Art comes in many forms. Some forms of art such as painting and sculpting are enjoyed in galleries and other displays. An author’s flowing prose or poetry is put into a book that can be devoured at leisure. Then there are the performing arts, dance, music, acting. These artists thrive on live performances, being in front of audiences. The year 2020 took many things from people, loved ones, jobs, freedom, health; however, it could not take away art. Unfortunately, it did eliminate the possibility of live performances for quite some time. Not only was this devastating for those who love performing, but it also meant a loss of income.
During quarantine, there was little to do. Most businesses were closed, public spaces were limited, events, concerts, plays, ballets were all canceled. While stuck at home, the constant companion of many was various forms of entertainment. Movies, television, books, recorded ballets and stage performances, music; all of these things remained in the face of so much loss.
Now, the performing arts are finally able to begin making a live comeback. Concerts and music festivals are in full swing, movies and television are back to filming and stage performers are gearing up for the season. For Greenbrier Valley Theater, this return to normalcy comes in the form of announcing their first production since pre-pandemic.
Beginning on July 9, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. Greenbrier Valley Theater will be performing the classic “Driving Miss Daisy” by American playwright Alfred Uhry. The production will run through July 24. The stars of the show are Cathy Sawyer, Lorenzo Scott and Matthew Scott Campbell, all of whom are members of the Actors’ Equity Association. Tickets are available on the Greenbrier Valley Theater website at www.gvtheater.org as well as by calling the box office at 304-645-3838. General seating is $30 while seniors over the age of 60 will only pay $27. Student tickets are set at $20.
Actors as well as the production team have been hard at work preparing for this return to the stage. On June 22, the actors held their first read-through of the script for Driving Miss Daisy. They have been continuing to prepare and perfect ever since.
There will, of course, still be safety precautions in place to ensure the wellbeing of both the actors and the audience. This includes maintaining a six-foot distance from others and asking anyone with symptoms to stay home. Also, all staff, volunteers and non-vaccinated patrons are asked to wear a mask. To aid in maintaining proper distancing, the theater has reduced its seating capacity to 50%. Also, concessions will not be available.
Other productions that Greenbrier Valley Theater will be performing this season include, Shout!, Pride & Prejudice, Silencing the Mob, This Wonderful Life and Elf The Musical.
This year, 2021 marks 21 years of entertaining at the Greenbrier Valley Theater. However, the story really begins 54 years ago. According to The History of Greenbrier Valley Theater, a document by Ann A. Benedict, it began in the “summer of 1966 in a striped tent pitched on the banks of the Greenbrier River at North Caldwell.” For more information on the fascinating history of the Greenbrier Valley Theater, visit www.gvquarterly.com/blog/2017/5/1/gvt-an-oral-history.
Not only does Greenbrier Valley Theater provide wonderful entertainment for the community, they also provide educational opportunities for local children. This is done through their Youth Education Program, which has a mission of providing “ongoing, inclusive, quality education in theater and the performing arts.” Through this program, the theater offers summer drama camps, after-school drama classes, intern and apprentice opportunities and so much more.
For more information on Greenbrier Valley Theater’s upcoming production of “Driving Miss Daisy” visit their website or Facebook Page. Information is also available by calling 304-645-3838