Monday, October 20, 2014

It was RTCC night in Richmond and Theatre VCU was there!

Sunday October 19th was RTCC night (Richmond Theatre Critic's Circle Awards)

Here are all the nominated and the winners - with Theatre VCU highlighted (of course):

Best Direction (Musical): Chase Kniffen, The Color Purple
Robin Arthur, Shrek the Musical
Josh Marin
Penny Ayn Maas, Cabaret
Richard Parison, Fiddler on the Roof
Tom Width, The Drowsy Chaperone

Best Actor (Musical): Josh Marin, The Color Purple
David Benoit, Fiddler on the Roof
Ronnie Brown, Shrek the Musical
Chris Hester, Cabaret
Jason Marks, Shrek the Musical
Jerold Solomon, The Color Purple

Best Actress (Musical): Felicia Curry, The Color Purple
Grey Garrett, Beyond the Rainbow, Swift Creek Mill
Christie Jackson, The Drowsy Chaperone
Nicole Oberleitner, Caberet
Aly Wepplo, Shrek the Musical

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Musical): Doug Schneider, Cabaret
Steve King, The Drowsy Chaperone
Josh Marin, The Wild Party, Firehouse Theatre
Matt Shofner, The Drowsy Chaperone
Scott Wichmann, Olympus on my Mind, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Musical): Jeanie Rule, Cabaret
Carolyn Meade, The Wild Party
Carolyn Minor-Daughtry, The Color Purple
Nicole Oberleitner, The Drowsy Chaperone
Desiree Roots, The Color Purple

Best Musical Direction: Paul Deiss, The Drowsy Chaperone
Kim Fox, Cabaret
Ben Miller, The Color Purple
Ben Miller, The Wild Party
Anthony Smith, Fiddler of the Roof

Best Choreography: Leslie Owens-Harrington, The Color Purple
Robin Arthur, Shrek the Musical
Dennis Clark, The Drowsy Chaperone
Karen Getz, Fiddler on the Roof
Penny Ayn Maas, Cabaret

Best Play: Clybourne Park, Cadence Theatre (collaboration with Virginia Rep)
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Firehouse Theatre (aka ‘Chad Deity’)
Good People, Cadence Theatre (collaboration with Virginia Rep)
Joshua Plant, Chamberlayne Actors Theatre
Quality of Life, HATTheatre

Best Direction (Play): Keri Wormald, Clybourne Park
Anna Johnson, Detroit, Cadence Theatre (collaboration with Virginia Rep)
Anna Johnson, Good People
Kerry McGee, Chad Deity
David Emerson Toney, ‘night, Mother, Firehouse Theatre

Best Actor (Play): Scott Wichmann, Say Goodnight Gracie
Joseph Carlson, A Streetcar Named Desire, Firehouse Theatre
Jeff Cole, Wittenberg, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare
Aaron Orensky, Joshua Plant
Alexander Sapp, Grace, TheatreLAB

Best Actress (Play): Catherine Shaffner, ‘night, Mother
Eva DeVirgilis, Hypocrites & Strippers, Richmond Triangle Players
McLean Jesse, Clybourne Park
Katrinah Carol Lewis, Death & the Maiden, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare
Dawn A. Westbrook, Good People

Mauricio Marces, Nicklas Aliff, Joe Carlson
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Play): TIE: Mauricio Marces, Chad Deity & Alexander Sapp, Richard III
Andrew Firda, Clybourne Park
Stephen Ryan, The Importance of Being Earnest, Henley Street/Richmond
Shakespeare/Richmond Triangle Players
Alexander Sapp, Tartuffe, Virginia Repertory Theatre

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Play): Jacquie O’Connor, Good People
Jennifer Frank, The Dixie Swim Club, Swift Creek Mill
Melissa Johnston Price, Other Desert Cities, Virginia Repertory Theatre
Debra Wagoner, Tartuffe
Raven Wilkes, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henley Street/Richmond Shakespeare

The Ernie McClintock Award for Best Ensemble Acting: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Clybourne Park
Quality of Life

Most Promising Newcomer: TIE Grace Mincks, Beyond the Rainbow & Diego Salinas, Joshua Plant
Isabella Cipolina, The Miracle Worker, Swift Creek Mill
Ally Dodds, Fiddler on the Roof
Brad Frazier, Tartuffe

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design: Geno Brantley, Chad Deity
Joe Doran, The Drowsy Chaperone
Joe Doran, The Color Purple
Lynne M. Hartman, Other Desert Cities
Robert Perry, Fiddler on the Roof

Elizabeth Hopper
Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design: Elizabeth Weiss Hopper, Shrek the Musical
Maura Lynch Cravey, The Drowsy Chaperone
Sue Griffin, The Color Purple
Sue Griffin, Fiddler on the Roof
Sue Griffin, Tartuffe

Outstanding Achievement in

Set Design: Ben Burke, Other Desert Cities
Tennessee Dixon, Death & the Maiden
Frank Foster, Cabaret
Ron Keller, Color Purple
Tom Width, The Drowsy Chaperone

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design: Joey Luck, Cabaret
Andrew Craig, Death & the Maiden
Derek Dumais, The Color Purple
Chase Kniffen, Say Goodnight Gracie

Joey Luck, Chad Deity

Opening Night for Amazing Grace in Chicago!!


It was a wonderful night in Chicago for Theatre VCU!

