Sunday, May 31, 2009

Midsummer Begins!!

Today was the festival's first two show day as A Midsummer Night's Dream kicked off with an afternoon read through while The Bluest Water rehearsed in the evening. This is an amazing cast and it was a joy to listen to this afternoon's rehearsal. I can only imagine how this play will just come to life when it moves into the beautiful outdoor scenery here at Sweet Briar. 

It is always a joy for me, as a director, to sit in on another director's work. Ryan's rehearsal demeanor and approach is casual and relaxed but clear and productive. Ryan and I trained in the same MFA program, so much of our approach is the same. We both believe in discovery through activity. Most of the work will come through the work with the actors on their feet and in the space, with a strong foundation at the table as a launching point. We have differences as well and I love to learn from other directors and their approach. I am excited to watch Ryan's process over the next month. I have so much faith in Ryan's skill and I can't wait to share his work with our audiences. 

Tomorrow I begin work on My Brother's Knife. We will officially have three shows in rehearsal at once!! I was leaving the campus housing tonight and talking with our Production Assistant Brian Chaitin and he reminded me of how special this moment in our growth is. Despite the economy and all the challenges, all the incredible people involved with Endstation continue to progress and grow. 

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Batter Up!!

It was a beautiful summer day here in Central Virginia, the sun was out, the temperature was just right, and spirits were high. It was the perfect setting for official 09 BRSTF kickoff/ fundraiser we had planned. Endstation teamed up with the Clifford Ruitan club, and presented a softball tournament followed by a pork and chicken bbq dinner. The band FAST was featured during dinner and was available if folks wanted to stay and dance.

Teams arrived and started warming up, while some last minute set-up took place before the actual games were to begin in the afternoon. Signs were created, concessions set, bats and balls distributed, and positions were figured out for the various teams.

The Endstation team, waited patiently and cheered on two other teams as they battled it out on the field for a chance at the final round. When it was time for the Endstation team to take the field, we definitely had our game faces ready.

Even though we were not champions in the end, the Endstation team represented well and had some pretty good moves. All in all everyone had a blast, and we most certainly had a lot of spirit (even if a little heckling took place) it was all in good fun. The other team was so impressed with the endstation talent that they decided to push the envelope and go one more round with the our fearless team.

At the end of the day everyone was a winner, since we all had such a good time. We were able to get the word out about the festival, meet some new people, raise some money and have a blast doing it. Who knows if this will become an Endstation tradition, but it definitely has some potential for the future.

A huge thank you goes out to the Clifford Ruitian club for providing such an awesome meal, and amazing desserts. We appreciate everyone that came out today, and hope that you will join us for at least one if not more than one performances of the three different shows in the festival this year. If you could not join us today, we understand and hope to see you this summer as well!

Maria Hayden
Company Manager

Friday, May 29, 2009

On the Production End

We have been following rehearsals in the blog, but of course production is back and hard at work as well. Joining us full time this summer is Drew Becker. Drew and Krista have begun the task of putting The Bluest Water set back up. They have begun to pull platforms, configure seating, and have brought out our fencing that we used as railings last year. 

Drew also has the major project of working on a temporary rigging fix to the space before Dan (who arrives today) can re-hang and focus the lighting for the show. JD, our TD from last year will be returning to help us with the rigging fix and will also be around for advice and help with the new/old set construction. 

Ryan Clark our Midsummer Night's Dream director arrived in town yesterday. He hit the ground running and met with Sally and Krista for about an hour about set and costumes for the show. Ryan is bringing some great ideas and a wonderful energy to the table. We are very excited to have him join us. 

Drew, Krista, Dan, and Sally have the challenge this year of balancing three shows. They are incredible though and I have no doubt they will pull it off. Stay tuned as we watch all three shows take physical shape!

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jared and Liz (aka: Ken and Sally)....

As we have stated before, we are very excited to have the entire original cast of the Bluest Water back and working on the show this summer for a second go. Everyone works together to create the energy and magic that goes into this special piece. The show would not be complete without the characters of Jared and Liz, played by Ken Parks and Sally Southall.

