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Summertime marks return of Prizery musical theatre

SoVaNow.com / May 24, 2018
Summer isn’t summer in Halifax County without the professional company at The Prizery for Summer Theatre. This year’s productions mark the ninth season and promise to be one of the best — Gypsy and Oklahoma! are slated for the 2018 season along with the annual revue, Red, White, & Broadway.

“As Summer Theatre has continued to grow over these nine years, I have been gratified by the respect that we have garnered for our program within the academic theatre community,” said Chris Jones, artistic director of The Prizery. “Our summer program is considered a strong program for theatre students perform.”

The respect and notoriety gained have yielded some of the best performers in the Southeast region. This year’s cast consists of 25 professionals from across the country and 20 local actors. The Prizery’s Summer Theatre opens in June with two musicals with celebrated scores, and that represent some of the best music for American Musical Theatre.

Each show brings hit after hit from acclaimed composers Richard Rodgers and Jule Styne and lyricists Oscar Hammerstein and Steven Sondheim.

Oklahoma!

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Oklahoma! is the first collaboration of famed partners Rodgers and Hammerstein. Oklahoma! set the American musical theatre standard and was the first musical to use dance as part of the storytelling. Set in Western Indian Territory just after the turn of the 20th Century, the spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the backdrop for the love story between farm girl Laurey Williams and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.

Show Run: June 22, 23, 29, 30 at 7:30 p.m.; 24, 27, and July 1 at 3 p.m.

Red, White 
& Broadway

Three nights of evening gowns, sleek tuxedos, and hauntingly beautiful voices characterize this showstopping revue. The professional cast presents their favorite Broadway classics and songs from modern musicals. As an ensemble, the cast delivers some of America’s favorite patriotic songs.

Show Run: July 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m.; 8 at 3 p.m.

Gypsy

Regarded by many theater professionals as the most significant musical ever created, Gypsy is the ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success… while secretly yearning for her own. Set all across America in the 1920s, when vaudeville was dying, and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents’ landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humor, heart, and sophistication.

Show Run: July 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 p.m.; 15, 18, 22 at 3 p.m.

» Behind the Scenes: For more than ten years, Jones has made it his mission to bring a high-level of stage performance to Halifax County. Jones s the driving force behind Summer Theatre — from casting to set design, to overall vision, and fund raising — to make the magic happen on stage each June and July.

Each year The Prizery hires a musical director and choreographer for the productions. Carson Eubanks will serve as musical director and Patrick Coleman as choreographer for 2018.

Ernelle Bellamy is the technical director for the ninth season, and Ginny Bogart continues her role as costume designer.

» Standing Ovation: Once again, The Prizery donors, patrons, and friends of the arts have outdone themselves. The annual Kickstarter campaign goal to fund Summer Theatre was met and exceeded, therefore ensuring that the show goes on for 2018. The funds are used for all aspects of the productions to provide the quality performances that which our audiences are accustomed.

This summer 20 professional actors will arrive in South Boston from across the country and will make our community home for eight weeks. We are grateful for the volunteers who open their homes as hosts to the company for the summer.

Food, glorious food is one of the favorite activities of the company. Each week a community organization or church prepares and provides a meal for the full company and crew. From potlucks to baked potato bars, to just desserts, volunteers make the cast and crew feel right at home providing meals and spending time getting to know the company over dinner.

Aside: If anyone would like to host a member of the company in your home or if your group would like to provide or sponsor a meal, please contact managing director, Catherine Ballance at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling 434-572-8339.



» Technical: Don’t miss this exciting season as The Prizery stage sizzles this summer. Tickets are on sale now online at Prizery.com, at the Box Office located at 700 Bruce Street, or by calling 434-572-8339. The curtain opens for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday and Sunday shows at 3 p.m. Tickets for the Wednesday matinees are half-priced. If interested in group sales, please contact the Box Office at 434-572-8339 to purchase discounted tickets.

The Prizery, already a center for community activities in South Boston, began its renovation in 2002. The 38,000 square foot building includes a welcome center, a 250-seat performing arts theatre, an art gallery, classrooms, and an ample space for community functions.

The renovation was accomplished while keeping the look and openness of the building intact. As a centerpiece of the historic warehouse district in downtown South Boston, The Prizery is a magnet for tourism and provides performing and exhibiting space. Its location next door to the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center makes its facilities a natural extension for the colleges.

The mission of the Community Arts Center Foundation (CACF), also known as The Prizery, is to enrich lives through the arts. We believe that arts and cultural experiences should be available to everyone, wherever they live, and whoever they are.



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