Cherry Orchard Theatre
CHERRY ORCHARD THEATRE 2020
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!
This season we will be practicing social distancing and have the perfect place to do it — a large, outdoor theater space! Check the website in July and August for updates. But for now, our 2020 season features two weekends at our spectacularly beautiful Cherry Orchard Theatre stage. All shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. No reservations required. For more info, call 276-755-3593 or 276-755-2224. We look forward to seeing you!
Summer 2020 Schedule
August 7, 8, 9 – AN EVENING OF LOCAL STORYTELLING, POETRY & LIVE MUSIC
Over 20 years at Cherry Orchard Theatre, we’ve often combined local storytelling and poetry with live music, always a winning combination. This year, once again, we offer poetry by local poets like Juliana Caldwell, Karen Johnson and Rose Warshawna, along with live storytelling , and music by local legends Les Puckett, Stu Shenk, and others. If you are a poet or storyteller, you are welcome to tell your stories or read your poems as well. Please join us for what is always a magical evening, watching the sun go down and hearing the owls ask who you are.
AUGUST 14, 15, 16 – “A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE DUCKS” and “PEARL, YOUR MOTHER.”
Here we are pairing two shows with a light-hearted look at relationships.
In “A Little Something for the Ducks,” Irma (Juliana Caldwell) is enjoying a quiet rest by the lake when Samuel (Patrick Butler) shows up to feed the ducks — in direct violation of the “DON’T FEED THE DUCKS” sign. Two feisty seniors — determined to live their lives in their own way — have at it on topics of rules, life, death, the future, ducks — and last but not least, wine! In vino, veritas!
“Pearl, Your Mother” is yet another charming, funny, poignant storytelling event from our longtime storyteller and actor, Terri Ingalls. This time, Terri shares memories of her mother, Pearl: “She was a strange woman, but we loved her.” This humorous look at the mother/daughter relationship includes exploration of history, shopping, funerals, sex, and jokes. And that is just the first 30 seconds! Please join us for another festive occasion with Terri Ingalls!
AUGUST 21, 22, 23 – THE ROAD HOME, A JOURNEY TO FAITH
Last year, Misty Hagwood and her mother enthralled audiences with their stories of the road — their ten years of driving a truck together. This year, Misty returns with a different kind of journey to tell us about — her journey of faith. Though over the years we’ve had some interesting weekends on matters of the spirit, this is the first time in 21 years of theater we’ve looked at one person’s faith journey in such an intense and vivid way. Our thanks to Misty, who has the courage to lead us on the journey. Told as a kind pilgrimage to the sacred in three stages of her life, Misty — who has often performed here as actor and storyteller — will share all the bumps, along with the smoother rides. Afterwards we plan to open up the evening in the audience for general conversation about spiritual and mythic journeys. Please join us!
AUGUST 28, 29, 30 – RED, A Play
In partnership with the Arts Council of the Twin Counties, on this weekend we are excited to offer the play, “RED” by Mark Logan, featuring local actors Patrick Butler and Mason Blevins. “RED” is directed by David Beach, a playwright, actor, director and professor at Radford University. RED is a play about the great American painter Mark Rothko, born in 1903, whose paintings, he said, explored the mysteries of existence and were meant to evoke human emotion at its most primal. Rothko, who died in New York in 1970 at the peak of his artistic powers, remains one of the most influential of all American painters for what some have referred to as the “abstract expressionism” in his paintings. Just as Rothko wanted viewers of his paintings to experience their raw emotional power, the play, RED, explores the connection between emotion and art. And it poses the question, at what price, great art? If you’ve ever seen the film “Pollock,” about painter Jackson Pollock, directed by and starring Ed Harris, you’ll have something of an idea about the story and atmosphere of this play. Of course, in our own beautiful outdoor theater space, we will be practicing social distancing and other safety measures. Come join us — live theater, now more than ever, is a rare and special thing!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll see you on the mountain!
— Frank Levering
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHOWS, STARTING IN JULY, CALL 276-755-3593.