It was almost as if no time had passed at all, as Ken and Sally both jumped right back into playing their characters. They have the advantage of having last year to build from and this year are going deeper and exploring their characters further. It also does not hurt that the two of them get along famously and fall into a particular rhythm when they are on stage together.

It is neat to watch the process continue as they work through the script and make adjustments and tweaks here and there to get just the right word, phrase, or movement to make the scene complete. There are some pretty emotional sections of the show and neither Ken or Sally are afraid to tackle those moments head on, willing to bring out the deepest emotions to communicate what their character is feeling at the time.

They both are truly seasoned and very talented actors and anyone that saw the show last year or will see the show this year, was and will be touched in some way by their performances. We all have a fun time in rehearsal and it is nice to know that everyone gets along so well. Ken and Sally (along with the rest of the cast) are willing to support one another as they try new things with their character or are willing to talk things out to figure out if a new idea would work or if there is a better way to move around the stage.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that this show would not be the same without the talents of Ken and Sally. They are wonderful actors and just good people through and through. I know I feel blessed and honored to be able to work with them, and it's not hard when they make it so easy! Both of them always have a smile on their face and there is definitely alot of laughter and good times when we are all together. Thank you Ken and Sally, for who you are and for what you both bring to this show. We are all better for it!!


Maria Hayden
Company Manager
Endstation Theatre Company

In the news

Lynchburg's The News and Advance Article 5/26/09

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is my first entry as a blogger for Endstation. Where to begin. I am so excited to be back for a second summer with this company. My name is Natalie Caruncho, I was in last summer's season as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and also, Young Lizzy in The Bluest Water (a role I will be reprising this season). Last summer, I was struck by the commitment, passion and talent that I was surrounded by daily here in Virginia. People who truly care about sharing these beautiful stories with this community. And when the opportunity presented itself to return for a second go, I could not say yes fast enough. This summer I will be playing Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and bringing back Young Lizzy in The Bluest Water. After a couple of months in New York City, the green, wide open spaces, surrounded by the rolling Blue Ridge offers a breath of fresh air and much needed revitalizing. And again, I find the same unique people surrounding the table for The Bluest Water (Midsummer has not begun yet, so more on that later). At the first, or rather, the second first reading, it was so exciting to hear this story spoken by every member of the original cast. I am so proud of this play. Of being part of a piece of theatre that is integrated in this community and that we are able to share with this community. 40 years after Hurricane Camille, and in our second look at this script, we are looking to go deeper, to learn more, to find truths, to 'open the box' every so gently. And I cannot wait to go there. Already rehearsals are about figuring out what the heck we did last year and what changes this time around. 

Also, Michael Stablein, Kirin McCrory and myself are starting to visit different high schools in the area to spread the word about the very cool playwright by the name of William Shakespeare. Today was our first one at Heritage High School. And everyone there was wonderful and great sport. So, thanks to them. Looking forward to recruiting some more kiddos to come to these shows!! ($5 student tickets. shameless. shameless.)

On another note, I am so happy to be around old friends and look forward to making new ones. This is going to be a blast of a summer. I am just starting to get started on A Midsummer Night's Dream and it is going to be quite a ride. Love being here. 

That's all for now. Until next time. Keep reading the blog! 

-Natalie Caruncho
Endstation Theatre Company

Monday, May 25, 2009

And we roll on


As Geoff said in yesterday's post, we are back in full swing for the 09 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. In addition to the regular on going rehearsals there is plenty to do behind the scenes as well. Krista and I measured and taped out the Bluest Water set, so that the actors can have an idea of their playing space before they get the actual set. Here you can see Krista laying down a line towards the upstage area of the stage.

Even though there are going to be tweaks and adjustments to the show as we move along in the process, we have the advantage of looking back at what we did last year and have a base to go from. This is the case when it comes to most of the props we are going to be using. For example here is the chair that the character of "Jared" uses in the actual show, next to some actor blocks we are using in the rehearsal process before we bring in the actual table to be used.

