Cherry Orchard Theatre

CHERRY ORCHARD THEATRE 2017 SUMMER AND FALL SEASON

Outdoor theatre is a tradition in our part of the world. Over the years North Carolina has boasted more outdoor theatre productions than any state in the country, ranging from famous ones like “The Lost Colony” and “Unto These Hills” to lesser known productions that are often of good quality.

Though we are in Virginia, we are only eight miles distant from this “mother” state of outdoor theatre. Inspired by the tradition in North Carolina — and by the 55-mile view of mountains and valleys from our cherry orchard outdoor ampitheatre site — since 1999 we have been offering a wide variety of theater experiences at The Cherry Orchard Theatre. Here we have performed dozens of plays, had numerous concerts and storytelling gatherings, and played host to some of the leading theatrical and musical talent in our region. Over the years many thousands of people have come, bearing lawn chairs and perhaps a picnic supper and a bottle of wine — no restrictions there! — to watch performances and to enjoy the coolness of the Blue Ridge Mountain evening and the spectacular view behind the stage.

Showtime is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Rain or shine, the show must go on — if it’s raining we move to our packhouse, a friendly confine for theatre that smells like the peaches we are selling there during theater season! Tickets are $10 and purchased at the door — reservations are accepted but not required, there is plenty of elbow room. Bring lawn chairs, food, and something to drink — then sit back on the cool grass, and enjoy the show! We will be doing live theater and more on Labor Day weekend, September 1st, 2nd, and 3rd!

Our lineup for the 2017 season includes both outdoor summer shows at our spectacularly beautiful Cherry Orchard Theatre stage, and indoor shows in the fall at the historic old courthouse in Hillsville. All shows start at 7 p.m. For info, call 276-755-2224 or 276-755-3593. We look forward to seeing you at both theatre locations!

Summer 2017 Schedule

Friday August 4th, OUTDOOR THEATRE – POETRY READING

Though a roster of local poets will be reading from their own poems, this will also be an opportunity to BRING YOUR OWN POEMS and read them before a live audience! It’s all very casual. All you have to do is stand up and read! We’re looking forward to seeing you – no need to tell us in advance you’re coming to read your poems! Just come, bring a lawn chair, watch the sun go down, and enjoy the poetry!

Saturday August 5th, OUTDOOR THEATRE – SIDNA ALLEN HOUSE BENEFIT CONCERN AND SCENES FROM COURTHOUSE TRAGEDY PLAYS

This evening we’ll have live music performed by a host of local musicians, along with scenes performed by actors in our Courthouse Tragedy plays, with all proceeds going to benefit the restoration of the SIDNA ALLEN HOUSE BENEFIT CONCERN AND SCENES FROM COURTHOUSE TRAGEDY PLAYS. Most likely we’ll also have food, drinks, and Courthouse Tragedy memorabilia for sale. Please join us for this outstanding community event!

Weekend of August 11, 12 & 13

The theatre is dark this weekend as we take time to celebrate an important family birthday in West Virginia.

August 18, 19 & 20, OUTDOOR THEATRE – “IN OTHER WORDS,” A PLAY

Come see this original and marvelous new play, IN OTHER WORDS, by Winston-Salem playwright and poet Beverly Johnston. Originaly from the coal mining country of West Virginia, Beverly has written a wonderfully poetic and intense family drama, based in large part on her own family background in West Virginia. With the survival of coal mining now in today’s headlines, this play could not be more timely. But it’s a story about much more than coal mining. It’s a story of family adaptation and survival, told with spare precision and luminous poetry. And you’ll meet the playwright, Beverly Johnston, one of the outstanding writers in our region of the United States, who will be from for a long time to come.

August 25, 26, & 27 – TO BE ANNOUNCED

We do have plans for three performances this weekend, but as of this date do not yet have the specifics. Please check back with us!

September 1, 2 & 3 (LABOR DAY WEEKEND), OUTDOOR THEATRE – “FRIENDSHIP,” A PLAY

FRIENDSHIP is a new play by Frank Levering, author of plays THUNDER IN THE HILLS, SIDNA ALLEN’S DREAM, FAR APPOMATTOX, and many more over the past eighteen years. FRIENDSHIP is a play about… well, friendship. What it is. What it can be. What it means. Consider yourself lucky, though. All through the long winter months, Frank kept thinking about writing an autobiographical play called MY LIFE AS RANDY TRAVIS. But he chickened out! So instead, we have FRIENDSHIP. Will it make you think about the meanings of friendship? We hope so!

September 22, 23 & 24, HILLSVILLE COURTHOUSE – “CIVIL WAR LETTERS,” A PLAY, Celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Carroll County, VA.

It’s the Civil War era. In Carroll County, Virginia, a soldier on the war front and his wife back home in the hills of Carroll write letters to each other. Beautiful, poignant letters. Using actual letters exchanged between husband and wife, this one-act play celebrates a vivid and dramatic period in the history of Carroll County. And you’re interested in the Civil War, this is an evening not to be missed!

September 29, 30 & October 1, HILLSVILLE COURTHOUSE, “THE LADIES IN GRAY,” A PLAY

This is a new play, written by Frank Levering and performed by local women, celebrating the heritage of Quaker women in the early settlement and history of Carroll County. Inspired by research done by a number of people, including our wonderful historian of local history. Shelby Inscore-Puckett , this is a story we haven’t heard very often yet – but now we will! Come see it in the “plain” setting of the courthouse!

October 20, 21, 22, HILLSVILLE COURTHOUSE, “THE DEAD SPEAK,” A PLAY

Just in time for the Halloween season, this is a play, also written by Frank Levering (who co-wrote the horror film “Parasite,” starring Demi Moore!) about the many, many graveyards scattered across Carroll County, and what they tell us about our history as a county. Not a “horror” play at all, THE DEAD SPEAK is a serious inquiry into who we once were, who is remembered, and who is forgotten. And who we are now.


Admission is only ten dollars. Bring a lawn chair and anything you would like to eat or drink.

For more information starting in July-, and any questions you may have, please call 276-755-3593. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can call the packhouse number — 276-755-3593 — and speak with Frank Levering.You can also often speak with Frank at 276-755-4722 (cell phone reception permitting), or email him at franklevering1@gmail.com.

We’ll see you on the mountain!

— Frank Levering
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHOWS, STARTING IN JULY, CALL 276-755-3593.

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