Theatre Centre Illuminates a Journey of Redemption as “The Amen Corner” Opens Dec. 6

The double-edged sword of righteousness is illuminated in a poignant depiction of the power of faith in the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s holiday production of THE AMEN CORNER, opening Friday, December 6, and running through Sunday, December 22.

To his first work for the theatre, James Baldwin, one of America’s preeminent African-American writers, brought all the fervor of the storefront churches of his childhood along with an unwavering awareness of the price those churches exacted from their worshipers.

As the story goes, Sister Margaret Alexander, a pastor in 1960s Harlem, has moved her congregation for years with a mixture of personal charisma and ferocious piety. A single mother, she has lived a public life of undying holiness and devotion to her Lord. But when her estranged husband shows up on her doorstep deathly ill, she is in danger of losing both her standing in the church and the son she has tried to keep on the godly path.

While Margaret had led everyone to believe that her husband had abandoned her with their son years ago, it was in fact Margaret who had left him and pursued a religious life. This information precipitates confrontations between Margaret, her husband, her son, and the elders of her congregation regarding what they perceive as the hypocritical nature of her religious convictions.

What follows on that Christmas is an unforgettable journey of atonement and redemption.

Adorned with resplendent gospel music, THE AMEN CORNER is a play about faith and family, about the gulf between black men and black women and black fathers and black sons. Both sorrowful and uplifting, it is considered a masterpiece of the modern American theatre.

Making her CTC debut as Margaret is Marsha Mills. Carlos Alvalrez Davis, who appeared in last season’s FENCES, portrays her husband, Luke, and Jeremiah Taylor is their son, David. Others appearing in featured roles include LaShonda Bryant, Brandon Hines, Travis Johnson, Roderick King, Teara King, LaKeysha Nolan, Patricia Pruett-Starks, Cel Reid, Charde Terry, and Cortney Warner.

Members of the congregation include Nathalie Alcime, Jessica Desmond-Bennett, Joclyn Foster, and Sherri Winston. The children’s ensemble includes Aniya Niccole Bryant, Nehemiah Bryant, Jacobi Carter, Nadia Merrell, Jada Mills, and Kennedi Morton.

THE AMEN CORNER is directed by Ricardo C. Morris, with musical direction by Trent Williams, costume design by Tinita Coulter, lighting design by Julius JanMichael Johnson, and scene design by Tom Hansen. Denise Wilborn is the stage manager.

Performances are December 6-7 at 8 p.m., December 8 at 2:30 p.m., December 12 at 7 p.m., December 13-14 at 8 p.m., December 15 at 2:30 p.m., December 19 at 7 p.m., December 20-21 at 8 p.m., and December 22 at 2:30 p.m.

THE AMEN CORNER is one of two holiday offerings at the CTC this season. The theatre’s production of MARY POPPINS also runs through December 22.

For tickets to either show, call the CTC box office at 423-267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.

Posted November 18, 2019

A Spoonful of “Mary Poppins” Goes Down at the CTC Nov. 22-Dec. 22

Everyone’s favorite practically perfect nanny takes the stage as MARY POPPINS, a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure, opens Friday, November 22, at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and runs through Sunday, December 22.

 

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way as a seven-time Tony Award-nominated musical for the stage. Based on the children’s books by P.L. Travers and the classic Disney film of 1964, Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS delighted audiences on Broadway for more than 2,500 performances and brings things both new and familiar to this theatrical production.

 

The stage show features many of the original songs made famous by the Oscar-winning duo of Richard and Robert Sherman (“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “A Spoonful of Sugar” among them), with additional music and lyrics from George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and a book by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes.

 

Under the direction of Scott Dunlap, with musical direction by Michael Huseman and choreography by Lindsay Fussell, MARY POPPINS is an enchanting mixture of an irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stagecraft. And yes, if you’re wondering, the Theatre Centre’s Mary Poppins is going to fly!

