Endstation premieres “Unearthed: An Appalachian Musical”

| July 19, 2013

Endstation Theatre Company presents the world premiere of “Unearthed: An Appalachian Musical,” produced in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts as part of the company’s 2013 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28, at Sweet Briar College’s Babcock Fine Arts Center.

Endstation actors Arielle Basile (Alzy) and Taamu Wuya (Wade), with Scott Campbell (Stranger) in the background.

“Unearthed” is a new musical written by Nick Lantz, composed by Scott Gendel and developed and directed by Kelly Bremner. It began as the brainchild of Endstation resident lighting designer and Amherst native, Daniel Gallagher, and has been specifically developed for Endstation.

The musical consists of parallel story lines set in the Blue Ridge foothills in 1900 and 2000. It follows the troubled lives of Alzy (Arielle Basile) and Wade (Taamu Wuya), who, in their own time, each discover the same strange man (Scott McKenna Campbell) buried in the woods. The mysterious stranger promises to grant wishes to his rescuers, but wishes come at a cost, and Alzy and Wade struggle to set their tumultuous lives right.

Rooted in stories from traditional mountain folklore, “Unearthed” encompasses the emotional scope of opera and the intensity of musical theater while incorporating traditional music indigenous to the Central Virginia region. In order to combine all of these musical styles, the cast features opera singers, musical theater performers and folk musicians, including Devin Altizer (Gaither), Katie Bland (Melia), Matthew Burgos (Henry), Karl Lindevaldsen (Cass), Hilary Sutton (Cora), Jackie Fields (Chorus), Kelly Malone Dudley (Chorus) and Ciji Prosser (Chorus).

The orchestra is comprised of piano and strings, as well as acoustic guitar, mandolin and autoharp.

“Unearthed” is presented as part of Endstation’s Playwrights Initiative and New Works Program, which seeks to support the creation of new works that have cultural relevance to the Central Virginia community — one of the theater company’s founding principles.

Other Endstation works with a regional focus include the “The Bluest Water,” “My Brother’s Knife” and, most recently, “In Sweet Remembrance.” In addition to cultivating material that is directly regional, Endstation has produced more than 10 plays that have been reimagined in a local context. The company has been in residence at Sweet Briar College since 2006, the year it was established.

Tickets for “Unearthed” are $15 for adults and $7 for students and are available online or by calling (434) 826-0391. To purchase tickets online or to learn more about the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, visit endstationtheatre.org.

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Category: Endstation Theatre Company