduate credits (or Graduate credits) in “Field Experience in Theatre” from Mountain State University. An excellent way for actors to learn while working!
Classes that have been or are currently being offered at Theatre West Virginia’s Professional Training Academy (PTA)
Ages 5 and up. Classes offered for the fall and spring semesters in addition to a summer drama camp.
- Acting I
- Acting Intermediate
- Acting Advanced
- Professional Youth Troupe - Invitation only
- Shakespeare for Kids
- Scene Study
- Acting for the Camera
- Readers Theatre
- Musical Theatre I
- Musical Theatre II
- Musical Theatre Scene Study
- Private Voice Lessons
- Puppetry 101
- Stage Combat
- Movement for Actors
- Costuming and Make-up
- Technical Theatre 101
- Dance & Vocal Workshops
Traveling groups formed to perform in the community
Professional Youth Troupe and Talent on the Go
Performed at civic clubs, festivals, schools, malls, Tamarack and parks
Many students have been accepted into the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts
Students have gone on to schools like:
NYU Tisch School for the Arts Greensboro University
Point Park University West Virginia University
Marshall University Ohio State University
Western Kentucky University University of Southern California
Moody Bible Institute University of Charleston
Berea College Concord University
Glenville State College Fairmont State College