We’re Hiring: Marketing Associate

We’re looking for someone with great communication  and organizational skills and a strong interest in theatre to join our Marketing team.  This is a salaried, entry-level position reporting to the Director of Communications, with a focus on customer service, social media, and supporting the marketing efforts of the theatre for all main stage productions, touring shows, and educational programs.

For details, please see our employment page.

 

Staff meeting at Theatre Gym, 2015
Staff meeting at Theatre Gym, 2015

 

Auditions for Croaker – The Frog Prince Musical

show_croaker_frogCroaker – The Frog Prince Musical
DIRECTION & CHOREOGRAPHY BY DEBRA CLINTON
MUSIC DIRECTION BY JASON MARKS

Please email casting@virginiarep.org for an audition appointment.

Auditions will be held on Monday, January 11 from 7:00  – 10:00 PM. Auditions are by appointment only and will be held at the Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn, located in the Shops at Willow Lawn at  at 1601 Willow Lawn Dr.

Callbacks will be held Wednesday, January 13 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM.

Those auditioning are asked to prepare 16 bars of a musical theatre song. Please bring sheet music in the appropriate key. An accompanist will be provided.

Rehearsals begin Feb 15 for a Mar 11 – Apr 17 run.

Must be available for weekday student matinees at 10:30 AM.

Please direct all questions and appointment requests to casting@virginiarep.org.

All performers will be paid. Union and Nonunion.
Casting the following roles:
Croaker: Male 20-35
Princeturnedfrog: Must sing and move well
Princess Acrimonia: Female 20-35
Bratty princess in the kingdom of Astorya; strong belter
Queen: Female 35-50
Disco diva evil queen in the kingdom of Astorya
King: Male 35-50
King of the kingdom of Astorya: Croaker’s father
Royal Page: Male 20-40
Comedic page in the kingdom of Astorya
Croaker’s Frosse (“Frog Posse”): Male ensemble 20-35; strong singer/dancers with comedic ability
LadiesInWating: Female ensemble 20-35; the ladies who serve the bratty princess; Strong singers

Croaker – The Frog Prince Musical runs March 11 – April 17, 2016 at Willow Lawn.

Star of Stage, Screen and Richmond – Betty Anne Grove

Re-post of a blog from September 9, 2009 celebrating the life of Betty Ann Grove who passed away peacefully on November 13, 2015, in Richmond, Va.

Star of Stage, Screen and Richmond

By Bruce Miller

Today we’re pleased to wish Betty Ann Grove a very happy 81st birthday. Betty Ann is Richmond’s own Broadway Baby—and she’s such a good friend and familiar face that it’s way too easy to forget what an amazing national career she had before moving to Richmond with her late husband Roger twenty or so years ago. How big a deal is our friend Betty Ann? Consider these brief anecdotes from the wealth of articles that pop up when you type her name into Google.

When she was only 21 years old, Betty Ann began her seven year stint as co-star of Stop the Music, a mega-hit musical quiz show that began on radio in 1949 and soon transferred to the up-and-coming medium of television. When Cole Porter saw adorable Betty Ann on TV for the first time, his people immediately called her people and offered her the chance to replace Lisa Kirk as Lois Lane / Bianca in the original Broadway production of Kiss Me Kate—Betty Ann’s Broadway debut.

And it wasn’t just Cole Porter who loved her. Betty Ann was so popular and appeared in so many TV shows in the early 50s that her beautiful face wound up on the cover of Look Magazine over a caption that read “America’s Most Televised Women.” And what are the TV credits that earn her recognition as one of the great women pioneers of the new medium? Stop the Music, The Bert Parks Show, The Big Payoff, All in Fun, Ozark Jubilee, The Red Buttons Show, Summer Holiday, The Merv Griffin / Betty Ann Grove Show, The Arthur Murray Party, and many others.

At the peak of her success as a television singer/actress and recording artist, Betty Ann was dating her manager, Peter Dean. Peter Dean took Betty Ann with him on frequent visits to see his niece, a little girl named Carly Simon. Betty Ann had such a strong influence on young Carly that to this day Ms Simon credits Betty Ann as the singer she wanted to be when she grew up.

