Encyclopedia Virginia: Performing Arts http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Custis_George_Washington_Parke_1781-1857 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:27:48 EST Custis, George Washington Parke (1781–1857) http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Custis_George_Washington_Parke_1781-1857 George Washington Parke Custis was a writer and orator who worked to preserve the legacy of their stepgrandfather, George Washington. Born in Maryland, Custis moved to Mount Vernon after the death of his father in 1781. He was expelled from college, served in the army, and lost election to the House of Delegates before moving to an inherited estate he called Arlington. In addition, Custis owned two other large plantations and property in four other counties. He promoted agricultural reform and commercial independence and disapproved of slavery on economic grounds, supporting gradual emancipation and colonization. During the War of 1812, Custis manned a battery, helped Dolley Madison save Washington's portrait at the White House, and delivered well-received orations on a variety of topics. In the years after the war, he began writing essays, often about Washington's family and career. He later turned to the penning of historical plays and operettas. Pocahontas; or, The Settlers of Virginia, from 1830, was dedicated to John Marshall and remains his most durable work. The patriotism of his plays fed into his work to preserve the legacy of his stepgrandfather. Custis curated a collection of Washington relics made available for public view and sometimes distributed as gifts. He arranged for portraits of Washington and painted his own scenes of life during the American Revolution (1775–1783). Custis died at Arlington in 1857.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:27:48 EST]]>
/Ogilvie_James_1773-1820 Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:14:49 EST <![CDATA[Ogilvie, James (1773–1820)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Ogilvie_James_1773-1820 James Ogilvie was a schoolteacher who became a celebrity orator, ultimately spending twelve years traveling throughout the United States, England, and Scotland advocating for oratory as a primary medium of communication. Born and educated in Scotland, he came to Virginia in 1793 to teach at the Fredericksburg Academy. There his avowed atheism and radical republicanism made him a controversial figure, but over fifteen years traveling throughout central Virginia he proved both an effective and successful teacher. After delivering two dozen lectures in the State Capitol from 1803 to 1804, Ogilvie abandoned teaching for oratory in 1808. He traveled up and down the East Coast selling tickets to a series of eloquent, educational lectures on "moral and philosophical subjects." He quickly became one of the most famous men in America, renowned for his speaking skills. In 1813 he announced a plan to create temporary schools of oratory, an effort that had some success in South Carolina but few other places. Then in 1816 he published a collection of essays and autobiography, Philosophical Essays, that was a critical failure and he left the United States for the British Isles. He died in 1820, likely by his own hand.
Thu, 31 Aug 2017 14:14:49 EST]]>
/Hamner_Earl_Jr_1923- Fri, 25 Mar 2016 08:22:33 EST <![CDATA[Hamner, Earl Jr. (1923–2016)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hamner_Earl_Jr_1923- Earl Hamner Jr. was a writer of novels, television shows, and movies, most notably the popular semiautobiographical television series The Waltons (1972–1981). Born in Nelson County, Hamner served in the Army during World War II (1939–1945) before attending Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati. He then worked in radio and televion, writing scripts for The Twilight Zone and novels based on his Virginia upbringing. Hamner's hardscrabble experiences growing up in a large family in depression-era Schuyler informed his 1961 novel Spencer's Mountain, and its film adaptation starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. In 1972 it was adapted for television as The Waltons, each episode of which famously ended with family members wishing one another goodnight. Hamner also created the series Falcon Crest, which ran from 1981 to 1990. He died in Los Angeles in 2016.
Fri, 25 Mar 2016 08:22:33 EST]]>
/Barter_Theatre Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:23:31 EST <![CDATA[Barter Theatre]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Barter_Theatre The Barter Theatre, located in the Blue Ridge highlands of Abingdon, Virginia, was founded by Robert Porterfield in 1933 and designated the State Theater of Virginia in 1946. It is the longest-running professional Equity theater in the nation. (The Actors' Equity Association is a live-theater labor union.) Opening its doors in the midst of the Great Depression, Barter earned its name by allowing patrons to pay the admission price with produce, dairy products, or livestock. The shows were sometimes forced to compete with the noise that accompanied bartered livestock. On occasion, the theater also paid playwrights, such as Tennessee Williams and Thornton Wilder, Virginia hams for their works rather than standard royalties. George Bernard Shaw, a vegetarian, demanded to be paid in spinach. The theater expanded in 1961, opening a second stage across the street, and has earned a national reputation through touring companies and its association with many prominent and influential actors, including Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, and Kevin Spacey. The Barter Theatre won a Tony Award in 1948 for Best Regional Theater.