 

As the story opens, Bert, a jack-of-all trades, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. With patience, kindness, and a little bit of magic, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures and teaches them—and the grown-ups in their lives—that “anything can happen if you let it.”

 

CTC veteran Joanna Lewis, seen most recently in last season’s AVENUE Q, will appear in the title role. Alex Loyd and Christiana Russell share the role of young Jane Banks, and Charlie Clevenger and Layton Williams likewise appear in alternating performances as her brother, Michael.

 

Taylor Williams makes his CTC debut as the good-natured Bert, and James Gienapp and Greer Caldwell appear as the upper-crust George and Winifred Banks.

 

Featured in adult roles are Anne Barbieri, Landon Carpenter, John Echols, Brendon Ferguson, Morgan Giannotti, Dawn Hendrix, Rebecca Henson, Vivian Long, Jennifer Major, Austin Massey, Beth McClary-Wolford, Keenan Pasqua, Lauren Rayhab, Jason Russell, Joshua Shoop, Donel Solomon, Ian Taylor, Sierra Ventura, and Jennifer Arbogast Wilson.

 

The youth ensemble includes Bree Brantley, Alex Champion, James Derrick, Kiera Geren, Landon Greene, William Hall, Cole Hayes, Tytus Hayes, Lauren Hays, Claire James, Emily James, Ephraim James, Will James, Wyatt Jones, Olivia Kelly, Tessa Kelly, Paul Knotts, Hayley Lewis, Annabelle Major, Carter McKissick, Brenden Mullins, Acadia Phillips, Lennon Shuff, Cora Grace Williams, Addison Young, and Kaitlyn Young.

 

Angie Griffin is the stage manager, and Alyssa Robinson is the assistant stage manager.

 

Performances are November 22-23 at 8 p.m., November 23-24 at 2:30 p.m., December 5 at 7 p.m., December 6-7 at 8 p.m., December 7-8 at 2:30 p.m., December 12 at 7 p.m., December 13-14 at 8 p.m., December 14-15 at 2:30 p.m., December 19 at 7 p.m., December 20-21 at 8 p.m., and December 21-22 at 2:30 p.m. Live captioning for those with hearing loss will be featured in the December 5 performance.

 

For tickets, call the CTC box office at 423-267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.

 

Posted November 4, 2019

CTC Appoints 7 New Board Members

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre has appointed seven new members to its board of directors, each of whom brings valuable professional and personal skills to the non-profit organization’s governing board.

Newly elected to the board are Kim Jackson, Lisi Phillips, Alfred Smith, Rodney Strong, LaFrederick Thirkill, Marte Williams, and Kat Wright.

Jackson is an actor, teacher, and community volunteer; Phillips is a Starshine Friends teacher at Highland Plaza United Methodist Preschool; and Smith is of counsel with the law firm of Miller & Martin. Strong is a retired Assistant District Attorney with the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office, and Thirkill is principal at Orchard Knob Elementary School.

Williams is executive administrative assistant to the Vice President of Provider Networks and Contracting at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Wright is Program Coordinator for Public Art Chattanooga.

Founded in 1923, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the Southeast. The Theatre Centre produces high-caliber theatrical productions and provides volunteer and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Posted October 18, 2019

 

Encore Cabaret Revives Favorite Shows, Favorite Songs & Favorite Singers on Nov. 9

Some of the last three decades’ most popular singers, songs, and shows on the Chattanooga Theatre Centre stage will be showcased during the CTC’s Encore Cabaret, a fundraising musical event on Saturday, November 9.

Guests will hear some of the CTC community’s favorite performers belt out favorite show-stopping tunes from favorite CTC shows of years gone by. A line-up of 20 singers will reprise numbers from as far back as 1987’s “My Fair Lady” and 1994’s “Guys and Dolls” to as recent as 2017’s “The Wiz” and last season’s “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Jennifer Arbogast Wilson is musical director and accompanist, and Beth McClary-Wolford will emcee.