When Betty Ann returned to Broadway in George M! in 1968 (the second of her four Broadway shows), she was so well known in the entertainment industry that she received second billing after Joel Grey. All the advertising materials for the original production list Betty Ann’s name on its own line, just below the title, in type about twice the size of the names that immediately follow beneath her name, names like Broadway stars Jill O’Hara and Bernadette Peters.

If you decide today that you’d like to buy on an Internet auction site the autographed photo of Betty Ann you see at the top of this post, you can! And if you Buy It Now, you can pick it up for only … oh … $399!

“Betty Ann Grove is an American actress,” Wikipedia states. “A petite redhead with a powerful voice, she recorded in the 1950s and debuted on Broadway in Kiss Me Kate.”

Even though the Wiki article goes on, it tells such a small part of her story.

Richmonders love Betty Ann for her star turns in The Music Man and Da at Theatre IV, and Driving Miss Daisy and Smoke on the Mountain at Swift Creek Mill Theatre, among others. But as we celebrate with her the joy of turning 81 years young, let’s not forget that Betty Ann Grove is not just our sweetheart, but America’s sweetheart as well.

We love you, Betty Ann. Happy Birthday!!!

–Bruce Miller

Learning to Want to Grow Up

By: Lauren Devitt at Elk Hill

Why would you want to stay a kid forever?

Ask a grown-up, and they’ll give you a laundry list of reasons. No work, bills, backaches, or heartaches. But that’s because adults forget what serious business growing up can be. Even the best childhood has moments of fear, sadness, and pain.

Kids and Staff at Elk Hill
Kids and Staff at Elk Hill

Peter and the Starcatcher hasn’t forgotten – and the play’s honest, playful look at the darker side of being a kid is one reason we’re so excited to share it with the young people at Elk Hill.

Like Peter, the kids we serve haven’t had the best childhood. Many have faced overwhelming challenges or trauma at young ages. So they can understand why for Peter, staying a kid isn’t about holding onto a carefree youth. It’s about trying not to become the kind of grown-up he has learned to resent and distrust – for good reason!

Because in Peter’s experience, “grown-ups lie. They lie and then they leave.”

And they leave you so “busy trying not to die” that you miss out on the bigger things in life, like education, role models, or helping other people out.

And they beat you until you almost believe their “Rule Number One: Life is meant to be horrible.”

At Elk Hill, we see every day how this kind of dark experience can erode healthy development and a child’s ability to trust adults or imagine a positive future. We see it in the eyes of a seven-year old boy who sucks on a pacifier to stay calm in school after his mother’s murder. In the hostility of a teen girl who lashes out at every helping hand. In the anxiety of a graduating senior who knows that landing his first job is all that stands between him and generational cycles of poverty.

But we also see how, at the same time that it’s hard and frightening and terribly sad, life for these kids is also joyful, silly, inspiring, and FUN.

Camp Roan at Elk Hill
Camp Roan at Elk Hill

Peter and the Starcatcher is all of these things too – and that’s the other reason we can’t wait for our kids to experience this play. Even Peter’s darkest moments are seconds away from a joke, a discovery, a new friend, or a flying cat. It’s that manic, magic mixture that makes him so resilient and able to defy the odds to become the hero of his own story. As the narrators tell us, “Even with so little ground for hope, despite his distress and sorrow, still he believed” – and “to have faith is to have wings.”

When we describe the many ways Elk Hill helps kids transform overwhelming challenges into successful futures, we list things like schools, summer camps, mental health support, residential services, and workforce programs. We usually forget to mention love, imagination, laughter, and play. And that’s a shame, because as often as not, those things are the best starstuff we can offer to help kids soar above the darkness and learn to navigate towards adulthood with confidence, purpose, and hope.

Forgive us. We’re grown-ups! But we’re so grateful there are children, and plays like this, to help us remember.

Virginia Rep thanks Elk Hill for being a Community Partner for our production of Peter and the Starcatcher.