Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Victor Maog

Here is an article on our Monacan Indian Project Director. "Click here to read."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Endstation's FSU Website Article

The Florida State University website wrote a short article about Endstation. To read "click here."

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Hamlet Barn

So here are some pics of the location for Hamlet. I am so STOKED about this production. Here we come, summer 2010.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2010 Season

May-July 2010


This will be touring through High Schools in Central Virginia and will be co-produced at the Renaissance Theatre in Lynchburg, VA.


Our first show for young audiences, but this show will be fun for all. Endstation's designers are chomping at the bit to get at this one! This will be in the Babcock Auditorium on the Sweet Briar College campus


We will be staging this on the old dairy barn on the Sweet Briar College campus. This will be our most ambitious outdoor show yet. It will be set in the Civil War era and will incorporate some incredible architectural lighting by our lighting designer Dan Gallagher and live music.


We will expand this year's initiative to two weeks and it will include a series of public readings and these readings will be included in the BRSTF membership packages.

Please visit our website for updates:

More soon!

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hey Y'all.... its the Endstation Lighting guy here. I had a great summer with everyone, and felt the shows turned out pretty well. We tried some new things this year... Like putting lights on the roof.

We also let dummys ride in the new Genie (no I'm not talking about anyone on the crew).

And everyone lent a hand! Maria inspired us, and here is playwright Josh Mikel offering some notes on the scenery:

My Brother's Knife was a great show to light. What other show could I use a street lamp, and a lava lamp. Here are a few photos that show part of my design process. Starting with some visual research.

See you all next summer!

-Dan Gallagher

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fresh air - its pretty awesome.

Endstation's New Playwrights Initiative

Here at Endstation, we happen to believe that the Sweet Briar campus is one of the most beautiful places in the country. So beautiful in fact, that people travel from afar to enjoy its splendor. So peaceful, that one can wander the campus lost in thought all day without interruption. So inspiring, so breathtaking, that one cannot help but feel more optimistic and creative whilst traveling its paths.

And so came about this super awesome idea.
Here to tell us all about it is the program's director, Michael Stablein Jr.

M: How did the idea for this program come about?
A: There were two primary factors. Initially, we all liked the idea of a resident playwright, and discussed that possibility for a while. Then, as we thought about the abundance of space on campus, and about VCCA and how they use Virginia as a retreat for city writers, we asked ourselves - why couldn't we use this space for a similar purpose? Second, Josh [Mikel] told us that the Kennedy Center's alliance program was shutting down due to the economic downturn, and many of his fellow playwrights needed a place to work on their existing pieces.

Thus, Endstation's New Playwrights Initiative was born. The week-long intensive is designed as a respite for working playwrights from around the country, and provides the artists a chance to leave the city behind, leave work behind, leave life behind, and focus solely on their art. The serene setting of the Sweet Briar campus provides an ideal retreat.

OK...back to the guy in charge:

A: So far, what has surprised you most about this experience?
M: How varied the playwrights are. We have one from St. Louis, one from Baltimore, one from Chicago - all have completely different writing styles. American realism black drama. Quirky/clever/contemporary dialogue. Futuristic/surrealist writing. Metanarrative. The diversity is wonderful.

So, in this inaugural year of the program, 4 playwrights are with us for one week, during which time they are working on two pieces:
  • Ad-hoc - Pre-existing works in progress. This component allows playwrights to work on and then present "works in progress," and are immediately followed by an open dialogue between playwright, actor, and audience in order to offer new perspective to the playwright prior to further revision and review.
  • Postehaste - A Marathon. The marathon begins with a series of variables (ie: properties, characters, phrases, settings) all chosen at random which establish a bedrock for each play. The playwrights are given the next twenty-four hours to author the skeleton of their work. Then there is a closed reading followed by comments and criticism before the playwright returns to revise the script.
Back to the man with the plan.

A: What are your plans for the future of the New Playwright's Initiative?
M: I would love to increase the length to
a 3-week program with one week dedicated to marathon work and 2 weeks of free writing. I would also love to get the community more involved in the process - as actors, observers and critics.

A: Thank you Michael.
M: Ashley you are super awesome. Awesome. Just Awesome. (Blog author failed to transcribe this portion correctly so some paraphrasing/exaggerating may have occurred)

So, just who are these guys?

Daniel Caffrey

Dan is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Tympanic Theatre Company, a Chicago-based ensemble dedicated to new work. His play Folkfire received a staged reading at Chicago Dramatists and will be produced as a part of Tympanic's upcoming short play festival Bastards Of Young. He holds BA degrees in Theatre and Creative Writing from Florida State University and is a graduate of the Training Center at iO.

