CULTURE- ART Year in Review

•• The year on stage

Little Is Good, Too

The biggies continued to wow in '09: the UVA Drama Department hosted The Foreigner, The Language of Angels, and Moliere's Le Medecin Malgre Lui; the Shakespeareans in Staunton pulled out all the stops with The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, and everyone's favorite Midsummer Night's Dream; and Live Arts was as reliable as ever with Gypsy, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Flyin' West. But two tiny "Black Boxes" deserve mention: Four County Players introduced its 50-seat "Cellar," offering works by local playwrights as well as kids' programs all year long. The Black Box Players community theater entertained audiences with Godspell in October and took us all to Narnia with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So let's hear a cheer for the little guys, doing their part to keep us smiling, weeping, or clapping along.

Playing On!

When a few inspired (and intrepid) dramaphiles hatched the Play On! Theater at Ix back in 2006 with a kickin' toga party to introduce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, their maiden show in their almost-finished space, people wondered if the fledgling could take flight. Now, almost four years later, the talented crew and actors have made believers of us all. From Guys and Dolls in the '07-'08 season to Arsenic and Old Lace and Rent this year, the players have proved they're a force to reckon with– and a group that's here to stay. Hooray for perseverance and talent!


••Walking about

Space for (More Than) One

Describing itself as a "newly renovated art space/concert venue/amateur film theater/impromptu studio/potluck dining hall," The Garage has enlivened life downtown with wide-ranging entertainment and fun on Friday (and a few other) nights. Dreamed up and supported by Kate Daughdrill, the tiny single-car garage (it's not just a name!) across from Lee Park on First Street this year hosted art shows (the fabulous "Suitcase Drawings,") folk bands (Dust from 1000 Years), and improv dance performances. 

Socials and Adventures

One consistent entry on every "cultural calendar" this year has been something to do with members of the Outdoor Adventure Social Club, a gregarious and inventive group of folks who do everything from playing mysterious games like "Broomball" to indoor rock climbing, hiking up mountains to stargaze and watch moon rises, skiing, spelunking, hiking, and even taking trips as far afield as New Zealand! (happening in February). Social activities leaven the strenuous stuff, and helpful classes like CPR instruction and "Backpacking 101" keep members' minds sharp and skills honed. There hasn't been a dull moment all year with this crowd.