The performance will be in the mainstage lobby, which will be decked out with a nightclub atmosphere. Appetizers will be provided, and a cash bar will be available. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the performance is at 8 p.m.

Tickets for this special fundraising event are $20 for adults and $10 for age 16 or younger. Limited seating. Tickets are available at 423.267.8534 and TheatreCentre.com.

Here’s the program:

Rhonda Catanzaro

“I Gotta Crow/Neverland”

PETER PAN

 

Mitch Collins

“Blood in the Water”

LEGALLY BLONDE

 

Tim Forsythe

“Oh, What a Beautiful Morning/Surrey with the Fringe on Top”

OKLAHOMA

 

Kim Jackson

“The Last Midnight”

INTO THE WOODS

 

Brandy Johnson

“Change in Me”

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

 

Cody Keown

“Wilkommen”

CABARET

 

Michael Marin-Howard

“Bring Him Home”

LES MISERABLES

 

Beth McClary-Wolford

“Slow-Startin’ Day”

An Original Michael Huseman Composition

 

Mark Oglesby & Rodney Van Valkenburg

“Lily’s Eyes”

THE SECRET GARDEN

 

Genna Raborn and Garrett Henson-Hinck

“Somewhere”/”Grow”/”Suddenly”

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

 

Janet Reeve

“I Could Have Danced All Night”

MY FAIR LADY

 

Joel Scribner

“If I Were a Rich Man”

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

 

Stephanie Smith

“I’ll Be Seeing You”

ALL NIGHT STRUT

 

Donel Solomon

“Slide Some Oil”

THE WIZ

 

Samantha Teter

“Maybe This Time”

CABARET

 

Brent Thompson

“Luck Be a Lady”

GUYS & DOLLS

 

Rodney Van Valkenburg

“Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”

GUYS & DOLLS

 

Jonathan and Jennifer Wilson

“The Song that Goes Like This”

SPAMALOT

 

Posted October 17, 2019

 

Theatre Centre’s “The Lion King Jr.” Opens Youth Season with a Roar

Hakuna matata! The Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre program opens its 2019-2020 season with a kid-friendly twist on Disney’s beloved coming-of-age tale “The Lion King, Jr.,” opening October 25 and running through November 3.

The original “The Lion King” has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world. In this junior adaptation, the African savannah comes to life on stage with a familiar cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again.

It’s the story of the epic adventures of an adventurous and endearing cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king of the Pridelands.

Along the way, the young lion encounters a colorful cast of characters, including spunky lioness Nala, charismatic meerkat Timon, and loveable warthog Pumbaa. To claim his rightful place on the throne and save his beloved Pridelands, Simba must find his inner strength and confront his wicked uncle Scar.

This abridged musical blends moments from the animated 1994 film and the Broadway production but in a shortened running time, making it accessible to young performers and young audiences. There are familiar songs like “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata,” and the Academy Award-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as well as additional songs penned for the Broadway production. The original music and lyrics are by Tim Rice and Elton John.

Charlie Clevenger portrays Simba, with Drew Champion as his kingly father Mufasa. Taylor Slack is his lioness friend Nala, and Noah Hawkins is his evil uncle Scar. Other familiar characters include Rafikia (MaKenzie Ballard), the wise mandrill who guides Simba on his journey, and Pumba (Darrius Calloway) and Timon (Eben Shriner), the comical warthog and meerkat who Simba encounters along the way.

Other featured characters are played by Johnathan Adams (Banzai), Jackson Allen (Young Simba), Sam Gross (Shenzi), Trey Hartley (Ed), Hunter Landreth (Zazu), Eboni Moore (Young Nala), Essence Moore (Sarabi), and Cora Grace Williams (Sarafina).

The ensemble includes Melayna Buttry, Alex Champion, Gracie Hawkins, Abigail Holloway, Rylee Holloway, Darian Moore, Darryl Moore, Acadia Phillips, Manuel Tibbs, Erin Vaughn, Kyla Wheeler, and Kaylyn Yancy.

