Life in hell: No Exit in Red Shed
Offstage Theater, known around town for putting up shows in quite unlikely places, has a new "home" of sorts. They affectionately call it The Red Shed. You may have seen it if you've been to the McGuffey Art Center in the last few months; it's located just back of the co-op.
Serving as both an office and a rehearsal space, the shed will be dressed for a new role next weekend as the company stages their first show of the season, Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit.
Recent UVA grads Denise Stewart and Tim Van Dyck play new roles within the company as well, providing leadership and artistic direction.
"Tim and I have watched most of our graduating friends from the Drama Department leave for Chicago and New York. I think we both feel that staying in Charlottesville gives us good opportunities to write, direct, and act," Stewart says.
Also new to the role of director for No Exit is Jami McManama, who has appeared as an actor in shows with Offstage, Four County Players, and ShenanArts. McManama proposed the idea of staging this show in August and soon after cast Megan Bengur, Melissa Ketola, Stewart Moneymaker, and Abby Shirkey as the four characters who inhabit hell.
In addition to putting up No Exit, Offstage is in the process of planning auditions for their upcoming production of long-time company member Joel Jones' new play, Shrug Like You Mean It, which will open in December at The Prism.
“It's wonderful to have a new off-stage space to explore, and Tim and Joel are working closely to recruit many talented people and to begin early,” Stewart says. “The show features a large cast, a rock-n-roll plot, and plenty of mayhem.” Put both performances on your calendar, and watch for more from this small but tenacious company.
No Exit plays for only one weekend (October 23-27), and The Red Shed is an intimate performance space, so make your plans to arrive early. McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second St. NW. 8pm Wednesday-Saturday, 7pm Sunday. $5 at the door. 977-6525.