Josh Mikel

Josh is from Conyers, GA and graduated in 2007 with honors from Florida State's Theater and Creative Writing programs. His play The Monster Hunters won the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's Theater for Young Audiences award in 2007, and was published by Playscripts publishing in 2008, and his play, Quentin G, was a runner up for the 2006 John Cauble Short Play award at the KCACTF and was recognized by the Atlantic Costal Conference as one of the best undergraduate honors thesis projects of 2006. Aside from writing, he acts, does freelance art and design (, and tours full time as the drummer for the rock band Look Mexico on Suburban Home Records.

Erik Kalman Levitz

Eric was born and raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut, home of the oldest continuously running ferry in the United States. He is going to enter his senior year at Johns Hopkins University this fall. He was a two-time winner of Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc.'s national award for best new work by playwrights under 18 , in 2005 for his one-act "Penny" and 2007 for his first full-length play "The Sweet Agony of the Frozen Summer". In 2008, his play "Without Parachutes" won the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival's award for Best Ten-Minute Play.

Tearrance A. Chisholm

Tearrance was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou), where he received a BFA in Graphic Design. He has written two full-length plays: Burning Books, which was given a staged reading as part of the Mizzou New Play Series, and Niggerville - which was a finalist for the KCACTF one act play contest.

If you would like to check out what these guys have been working on this week, come to a reading!

Posthaste readings of week-long marathon work
Sat. (25th) & Sun. (26th) from 3:30-5pm (two playwrights per day)
The Babcock Performing Arts Center Lobby and Gallery

Midsummer Review

Appomattox News 7/23/09

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another year gone by.....

Well.... here we are, about to enter into the final weekend of the 2009 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. It has definitely been an interesting year, followed by a fantastic summer. It is strange to think that in just a few days, actors and crew will be packing up and saying so long and then scattering to various places around the country. It is easy to start reflecting on the past several months, and although we have been focused on the summer, let us take a look back at the past 08-09 Endstation year in review:

The first big event that we were a part of was in October 08 at the annual Garlic and Wine Festival, that takes place at Rebec Vineyard. If you have never been, you are missing out on a neat experience. If you get a chance to go, take advantage and do it- plus if you make it out to the 09 Garlic Festival you might happen to catch some endstation faces!

After the Garlic Festival we continued to plan and figure out more festival details for the following summer. Since we are a non-profit organization we do alot of fundraising throughout the year. We knew that we wanted to have a Winter event, but were not quite sure what. Geoff remembered attending and being a part of a specific event in college, and decided we would do something similar, but of course with our own twists. This brings us to our February fundraiser, "Sonnets, and Chocolates". It was a night full of romance, entertainment, good times, and of course lots of chocolate and other various yummy sweets. We had some incredible acts and fantastic talent on the stage. Although planning was a bit stressful (including having to change our venue less than a week before the event) all worked out, and we had a wonderful magical evening:

We continued moving forward with fundraising, our small donor campaign, auditions, more planning of the summer, etc... Soon it was coming down to crunch time in April. Geoff and I began to have more frequent meetings, and many phone conferences with various individuals that would be involved with the festival. We met with the board and explained where things were and how they could help as we approached the festival. Soon folks began arriving into town, first Krista and Drew, and then slowly others began to make their way in. Dan our amazing lighting designer, Sally a fabulous costume designer, all of our wonderful out of state actors, and so many others.

Everyone was just in time for our Spring fundraiser, and kick off to the 09 BRSTF, a softball tourney and dinner. In mid-May we all converged onto the grounds of the Clifford Ruitian Club, and met the other softball teams head on in an all out battle of sheer talent on the field.

We soon found ourselves neck deep in rehearsals, set-building, designing, planning, etc... as the festival actually began. It is hard to believe that almost all 29 performances have passed us by. There are so many people that contributed to making this summer happen, and we are deeply grateful to all of you. Many countless hours of work in all aspects of the festival were spent and I think that all will agree that it was worth it. It has been amazing to watch the festival grow to what it is now, and to look ahead to the future.

I hope you had a chance to join us this summer, and if not remember it is not too late as we still have three more shows to go! If you were unable to attend this summer, due to some unfortunate reason (because really if you didn't join us - that is unfortunate). Then perhaps you will be able to join us at one of our events throughout this coming year, or definitely next summer.

There are some really exciting things happening just around the bend in the Endstation journey and you will want to stay tuned to see what all unfolds. Until then I bid you adieu, so long, and farewell..... until next time.

Maria Hayden
Company Manager

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Ode to Endstation

Ah!!! I cannot believe we are at the point of final blogs and final shows and final summer adventures. I don't like it. But I will say that we made quite an imprint this summer. The shows have been wonderful. The people are crazy great. And I have had an absolutely lovely time. So thank you all for that. It has been a truly special summer for me: revisiting "The Bluest Water" and being able to talk to survivors and new audience members on the 40th anniversary of the storm. And then, with "Midsummer", running around that dell and being a part of a show that encourages people to laugh and experience the magic of the theatre. It has been so fun.