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre production will use music, movement, fabric, headdresses, and puppets to animate the story. The production is directed by Scott Dunlap, with musical direction by Neshawn Calloway and choreography by Marie Dance. Angie Griffin is the assistant director, and Paul Knotts and Christiana Russell are the stage managers.

Public performances take place on October 25 at 7 p.m., October 26 and 27 at 2:30 p.m., November 1 at 7 p.m., and November 2 and 3 at 2:30 p.m. School performances are scheduled during the week of October 28. The show, performed in the CTC’s mainstage theatre, is appropriate for first graders and up.

Tickets are available at the CTC box office at (423) 267-8534 or online at TheatreCentre.com.

Posted October 11, 2019

Second Century Society Ensures Theatre Centre’s Next 100 Years

As the Chattanooga Theatre Centre closes in on its 100th anniversary, this mainstay in the lives of many theatre-goers in the community is taking steps to ensure its next 100 years.

That initiative recently took shape with the launch of the Second Century Society, which aspires to identify supporters who have decided to make a planned gift or a gift to the non-profit community theatre’s endowment.

Inspired by a generous gift from the estate of Alice Probasco Lupton, the Second Century Society has attracted 17 charter members, surpassing its original goal in less than a year’s time.

“The Theatre Centre is one of only a handful of community theatres in this country that have survived about 100 years, and the theatres who will last another 100 years all have a body like our Second Century Society,” says Executive Director Todd Olson. “That’s how important this inaugural group is.”

The Second Century Society is appealing to potential donors to leave a legacy that maintains the culture of a quality, community-minded theatre. The Theatre Centre was founded in December 1923 as the Little Theatre and staged its first show, “Dear Me,” in April 1924. Today, the CTC plays to over 30,000 patrons attending adult and youth productions each season.

“The Second Century Society is one of the most important groups in the city as it will continue the legacy of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre for generations to come,” says Paula Henderson, a CTC Board of Stewards member who is heading the Second Century Society drive. “I am more than proud to be associated with this worthwhile effort.

“A community without live theatre is not complete,” Henderson says. “The CTC contributes to the richness of our community in many ways, including education, diversity, economically, and through opportunities for all to participate in the creative process we call theatre. I don’t think it gets more important or special than that.”

Henderson says the Second Century Society welcomes gifts of any size, which has made this giving opportunity within reach for any member of the theatre family. Donors can make a bequest to the CTC in their will or trust or by designating the CTC as a beneficiary of their retirement account or insurance policy.

Among the charter members of the Second Century Society are Bryan and Mindy Kelly, who are dedicated supporters of the arts throughout the community.

Bryan says, “When I first moved to Chattanooga, on a whim I tried out for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ having never done anything like that before, and I was cast as the Beast. Since then, I have found a tremendous family at the CTC and I know that the encouraging, uplifting, and empowering spirit that I have felt in my time is being instilled and fostered in everyone that is lucky enough to participate in a CTC production. From the CTC’s Youth Theatre to its community outreach and its collaborations with other groups and organizations, my wife and I are proud to be a part of supporting CTC‘s next 100 years.”

The complete list of charter members of the Second Century Society includes: Jo Coke, Jackie Collins, Mitch Collins, John Foy, Paula Henderson, Becki Jordan, Bryan Kelly, Mindy Kelly, Jim Kennedy, Martha Mackey, Judy Schwartz, Alice Lupton Smith, Lynn Strong, Rodney Strong, and Sonia Young. In addition, gifts from the estates of Mrs. Lupton and Milly Fariss supported the creation of the society.

For more information about the Second Century Society, contact Development Associate Lisa Glisson at 423-267-8538 ext. 308 or [email protected].

Posted October 10, 2019

 

Attention Volunteers! Meet Our New Volunteer Coordinator

Opportunities abound to volunteer at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre on stage and off, and all are vital to the success of the theatre, says CTC’s new volunteer coordinator Becki Jordan.

