Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year, New Brand, New Billboard!

As we get ready to welcome 2009, the year in which RS will move our downtown season to Richmond CenterStage, the company will also introduce a new look. It will begin in phases, the first of which is our new billboard!

If you're driving in Richmond, try the southbound lanes of I-195 (Powhite Parkway) between I-64 and Broad Street. You'll see a sequence of images like the one pictured here.

Be sure to drive the route a few times----there are four (4) fun images and you'll want to see them all. We'll post them here over the next month as well. Enjoy! And don't forget to pick up your tickets for Amadeus, our Acts of Faith entry for 2009. Performances begin February 12 at 2nd Presbyterian Church.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

“Scrooge & Molly’s”

Eleven years of A Christmas Carol for Two Actors came to a close yesterday afternoon, and I just wanted to post a little thank you, most especially to Molly Hood, and write a little bit about gift-giving. "A Christmas Carol for Two Actors" is a whirlwind show, very physical, and can be surprisingly draining emotionally. Molly is an outstanding actress, the most punctual I've ever met, detailed and organized, and a very dear friend. It's been a treat to have her back, and we had a blast on this abbreviated run.

Every single time I said "Marley's voice" or "Scrooge and Marley's" this time, I had to pronounce that "r" verrrry carefully. I'm absolutely certain the sign over the door of Scrooge's office more than once inadvertently read "Scrooge & Molly's!"

Many other thanks are due, from the terrific Richmond Shakespeare board, many of whom attended the show again, to Bryan and Jennifer, Andrew, Cynde, Julie, and James Sved, the most recent Building Manager at 2nd Presbyterian Church. The Sextons at 2nd Pres, too, have been marvelous help: Carey, Cliff and Nat embody service.

But there are so many of you who've come to see the show over the years, and so many new faces---it makes one want to express the same gratitude to all of you. "A Merry Christmas to everybody!" exclaims Scrooge, upon waking from his ordeal. "A Happy New Year to the World!"

What does it mean, to do this show, year after year? Well, perhaps most importantly, there are the magical children's faces. The show is ideal for about age 6 and upwards---or a sophisticated 5. Their wide eyes upon seeing Ebenezer Scrooge materialize for the first time are priceless. And I've written elsewhere about preparing the show each year. But somehow I forget that there are always new faces.

The other new faces, the adults, I forget to expect each year. I forget that "newbies" to the show, as they watch the performance, are just as much fun for the vets to observe as the show itself! Martha Cratchit, the fiddler, Dick Wilkins and the three "Miss Fezziwigs" are old hat to Scrooge, sure, but to the new audience member, they're every bit as silly, as wonderful and as heartfelt as they were when I first played them for my parents, in front of the fire, more than a dozen years ago now.

You may already know---it's our custom after each performance of "Carol" to take up a collection for CARITAS, a local collaboration of various faith organizations who provide shelter to the region's homeless—especially in the winter months. Several nights during the run, the box office took in more in donations to CARITAS than we did walkup ticket sales. They're a terrific organization, and truly do make a difference in the lives of the poor. If you would like to join those who gave at the performances, you can do so by following this link. Just click on "get involved," and "donate."

What started as a gift for just my parents and a few family and friends has evolved into something much larger than I ever imagined. And of course in all that giving, one realizes that the greatest reward comes to the giver.

Merry Christmas, Richmond. Thank you for my wonderful present.

-Grant Mudge

Friday, December 5, 2008

Midsummer in December!

Richmond Shakespeare presents
Midsummer in December

A Midsummer Night's Dream
December 15, 2008
7:00 PM

The weather outside is frightful, but love and fairies are so delightful. Join us for a magical staged reading of the Bard's most beloved comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, featuring some of Richmond's most beloved theatre artists: Scott Wichmann, Jennifer Meharg, Audra Honaker, Joe Carlson, Harry Kollatz, Daryl Clark Phillips, David Janosik, Cynde Liffick, TJ Simmons, Liz Blake, Sarah Jamillah Johnson, Shanea Taylor, Julie Phillips, Frank Creasy and more!

Directed by Andrew Hamm, the show features music by Liz and Andrew, with Jake Allard on percussion. The pre-show music is a mix of Richmond Shakes' greatest hits from Midsummer, Hamlet, and The Tempest, as well as love songs from summer's acclaimed production of As You Like It. Come early or you'll miss it.

Monday, December 15, 2008 at 7:00 PM at Second Presbyterian Church (5 N. 5th Street). $15 Adults, $10 Students and Children. All proceeds benefit the Richmond Shakespeare Annual Fund.