Sunday, May 29, 2011

Theatre and Wine go WAY back

So, the origins of theatre are linked very closely to the cultivation of grapes and the making of wine. The earliest forms of theatre, as we know it today, were performed in ancient Greece. The Greeks held a festival, Dionysia, that honored Dionysus the god of the grape harvest and wine. At this festival the Greeks performed both tragedies and comedies. We can only imagine that the Greeks watched this early form of theatre (outdoors by the way) with wine in hand.

At Endstation we love our wine. I personally love wine. For my honeymoon, my wife Ashley and I spent a week in Napa Valley. One of the great things about producing summer theatre in Central Virginia is that we are surrounded by a burgeoning wine industry. In our home county of Amherst there are four vineyards (Rebec, Lazy Days, Chateau Z, and Ankida Ridge) and there is an explosion of vineyards in our neighboring county of Nelson. Here is a link to which has a complete listing. It is pretty impressive how many vineyards are in driving distance of Sweet Briar College.
So, every year Endstation takes trips into the beautiful hills of Central Virginia to taste the wines that Virginia has to offer. These trips happen on off days and are a great way to enjoy the beautiful country side and also we get to know some incredible people in our community who are making wine. Plus... we get to drink wine. That's nice too.

Rebec Vineyards in Amherst

Actor Walter Kmiec enjoys some Virginia wine

Endstation members at a tasting in Nelson County

Rebec Vineyards wine maker Svet at a performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream

The other great thing about having so many vineyards nearby is that we are starting to host a vineyard at everyone one of our outdoor performances of Twelfth Night. This is really exciting because we really are harkening back to the origins of western theatre. We are celebrating the festival of Dionysia. We are adding more vineyards this week and just learned that Democracy Vineyards will be joining us for our Assassins opening. For info on our wine tastings visit:

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director

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