“This theatre was founded nearly one-hundred years ago by volunteers. Our volunteers kept us going through World War II and the Great Depression,” Becki says. “Many other community theatres would have had to shut down during times such as those, but through the work of volunteers, we kept running. We’ve relied on the work of our volunteers and we’ve been richly blessed over the years with a very dedicated and hardworking volunteer community.”

Becki, a longtime CTC volunteer herself, has just joined the staff as volunteer coordinator and in that capacity is working to expand and revitalize the theatre’s volunteer base. She is taking several approaches to accomplishing this goal, one of which is to enlist more educators and students.

“We have a number of volunteers who are educators,” she says. “I’d like to work more closely with them and help students who have community service requirements get involved.”

The CTC also relies heavily on parent volunteers. Most are parents of children involved in Youth Theatre productions or in a production that includes a large cast of children, such as this season’s opener, “Matilda.”

“Over the years, we’ve had a lot of families that will volunteer together,” Becki says. “It’s always good for the parents to be able to work on the same project with their kids.”

Becki also says she is reaching out to past volunteers who became inactive due to work or family obligations but whose circumstances have now changed. “I want them to know they are still welcome and there is still a place for them,” she says.

There are many different roles volunteers can play, Becki says. Aside from acting on stage, the theatre needs technical and running crew help backstage for shows. She says for the upcoming production of “Mary Poppins,” the theatre will need reliable volunteers for extra technical crew.  “We need people who can consistently be available throughout rehearsals and the run of the show,” she says.

The CTC also needs volunteers to assist with set building in the scene shop, costume building in the costume shop, ushers, and administrative help such as addressing envelopes for fundraising campaigns. Becki says if you are willing to donate your time, the CTC will find a place for you to volunteer and will gratefully welcome your help.

Becki’s capacity as the volunteer coordinator seemed a natural transition for her due to her long volunteer history at the theatre. She is a Chattanooga native and following her graduation from Tennessee Wesleyan College with a degree in theatre, she returned home and “volunteering at the theatre just seemed like the right thing to do,” she says.

Becki began working and studying with Nancy Lane Wright at her studio, the Dance-Theatre Workshop. During this time, Wright choreographed many of the musical productions at the CTC. “Whenever she was working on a show at the theatre, she would bring everyone from the workshop over to perform in the show,” Becki says. “An Evening with the Other Sex” in 1975, a play featuring women’s roles throughout history, was the first CTC play in which she was involved.

“It was really here that I learned how to act,” she says. “My degree was in theatre and I knew a lot about theatre history and stage managing. Nancy got my feet wet with performance. But I started watching everyone around me on stage here at the theatre and I really learned a lot about acting from them. I owe them a big debt.”

The “family feeling” from a few particular casts has been very meaningful, especially the cast of “Rumors” in 2002. The Neil Simon comedy ran at the CTC not too many months following the 9/11 tragedy, giving the community the light-hearted production it very much needed. It was also not long after the loss of her mother. “Coming back into that cast with everyone around me, well, it was wonderful to have that kind of support,” she says.

Becki has continued to act and be involved in dozens of plays at the CTC and has served on the theatre’s Board of Directors for a number of years. In addition to her work at the CTC, Becki has served on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church and has been a board member in years past with the Dance-Theatre Workshop and the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga.

She recently retired from her position as a contract analyst in the legal division at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. While serving on the CTC board, she organized front-of-house volunteers. So, when the board determined that there was a need for a volunteer coordinator, she decided to pursue the job.

Becki is working hard to reach prospective volunteers with the message, “You are welcome and there is a place for you here. Everyone is welcome here. You don’t have to be on stage. There are many places to help offstage too.”

If you would like to volunteer at the CTC, contact Becki at [email protected].

