Saturday, December 31, 2011

An Endstation Happy New Year!

Well, it was a wonderful year for Endstation. To begin, I want to thank all of the wonderful artists we worked with in 2011. From all the wonderful performers at Sonnets and Chocolates and Broadway in the Blue Ridge, to all of the wonderful artists we worked with all summer during the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. It was our most ambitious summer to date, touring schools, hosting a visiting company, producing our first musical, and once again, heading into the great outdoors with Shakespeare. 

Sean MacLaughlin from Broadway's Phantom of the Opera works with EC Glass High School students before the Broadway in the Blue Ridge concert. 

Aaron and Melissa perform Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island at Madison Heights Elementary School

Audiences gather for Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island at Sweet Briar College

George, Walter, Sergio and Michael did an incredible job with their "Sponsor an Artist" campaign, led by Angie Gallagher

Endstation is truly about community. Our incredible artists, interns, production staff, volunteers and board members make what we do possible. I feel truly blessed to create work with all of these individuals every year. This year was very moving for me, because so much excellent work was put into every part of the season. I felt 2011 was our highest caliber of work artistically. I am immensely proud of what we produced and I think this bodes well for what we can accomplish in 2012. 

This year we hosted Whole Theatre's Cry of the Mountain

Endstation knows how to have a good time. Above is an example of the dynamic energy Endstation brings to Central Virginia every summer. Here is Endstation Actor Walter Kmiec Karaoking it up with his fiance Jean at The Briar Patch, our Twelfth Night sponsor. 

 Production interns and staff hanging lights for Dan Gallagher's lighting design and building Krista Franco's set design for Assassins. 

 The incredible Assassins cast rehearsing under the music direction of Randall Speer and the direction of Chad Larabee

Lighting designer Dan Gallagher focusing lights

Assassins cast

So much goes into producing each season, that the audience doesn't see. Hours of rehearsals, hours of building sets, constructing costumes, focusing lights, and building props. Also, hours go into marketing, planning, and raising money. It is exhausting but rewarding. I love spending my life creating theatre. I get to meet so many selfless people who are also dedicating their time to share something special with this community. 

This summer our artists had the pleasure working Sweet Briar's high school program, Blur

Actors rehearsing Twelfth Night at dusk

Production building the Twelfth Night set

Jessica, Melora, and Rachel performing Twelfth Night

Lights at Twelfth Night come on

Our audiences are why we work so hard. We love you all. I am also thankful for all of our ticket buyers, subscribers, and donors. Because of you, we can continue to bring theatre to hills of Central Virginia. There is something really special happening on the campus of Sweet Briar College every summer and it is because of your participation that we continue to grow. 

Audiences at the opening night of Twelfth Night

Walter enjoys a glass of wine at a local vineyard

I am excited about what 2012 holds. This summer we continue to create the kind work that has forged out identity. We are producing TWO outdoor shows (Comedy of Errors and Macbeth) and continue to collaborate with area vineyards to bring you great local wine. We are also excited to produce our second musical, Big River. Along with our season, we continue to host the Playwright's Initiative as Associate Artistic Director Michael Stablein leads a new campaign to create more original work about and for Central Virginia that we can produce as a part of future summer seasons. In the pipeline are an original play about the African American history of Sweet Briar College and an original bluegrass inspired musical. 

 A reading at the 2011 Playwright's Initiative 

So, goodbye 2011. You were a great year. Hello 2012. Excited to produce some great work in the coming months!

See you very soon in the beautiful hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Artistic Director
Geoffrey Kershner