Two Seattle-based theatre professionals announced the formation of the Page to Stage Theatre Company, an innovative approach to supporting new play creation and artistic growth in Roanoke through staging and producing “something from nothing theatre.” This approach will support new plays, playwrights, actors, and technicians in producing their works for the local community.
Nick McCord, an experienced theatre professional and Hollins Playwriting Graduate student, serves as Artistic Director for the company. Vanessa Mills, professional actor and Public Relations manager, serves as Executive Director. Both McCord and Mills have run successful theatre companies in the past, and have combined their experience and skills to being new theatre to Roanoke.
The ample amount of theatre available in the Roanoke area is well known, but Page to Stage isn’t here to compete. “Our mission is about collaboration, and lifting up the arts in this city,” said Mills. Both Mills and McCord have been active in the Roanoke theatre community since their arrival here in the late spring. Mills has worked with Showtimers in their production of “Bye Bye Birdie” this summer and both Mills and McCord were featured in the Hollins production of “Starcropolis” which took place under the Roanoke Star recently. Both are also currently working with Off the Rails Theatre in the cast of their new production “Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike,” which opens this weekend (9/23).
In an effort to promote and support local works, Page to Stage produces plays submitted by writers from around the nation, but priority is given to Roanoke playwrights and performers. They accept year-round submissions of one-act plays, shorts, and full-length plays.
“Well, theatre’s naturally collaborative, right?” said McCord, “and when playwrights can see their work realized and interpreted by directors and actors in real time, we can create current, vital art that’s both immediate and shared. I think that’s what excites me most- the opportunity to respond to our community’s needs as if we were having a conversation.”
Page to Stage has already been working within the community to help support the arts. “We are using the June McBroom Theater to perform our shows in, which is very exciting.” said Mills. “Especially since that gives us the potential to work with the students at Community High. We are still talking about the details, and need approval from the higher-ups, but it’s something we would love to do.”
Their first show is called “Twilight Gallery” and is comprised of 10 short plays written by playwrights from coast to coast. Each play is inspired by the 1960’s TV show “The Twilight Zone” and is separated into two episodes, the second episode following the night after the first, making it a weekend event full of creepy nostalgia. Of the 10 plays chosen, five playwrights are locals, and eight are Hollins students.
“There are so many talented and creative people in Roanoke,” Mills said, “and we’ve really only seen the tip of the iceberg. We have a 9 play season, and only one is a pre-existing work. We can’t wait to continue building these relationships, with both contributors and other theatre companies.”
Page to Stage’s first season is comprised of:
- Oct 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th NEW WORK: The Twilight Gallery: 10 20-minute plays with a Twilight Zone Theme spread out into 2 Episodes over a weekend.
- Nov 18th-20th NEW WORK: The Exquisite Corpse: A Frankenstein’s monster of a play, written in turn by 5 disparate playwrights- each with minimal knowledge of what’s come before.
- Dec 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th NEW WORK: The 12 Plays of Christmas: 12 original shorts/skits based on a holiday/winter theme.
- Jan 20th-22nd New Play Workshop: A weekend long workshop where we read new works on Friday, have a feedback session Saturday, and polish pieces for new reading on Sunday.
- Feb 10th, 11th, 12th NEW WORK: FourPlay: Four original plays with a love-based theme. This year: Love Stinks.
- March 10th, 11th, 12th,17th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th, 26th MUSICAL: Pirates of Penzance (Yarrrrr!)
- April 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd NEW WORK: As Yet Unnamed Full Length Play: We are accepting submissions year round for the annual full production of a new and unproduced play.
- May 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th NEW WORK: Bad to Worser: A delightfully depraved tryptich where going wrong is just right.
Page to Stage is a new company that offers something that Roanoke hasn’t had for some time, new works theatre that builds community and supports other art in the region.
Tickets for Twilight Gallery are currently on sale at brownpapertickets.com, and will be available at the door. Prices are one episode for $10 or two for $15. Performances are 10/21/16-10/22/16 at 8pm for the first showing and 10/28/16-10/29/16 at 8pm for the second showing.