By Tammy Knotts | Writer, Journalist and CTC Parent Volunteer

Posted October 9, 2019

 

 

Seeking Volunteers for Upcoming Run of “Matilda”

The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is looking for 4 volunteer crew members for its upcoming production of MATILDA the musical.

Two volunteer WARDROBE CREW MEMBERS will be responsible to help children get dressed, assist with quick changes, and keep the dressing rooms in order. Needed throughout the run of the production – Sept 19-Oct 13th. This would begin with a Crew meeting Sept 12th (time TBD), Tech period (crew called at 6pm) Sept 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, Thurs 6pm call for 7pm go, Friday 7pm call for 8pm go, Saturday 1:30pm call for 2:30 go and 7pm call for 8pm go (2 shows each Saturday), and Sunday 1:30 call for 2:30 go. Will consider persons available for all OR MOST of these dates.

The LIGHTING VOLUNTEER will work with designer Alice Trent on Tuesday the 10th all day, and also Wednesday the 11th in the morning and afternoon.

The CREW MEMBER will be needed throughout the run of the production – Sept 20-Oct 13th. This would begin with a Crew meeting Sept 12th (time TBD), Tech period (crew called at 6pm) Sept 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, Thurs 6pm call for 7pm go, Friday 7pm call for 8pm go, Saturday 1:30pm call for 2:30 go and 7pm call for 8pm go (2 shows each Saturday), and Sunday 1:30 call for 2:30 go.

Email Todd Olson asap at [email protected]. Thanks!

Theatre Centre Opens Season with Mischievous, Magical & Musical “Matilda”

It’s not easy being a kid. Especially when your parents are crude, TV-addicted, book-bashing scoundrels and your heartless headmistress has a fondness for torturing children. Such is the plight – and plot – of the mischievous and magical “Matilda,” a Tony Award-winning musical which opens the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s 2019-2020 season on Friday, September 20.

Inspired by the twisted genius of children’s author Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach”), the wonderfully quirky “Matilda” is an exhilarating masterpiece about an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind, and psychokinetic powers, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. She’s unloved by her cruel parents, but her intelligence and astonishing wit impress her loveable schoolteacher.

Her school life isn’t smooth sailing, however. The mean headmistress hates children and throws them around the playground and confines them to a spike-filled chest called The Chokey. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be her schoolmates’ saving grace.

Playwright Dennis Kelly and musician-composer Tim Minchin have done a gloriously over-the-top job capturing the wit and heart of Dahl’s tale, which is set in an English village. Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs, and an empowering message of daring to stand up for what’s right, “Matilda” is a joyous girl-power romp.

Guest director Katherine Michelle Tanner, who directed last season’s musical hit “Newsies,” is also choreographer. As music director, Michael Huseman has songs like “Naughty,” “Loud,” “Pathetic,” and “Revolting Children” to play with.

They lead an energetic cast of 15 children and 11 adults, including two 10-year-olds who share the title role. Libbie Weaver and Anay Philips, double-cast as the precocious Matilda, will appear in alternating performances.

Tripp Ladd and Lee Preston play Matilda’s unloving parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood. Amanda Medlin as a caring teacher and Greer Caldwell as a kind librarian are Matilda’s allies at school. Jason Russell is the sadistic Miss Trunchbull.

The rest of the cast includes Laine Caldwell, Charlie Clevenger, Aria Cochran, Erin Eames, Roxanne Gibson, Cole Hayes, Tytus Hayes, Larry Hubbard, Caleigh Jackson, Keath Jackson Jr., Levi Jones, Aleah Larson, Ken LeBeau, Hayley Lewis, Alex Loyd, Carter McKissick, Caelen Philips, Ripken Russell, and Julie Wright.

Performance dates are September 20-21 at 8 p.m., September 21-22 at 2:30 p.m., September 26 at 7 p.m., September 27-28 at 8 p.m., September 28-29 at 2:30 p.m., October 3 at 7 p.m., October 4-5 at 8 p.m., October 5-6 at 2:30 p.m., October 10 at 7 p.m., October 11-12 at 8 p.m., and October 12-13 at 2:30 p.m.

