Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts on Camille

Creating The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story has been an incredible journey for the last two years. Jason Chimonides and myself have been working on this project since November of 2006. During Jason's first visit to the area (one of four) we traveled around Nelson County and collected stories.

The images in this posting were provide by HAM Radio enthusiast George Rose. He and Larry Stanecker were a tremendous help to us in collecting images and in garnering a series of HAM Radio recordings that were recorded during the Nelson County Camille recovery period in August of 1969. The images are of Base Camp (used for storm recovery), washed out bridges, Route 29 outside of Lovingston, and memorials from the storm.

Jason most recently took part in work shop reading of the play this past December. This was in preparation for our January fundraising dinner. Before this though, he took part in a fellowship at the Virginia Center for The Creative Arts in April of 2007.

During Jason's time at the VCCA we worked on creating a list of fictional character that we would be interested in exploring through the play. These characters were inspired by stories and images that we had collected during Jason's visits to the area. From this we mapped out a rough plot structure that could serve as a vehicle for these characters. From this plot structure Jason began his work in penning the dialogue and in refining the story.

We have faced some interesting challenges with this play. As you will note the play is called A Hurricane Camille Story and not The Hurricane Camille Story. We actually think that creating The Hurricane Camille play is quite impossible. This event was so massive and had so much impact on so many people that we could not even begin to consider encapsulating this entire event into one play. One of our board members, local attorney Steve Martin mentioned that we might have to create an entire series of plays in order to even begin to capture the scope of this event and I couldn't agree more.

We have instead created one play. In creating this one play we have attempted to use the story of Hurricane Camille's effect on Nelson County as a spring board for an examination of the question, "What do we do in the face of tragedy?" This is a question that can be asked in the face of war, in the face of terrorist acts, in the face of school shootings, and in the face of other horrific natural disasters. This play takes this very specific event, in this very specific area and looks at questions that could be applied to many tragedies that humans have faced through out our existence. How do we move forward? How do we continue on when it feels too overwhelming to do so? How do we mourn?

Jason's play examines these questions while looking at the people of our local area, a very special and unique people. The play is specifically Central Virginia but also reaches beyond our area and touches on these questions that can be understood by anyone from anywhere. In doing so we have A Hurricane Camille play. A story that follows a middle aged married couple from Lynchburg and Nelson County fighting to find a "place to mourn" and a means to heal from horrible tragedy.

A week from Saturday we will begin some initial rehearsals. This will be the beginning of a major editing process. The "new play" process is so exciting because the script is malleable. We will take our creative process in to the rehearsal hall and with a group of actors we will continue the play's growth and progression. This collaborative process will lead us to what we hope will be a stimulating evening at the theatre.

Geoffrey Kershner
Endstation Theatre Company
Artistic Director

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cast Lists

Romeo And Juliet

Michael Stablein Jr.: Romeo

Natalie Caruncho: Juliet

Glenn Aubrey: Montague

Tanya Anderson: Lady Montague

Karl Tamburr: Capulet

Catherine Arnold: Lady Capulet

Justin Oliver: Paris

Jared Anderson: Mercutio

David Zimmerman: Tybalt

Ken Parks: Friar Lawrence

Shelbie Filson: Nurse

Elizabeth Zuckerman: Benvolio

Derek Arey: Balthasar

Othon Zermeno: Abraham

Kirin McCrory: Sampson/Servant 1

Rachel Marcussen: Sampson/Servant 1

Ryan Abercrombie: Gregory

Jonathan Robertson: Duke

Sarah Daggett: Servant

Kathryn Williams: Servant

Ginny Lightfoot: Servant

Mary Ellen Golcheski: Servant

The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story

Ken Parks: Jared

Sally Southall: Liz

Casey Carden: Older Emory

Jared Anderson: Young Emory

Derek Arey: Neddy

Tanya Anderson: Shauna

Thomas Bell: Chip/Police Detective

Natalie Caruncho: Young Lizzy

J. David Settle: Major Burnett

Paul Stober: Ben

Michael Stablein Jr.: Young Bobby/Nathan Fictner/Tyler

Wanda Bond: Nelson Chorus


I want to welcome everyone to the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival Blog! This is an exciting opportunity for the Endstation Theatre Company to share with you our process this summer. During our production process from May to July, you can visit this blog for write ups, pictures and video of what we are working on.

During the festival there will be numerous contributors. Members of our casts and production team will be contributing daily. This will allow us to document our process while giving you a little “behind the scenes” perspective on our summer.

A little background on the festival:

The Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival is the brain child of scenic designer Krista Franco, Sweet Briar College Theatre Department Chair, Bill Kershner (aka Dad) and myself. After finishing graduate school Krista and I decided to found the Endstation Theatre Company. We were looking for a home and eventually that landed me back…well, home. I grew up on Sweet Briar’s beautiful campus and it is probably one of my favorite places on this earth. We set up our office here and as we looked at Endstation’s future and the programming of our new company, a summer theatre festival seemed like the most exciting and feasible venture possible.

During the summers this campus is relatively inactive. Sweet Briar’s facilities and landscape could provide Endstation with limitless theatrical exploration. We are always interested in the definition of the “theatrical space” and the relationship that is formed between a live audience and a live performer. This campus can be a playground for our mission as we explore creating “theatrical environments” from the buildings and landscape that Sweet Briar College provides.

This summer is very exciting for us. We are doing two shows, Romeo and Juliet and The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story. Both will be an exploration of our mission and both will be an exciting experience for our audiences.


Benedict Hall

This is Benedict and will serve as our “set” for the production. This production, directed by Bill Kershner, will be the first of many shows in which we use a site specific location for our playground.


Babcock Fine Arts Center

This is the Babcock Fine Arts Center. This theatre is set up to have an audience out in the house, watching the production take place on stage. This distance and formality does not interest Endstation. We will be placing the audience on the stage. We want our audience to be close to the show and in a direct relationship with the environment we create. I will be directing this production and will be working directly with Endstation playwright Jason Chimonides on the project.

As rehearsals proceed, the set is being built, the lights are being hung, and the costumes are being made we will be updating this blog with photos and video of our process. The blog will be updated daily starting on May 22nd.

Please visit us often and spread the word to your friends!

Geoffrey Kershner
Endstation Theatre Company
Artistic Director