Here's what Paul W. Thompson wrote in Broadway

"Director Gabriel Barre and music director Joseph Church, guided to no small degree by the willingness of producer Carolyn Rossi Copeland to give Smith’s musico-dramatic vision a chance to live, have crafted a complex and moving piece of theater, with thrilling musical moments, stunning visual imagery and roles that actors would give their eyeteeth to sink their molars into. Passion here takes the form of the struggle to live, to love, to be free, to live in peace in community. These are universal themes, and John Newton’s story lends itself well to this passion and these themes."

He also points out:

"exquisite and sexy costumes by Toni-Leslie James"

And references are made to:

"And it’s a highly physical role (gunfights, fistfights, beatings, dancing, falling overboard, all sort of shirts coming on and off)." (Fight Choreography - our own David Leong & Brad Wilcuts.)

Yep, It was a wonderful night - the pictures tell the story!
Brad Willcuts, Ron Keller, David Leong, Josh Quinn (Assistant Costume Designer - MFA 2012)

Brad Willcuts, Ron Keller, Matt Armentrout (Assistant Wig Designer - BFA 2012), David Leong, Josh Quinn

Brad Willcuts, Ron Keller, Gabriel Barre (Director - Theatre VCU Guest Director 2014), David Leong, Josh Quinn

Brad Willcuts, David Leong, Vince Oddo (Fight Captain)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kudos for Toni-Leslie James from VCU News!

VCU News just posted a wonderful article about Theatre VCU's very own Toni-Leslie James - Director of Costume Design/Tech.

"James joined Theatre VCU in 2007, and she has eagerly shared her vast experience, as well as the attendant prestige and opportunity, with her students and colleagues during her tenure, including hiring them to work with her on productions."

Illustrated with her work from Amazing Grace (previewing in Chicago right now) and Bull Durham (in previews in Atlanta), the article talks about how she is giving our students and alumni opportunities to work on shows bound for Broadway.

In the article J. Theresa Bush (theatre VCU MFA, 2011) says: 
“She works in the business, and she trains us to do so,” Bush said. “She also has an impeccable eye, a spot-on intuition and 40 years of experience working at full tilt. She is a woman of discerning tastes and has the highest standards for herself and everyone in her sphere, and she has elevated me to a level that I did not know I could reach.”

Go HERE and read the complete article

Thank you Toni!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Little Support and Love for all Things Theatre VCU

The great weekend of Macbeth!! Do not miss this beautiful show. Go here to see some of the photos. 

Take a look at this wonderful video made by the Commonwealth Times!

There's also Chicago where David Leong (Theatre VCU Chair) and Brad Wilcuts (Theatre VCU grad student) are designing and polishing the fight choreography of
Amazing Grace
and Toni-Leslie James (Theatre VCU, Director of Costume Design/Tech) with her crew of Theatre VCU alumni, is putting the finishing touches on the extraordinary costumes for the of Amazing Grace - the pre-Broadway, world premiere.  Opening October 9th!!

 Here are some great random photos of rehearsal work with Brad in the top photo; David and Brad looking on the sailors to the left; and Brad firing rifles below.

Five days until opening in Chicago! You guys must be exhausted!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Only one week left for you to see Theatre VCU's beautiful production of MACBETH!

Theatre VCU's Macbeth has everything 
that makes live theatre fun…. and exciting!
Take a look…


Lots and Lots of Blood
Comedy…. yes. really...

More Fighting…..
Bloody Ghosts…..
And Macbeth Madness.

 One last week.
Don't miss MACBETH

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Macbeth - Rehearsal photos show the tension… the work… the process

Theatre VCU Performance major Seth Ray Hewitt has been posting some beautiful Macbeth rehearsal photos of the cast on stage before the beautiful costumes and the full make up.

The Bloginator loves seeing the work behind the show.

What do you think?

Meanwhile… there's some magic being made in the Costume Design/Tech department 
(thank you Emily Atkins for the photo)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Look Who's On a National Tour!!

Our very own Tony Tillman (BFA Performance 2013) is on the Mamma Mia! National Tour!

Tony is playing Eddie. Take a look at his career on the Mamma Mia! site:

Let us know how it's going Tony!

Reminder to all current 
Theatre VCU students:

Next Thursday, September 25 is MACBET's open night

That night only tickets are $5.00 for all Theatre VCU students! 
Buy your tickets now at the Box Office 
& be sure to bring your student ID!

Dress up and join the celebration! There will be a reception in the lobby following the show.

We will all be there to support the hard work of the Macbeth cast and crew!

News From VA REP to 
ALL VCU Students 

We are holding seats for VCU students for the evening of Friday, October 3 for $14.  The students can call 282-2620 and pay for their seat as a part of this group.  
VCU students are invited to join UR students that evening at 6:45 for a reception and comments by Bruce Miller and Jan Powell.    

Students who cannot attend that evening can attend any performance for $10.  That rate is only good day of show but there should be tickets.  

Other adults in the VCU community - faculty, alumni, etc can use this code for a $5 discount for any show by using the code VCUSHAKES online or at the box office.

Here's more about the show:

It is 1606, and Shakespeare has been commanded to write a propaganda play about the Gunpowder Plot, in service to King James. Will he agree to be a pawn in the cynical gamesmanship of the king’s spymaster, or will he equivocate—lie by telling the truth? The playwright, his acting company, and a variety of historical figures clash in this high-stakes political thriller about the complexities of the truth and the terrible consequences of compromise. Read the Press Release (PDF)

“One of the most bracingly intelligent, sizzlingly theatrical American plays in a decade.” Variety