For tickets, call the CTC box office at 423-267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.

Posted August 30, 2019

Theatre Centre to Exhibit Artists’ Work during 2019-2020 Season

As a celebration of the arts beyond what we produce on the stage, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre will feature 12 local artists and a collection of works by African-American artists on our gallery walls during the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

The move is part of the multi-faceted theatre experience that the Theatre Centre aims to provide its patrons.

“For the past three years, we have tried hard to open our doors wide to other kinds of artists, especially Chattanooga-based artists,” says CTC Executive Director Todd Olson.

During the 2018-2019 season, the theatre showcased work from the Hart Gallery, and the season before, work from AVA. Works were exhibited on gallery walls in the lobbies outside the CTC’s two theatre spaces.

“This year, we chose to reach out to individual artists and were deluged with submissions,” Olson says. “The results have been exciting, and I know CTC patrons will encounter many fascinating works of art on our gallery walls when they come to the theatre.”

Austin McDougal’s work will be featured during the CTC’s season-opening run of Roald Dahl’s MATILDA from September 20 through October 13. Austin is a 23-year-old oil and acrylic painter who draws his inspiration from many sources, people, places, events, and ideas.

Jennifer Coots will be featured during the CTC run of LION KING, JR. from October 25 to November 3. Jennifer calls herself a “free spirit,” and her art is inspired by magic “hiding beneath all the noise of the world and splattered on the canvas.”

Sarah McCune’s paintings will be featured during the run of MARY POPPINS, November 22 until December 22. Sarah’s art explores the intersections of creation of other worlds, spirituality, loss of innocence, and human discovery. She is a full-time teaching resident at Howard High School in 9th and 10th grade English language arts. (One of her works accompanies this post.)

Shelley L. King and Cecilia King will be the featured artists during James Baldwin’s THE AMEN CORNER, December 6-22. Shelley has been a professional photographer for the past eight years and shares a passion for street photography, photographing events and structures around the Chattanooga area. The Kings believe their work as photojournalists documenting special places and people around Chattanooga will last longer than their lifetime. Their passion is preserving the present moment for future generations.

In celebration of Black History Month, the CTC will present a collection of visual art work created by various local African-American artists. The opening of the exhibition will coincide with opening night of August Wilson’s GEM OF THE OCEAN, which runs January 24 until February 16. The show will conclude with an artist meet-and-greet on Friday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m.

Carina Miller will be the featured artist during the run of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE from February 21 until March 1. Carina is a 14-year-old artist who loves creating realism on paper and canvas using ink, charcoal, and pastels. She has earned several awards, including at the Hamilton County Fair and the Duck Stamp Contest.

Brooke Craig will be the featured artist during CTC’s production of Agatha Christie’s THE HOLLOW, which runs March 13-29. After waking up paralyzed at age 11, Brooke was diagnosed with a rare neuroimmune disorder, beginning her journey with disease. During inpatient treatment, she was introduced to art as a way of coping with her external and internal struggles. This led to a life-long practice of using art as a way of understanding the diseased body.

Jackson Case will be the featured artist during CTC’s Neil Simon play LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR, running March 27 through April 19. Jackson is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in photography and sculpture. At its core, his work is about light and time and is greatly influenced by growing up in and around a large city, while also spending a great deal of time outside in nature.

Kory Russell will be the featured artist during CTC’s Youth Theatre production of Dr. Seuss’s THE CAT IN THE HAT, May 5-17. Kory often employs jest and surrealist elements in his work to increase the imaginative space in the work. He loves old things, from his 17-year-old dog to his 51-year-old truck, from jazz to boxing, in short, the ingrained narrative of things that have withstood time.