As we go into our final weekend.... I was hoping to leave everyone with a little something for inspiration. And inspired by the very popular 'kittens' video on youtube....David and I have created the following video in keeping with tradition. Enjoy. Have a laugh.

Love to all you. Congratulations on a wonderful summer season.
And looking forward to the next one!!

-Natalie and David

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Goodbye to Summer Camp 2009

Dear Mom and Dad,
Here is my last letter before I go home and I find myself unable to write. How can I say goodbye to Cabin 5? Summer Camp has been one of the best experiences of my life. I never thought that I would get so close to so many people so quickly. It's a cliché in Theatre that every cast is a family and this summer has gone to prove that true for me. Uta Hagen wrote that a good actor is an emotional athlete. She was referring to being able to access one's emotions to serve the story but I think she was also referring to the nature of putting on a show. The trust and bonds you must create (often with someone you’ve never met before) to tell a story truthfully is a much rarer thing in the real world and yet for us - it is common practice. Mom, you and Dad taught me how to say hello very well, but I’m terrible at saying goodbye. I really stink at it. Anais Nin wrote: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Well this week it feels as if these worlds are collapsing and may blink out forever. Or become barren wastelands where vibrant life once flourished. Emotional athlete’s indeed. I could really use your Double-Choco Brownies right now, Mom.

Your son,

These two are the sweetest couple I've ever met. Both have a wonderfully goofy sense of humor and enjoy a limitless delight from life only matched by their devotion to each other.

Geoff has been the single greatest inspiration of my theatre career. I simply can't say enough great things about him. He is a natural leader. He is a visionary artist. He is a crackerjack bonfire-builder. He is devilishly handsome. He is always quick with a joke, a kind word or a bro-hug. But above all else he always brings his heart to everything he does.
Great things happen when Geoff is involved.

Walter has played my brother in the play and has treated me like one outside of rehearsal.
He's a fine actor and a good man. I'll miss his heart, humor, and knowledge of obscure movie trivia.

Melora is a committed and giving actress who takes what she does very seriously. I felt I grew as an actor because of working with her and I am grateful for that honor and privilege.

Liz is someone to keep your eye on.
She is talented, endlessly cute, and wickedly funny. She's the type of person everyone wants around. I dare you to keep a straight face around her for longer than five minutes.

Kirin is someone I will sorely miss. She is unconsciously intelligent, angelic, and gifted. An actress who is just starting to come into her own. Even if we weren’t friends I would try to catch every production she’s in- she’s that endlessly fascinating to watch.

Jon has been a pleasure to work with. I can see why he's so prolific in town. I know I will miss his acute comic timing, booming voice and flare for the absurd.

Ryan has been one of the most patient and understanding directors I've worked with. He dealt admirably with the challenges of directing a large group of young actors on a hillside during a very soggy Virginian summer. Throughout the process he struck a perfect balance of being open and maintaining his artistic vision.

Maria has been like a big sister to me from the moment I arrived to Virginia. She gave me bedding, made my bed, gave me a pack of gum, and has been endlessly patient with the shenanigans of 'Nick Bottom.' We get along so well - I'm convinced we're related.

I love this woman for her boundless skill, energy, support, and friendship. She is what I wish all theatre artists were like.

Josh has been a friend to me from the moment I met him at Florida State. He is exactly who I want to be when I grow up. He has more talent than I have ever known in one person and accomplishes more in a week than I do in a year. I feel lucky to know him.

Derek has been my love interest in Midsummer's and I could not have asked for a better leading lady. He is sweet and brings a child-like enthusiasm to everything he does.

Sweet Briar College has been a gracious home away from home.

Nights like this always seem like we'll have a million more just like them...

Tania is a hundred pounds of self-reliance, talent, ambition, and optimism.
She plans to move to New York City. That city won't know what hit it.

Mr. Bell is a braggart and a scoundrel. He has been more than a worthy 'Quince' to my 'Bottom' and I'll miss our blank verse mischief. He is a lot of fun to play with and he made this play a joy for me.

Melissa is my worthy arch nemesis. She is cunning and devilishly quick. And she sometimes would let me use her computer. I'll miss clashing with this one.

Michael is a mysterious, bright young millionaire. A hero of the Great War for his participation in the bloody battles of Marne and Argonne, he attended Oxford before returning stateside. He is a deeply flawed man, dishonest and vulgar, whose extraordinary optimism and power to transform his dreams into reality make him “great” nonetheless. He has been my greatest muse.

"It's ok, girls. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it. I'm sure that we shall never forget"..."this first parting that there was among us." - Kermit Cratchit