Cherry Orchard Theatre

CHERRY ORCHARD THEATRE 2021

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 2021 season features four 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 2021 Schedule

August 6, 7, 8 – AN EVENING OF POETRY AND LOCAL STORYTELLING

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 by Terri Ingalls 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 13, 14, 15 – WALKING A SPIRITUAL PATH

Join us for one or more of three special evenings in which folks from our region speak of spiritual paths and what they have learned about the practice of spirituality. Our guests include Vann McCoy, Eddy McGee, Rev. Karen Johnson, Dr. Miriam Levering, Dr. Evelyn Thompson, and others. Moderated by Harvard Divinity School graduate Frank Levering, these will be fascinating, mind-stretching evenings of timely exploration. We invite your participation from the audience as well. Join us!

AUGUST 20, 21, 22 – TO BE ANNOUNCED

Please call us at 276-755-2224 or 276-755-3593. Or email us at franklevering1@gmail.com.

AUGUST 27, 28, 29 – TALES OF THE WATERLESS SEA, A Play

In January of 1901, Frank Levering’s grandfather, Earl Lindsey, a seminary student at Boston University, accompanied his brother, Alton, to Palm Springs, CA, where Alton — diagnosed with TB — hoped to “dry out” in the desert air. This play is the story of that journey — a journey of faith, hope, mortality, and brotherly love. Set in 1959, as the Rev. Earl Lindsey, then mortally ill, tells the story to his wife, Lois, TALES OF THE WATERLESS SEA takes us back in time to a literal– and metaphorical — desert, a place of rattlesnakes, Cahilla Indians, gold prospectors — and death. Then a one-horse town, Palm Springs as it originated in the Wild West comes vividly to life — and along with it, illuminates the hopes and dreams of two devoted brothers.

This family drama — its themes made even more timely by Covid-19 — stars Terri Ingalls as Lois Lindsey, and Patrick Butler as Rev. Earl Lindsey. If you’ve never experienced Terri or Patrick on stage — two of the best actors this region has ever seen — see them NOW! For Terri, Lois Lindsey is one of many roles she has graced us with over many years, from Cherry Orchard Theatre to the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. For Patrick, the role of Rev. Earl Lindsey follows up on his dynamic portrayal here last year of painter Mark Rothko in the play “Red.” And Terri and Patrick were nothing short of brilliant here last year in the poignant comedy, “A Little Something for the Ducks.” So now — as they used to say in the Hollywood film trailers — they are TOGETHER AGAIN!

And that’s a wonderful thing, because, in this play, these are roles these intense and committed actors can really sink their teeth into. Written and directed by Frank Levering, TALES OF THE WATERLESS SEA represents a high water mark in 23 years of theater here at Cherry Orchard. If you’ve never been here to see a play, do it now! Like Tibetan sand painting, live theater works its magic — and then it’s gone. And, of course, all 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 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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