Keelah Jackson and Jody Harris, also known as Keeody Art, will be the featured artists during CTC’s production of DREAMGIRLS, May 29 through June 21, which will coincide with the Black Arts and Ideas Festival. This duo has created groundbreaking and texture-rich pieces for well over 20 years; their art offers art, love, and soul to the public in the form of inspired and original mixed-media compositions.

Kathleen Pacenti will be the featured artist during the CTC’s production of MAMMA MIA from July 17 to August 9. Kathleen teaches kindergarten through 5th grade art at Ooltewah Elementary School and Belvoir Christian Academy through a program called Children’s Art Place. Her work consists of bright vivid colors and light. She enjoys playing with color and exploring the world of mixed media.

For more information, call the Theatre Centre at (423) 267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.

Posted August 29, 2019

Miss Annie Awards Celebrate Our Volunteers & Honor Outstanding Contributions

Seven productions of the 2018-2019 adult season, including four plays and three musicals, won honors at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Miss Annie Awards on Saturday, August 24. The annual awards, Chattanooga’s answer to the Oscars, salute the volunteers on stage and off who have contributed their time and talent to the success of the theatre’s past season.

“Fences,” the first in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle that the theatre will stage over the next 10 years, was honored as Outstanding Play of the Season and Audience Favorite Play of the Season. “Avenue Q,” the very adult comic musical that played in May, was recognized as Outstanding Musical of the Season and tied with season opener “Newsies” as Audience Favorite Musical of the Season.

The cast of “A Civil War Christmas” was recognized as Outstanding Ensemble. Beth McClary-Wolford of “Avenue Q” and Drew Champion of “Newsies” were presented the traditional Gypsy Robes, which honor outstanding ensemble members in a musical.

In backstage roles, Rodney Strong was recognized as Outstanding Stage Manager, Ben Surhbier was honored as Outstanding Crew Member, and the “Little Shop of Horrors” crew was recognized as Outstanding Crew of the Season.

Other awards went to Jeremy Campbell and Kitty Murakami as Dan Jay Volunteers of the Year, Angie Griffin as winner of the Producer’s Award, and Julie Van Valkenburg as winner of the President’s Award.

Other honorees were Kathleen Monnig and Jan Surhbier, Outstanding Front of House Volunteers; Stefanie Oppenheimer, Outstanding Administrative Volunteer; Sandy Franklin, Outstanding Costume Shop Volunteer; Mark Slegl, Outstanding Scene Shop Volunteer; and Melissa Loyd, Outstanding Contribution to the Youth Theatre.

Here’s the complete list of honorees for onstage performances:

Audience Favorite Actor in a Musical

Normand Caissie as Jack in Newsies

Audience Favorite Actress in a Musical

Greer Caldwell as Kate Monster in Avenue Q

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical

Garrett Henson-Hinck as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical

Greer Caldwell as Kate Monster in Avenue Q

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical

Austin Massey as Crutchie in Newsies

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical

Brandy Johnson as Gary Coleman in Avenue Q

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Bryan Kelly as Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q

Outstanding Featured Actresses in a Musical

Annie Collins and Marie Dance as Bad Idea Bears in Avenue Q

Outstanding Debut Actor in a Musical

Normand Caissie as Jack in Newsies

Outstanding Debut Actress in a Musical

Fiona Barrett as Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors

Audience Favorite Actor in a Play

Mateen Muhammad El as Troy in Fences

Audience Favorite Actress in a Play

E’tienne Easley as Rose in Fences

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play

Mateen Muhammad El as Troy in Fences

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play

E’tienne Easley as Rose in Fences

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play

Carlos Davis as Jim Bono in Fences

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play

Deb Meeks as Helen Ffoliot-Ffolkes in Murder on the Nile

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Jeffrey Pinkerton as Gabriel in Fences

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Nyla Jacks as Raynell in Fences

Outstanding Debut Actor in a Play

Caleb Golson as Cory in Fences

Outstanding Debut Actress in a Play

Kimberly Reynolds in the ensemble of A Civil War Christmas

Posted August 26, 2019