Although the rehearsal period is a short, it is exciting. It is fun since we have last year's show to go from as far as blocking and script, so it is nice to brainstorm and collaborate as we are beginning to mark out where everyone is going to be on stage and how they are going to move around. Geoff has a vision in his mind as the Artistic Director and then every once in a while the cast will contribute as well, so it is a collaborative effort.

We are looking forward to the rest of the week as we continue forging ahead with the beginnings of the Bluest Water process, and are excited as rehearsals for our other two shows, Midsummer Night's Dream, and My Brother's Knife will begin next week.

So begins again a summer full of fantastic theatre. The rest of the actors, designers, and crew will all begin to roll in at the end of the week, and by next Sunday we will be up and running to full capacity. I hope you will be able to join for at least one if not all three of our shows when we begin performances in June and July.

I am looking forward to a great summer, as we learned alot from last year, and have some new ideas that we are implementing to make things even better this year. We have some familiar faces, faces we have not seen in a while, and some new faces joining us this year. It is nice to be fresh at the beginning of the process and looking at the summer that lies ahead. Knowing that we have alot of work ahead of us, does not sway us, because we know that the result at the end will be so sweet!

So here is to another summer, a new adventure, and another chapter to add to the Endstation journey. Hope you will join us along the way!


Maria Hayden
Company Manager
Endstation Theatre Company

We're Back!

We are BACK!!

It was so exciting to have the cast of The Bluest Water resemble last night. It was a reunion but not a reunion of reflection of what we once did, like most reunions are, but an opportunity to share in the experience of this play once more. Hearing the play last night was like running into an old friend. It was familiar, comfortable, but exciting. We were laughing again and were also moved again. 

This also marks the start of the 2009 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. We are heading into year two. We have some of the old faces back and some new faces as well. It has been a tough fundraising year with the economy, but I have so much belief in the people that we have assembled this summer. I truly believe we are going to create an even better festival than last year, despite the financial struggles that so many of us feel and that has made it difficult to fundraise. It is the power of people that makes theatre so magical. Theatre is about shared experience. The shared experience of the audience and the actors, the shared experience of the characters and actors, and the shared experience of all of us gathered to make this theatre festival happen. I feel so lucky to do this with my life and to work with the people I work with. This festival is happening because of so many wonderful people and the talents that they bring to the table. 

We have some changes to this year's script. The actors are adjusting to these changes and we are also finding places where we are returning to old elements from last year's script. The biggest change to the script this year is the HAM radio scene with Young Emory, Cuddy, Shauna, and now the voice of "George" and "Hank." This scene had to be rewritten because of our own inaccuracies with HAM radio protocol. The new scene, in my mind, is even better. Much more active, accurate, and also provides some new meat for the actors to bite into. It was a joy to work with Koda, Tanya, Jared and Thomas on this new scene. They are going to do a wonderful job with it. 

Wow... here I am again, bloggin' and takin' pictures. Time flies by so fast. So it begins. There will be daily blog posts now and plenty to observe. Tune in and watch the journey!

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director
Endstation Theatre Company

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One week and counting!!

Hello everyone!

We are one week away from our 2nd annual Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival start. On Sunday, May 24th at 7pm rehearsals will begin for the remounting of The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story. I am very excited to say that we have the ENTIRE cast returning from last year. This is amazing and fantastic. One of our actors, Natalie Caruncho, was just cast in the national tour of In the Heights but the rehearsals begin in August, so everyone is with us!

It is a pretty special and extraordinary thing to return to a production a year later with all of the original designers and cast. We are going to be reworking sections of the script as well as reworking some of the tech and design elements. This is particularly exciting because everyone has a frame of reference. 

We will continue to explore the piece, the storm, and its characters. This is the 40th anniversary of the storm and this summer's production has even more meaning as we head back into rehearsal. 

In the coming week you will begin to see more regular posts and starting on May 31st, there will be post everyday on the blog until the end of the festival on July 26th. You can follow the festival's behind the scenes activity in real time as we move through the summer. Make sure to check back often!

Geoffrey Kershner
Artistic Director