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:23:31 EST]]>
/Dance_During_the_Colonial_Period Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:10:53 EST <![CDATA[Dance during the Colonial Period]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dance_During_the_Colonial_Period Dancing was the dominant pastime of colonial Virginians of all classes, though it was a special occupation of the planter elite. As the Virginia colony stabilized late in the seventeenth century, its inhabitants attempted to model their emerging culture after that of England, where dancing was hugely popular. Soon dancing began to take place in plantation homes, taverns, and halls built for the express purpose of hosting formal parties. A market developed for professional instructors, or dance masters, who were expected to know the latest dances from Europe. Dancing served a recreational, social, and political purpose; being a skilled dancer was an indication of good breeding, while balls gave men and women the opportunity to express themselves through their dress, partner, and choice of dance. Most dances fell into two main categories: "fancy" dances, such as minuets, allemandes, and hornpipes; and "country" dances. Country dances were simpler to learn and more egalitarian, as each dancing couple interacted with every other couple on the floor. Enslaved persons and lower-class whites held their own informal dance parties where they often performed jigs and reels—more loosely structured dances derived from the traditions of Africans and Scots, respectively—which were adapted by the upper class. By the 1790s, dancing schools had grown in number and in popularity, and lessons became available to Virginians of various classes. At about this time, the gentry class began to feel more ambivalent toward the more democratic country dances, which threatened social discord and even blurred racial boundaries in a culture that was becoming increasingly defensive of its slave system.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:10:53 EST]]>
/Cline_Patsy_1932-1963 Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:13:11 EST <![CDATA[Cline, Patsy (1932–1963)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Cline_Patsy_1932-1963 Tue, 04 Nov 2014 10:13:11 EST]]> /Trigiani_Adriana_ca_1970s- Tue, 27 May 2014 05:05:15 EST <![CDATA[Trigiani, Adriana]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Trigiani_Adriana_ca_1970s- Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning author, playwright, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker. She is perhaps best known for her novels, beginning with Big Stone Gap (2000), the first in a series of stories set in the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia. The stories are told from the perspective of a lovable character whose wry wit reflects the author's own. Her writing has been described as "heartwarming without being saccharine," and by New York Times reviewer Andrea Higbie "as comfortable as a mug of chamomile tea on a rainy Sunday." Her professional career began in 1985, when she wrote Secrets of the Lava Lamp for the Manhattan Theatre Club. In the succeeding decades, she has distinguished herself as an author, scriptwriter, director, and producer for both television and film.
Tue, 27 May 2014 05:05:15 EST]]>
/Hoffman_William_1925- Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:31:26 EST <![CDATA[Hoffman, William (1925–2009)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Hoffman_William_1925- William Hoffman was the author of fourteen novels, four short-story collections, and two plays. His terrifying experience as a combat medic in Europe during World War II (1939–1945) dominated his earliest writing, including The Trumpet Unblown (1955) and Yancey's War (1966), which, according to poet George Garrett, are "at the highest rank of the American fiction coming out of World War II." Hoffman is also celebrated for novels that combine character-driven portraits of the South with action-mystery plots, and writing that joins tragic intensity with humor. Tales of murders and mysterious runaways—Tidewater Blood (1999) and Wild Thorn (2002), for instance—are fueled by Hoffman's sense of the macabre, while the backwoods of Virginia and his home state of West Virginia provide local color. Booklist has praised the writer's "evocative sense of place," but the Washington Post, in reviewing Lies (2005), wondered if Hoffman's prose hadn't become "swamped" in southern stereotypes.
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:31:26 EST]]>
/Munford_Robert_d_1783 Sat, 01 Mar 2014 05:01:32 EST <![CDATA[Munford, Robert (d. 1783)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Munford_Robert_d_1783 Robert Munford is best known today as a playwright, but he was far better known in his lifetime for his civic and military roles. He served in the military before, during, and after the American Revolution (1775–1783), and was active in colony, state, and local government in Virginia. Among other duties, Munford chaired committees whose members included Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. His literary output, consisting of two plays, a few poems, and a translation, were little known in his day. The Candidates and The Patriots both depict life in eighteenth-century Virginia and are believed to be the first comedies written in America, taking as their subject the politics of the day, from life in the House of Burgesses to the Revolutionary War.
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 05:01:32 EST]]>
/Alfriend_Edward_M_1837-1901 Mon, 08 Jul 2013 09:54:46 EST <![CDATA[Alfriend, Edward M. (1837–1901)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Alfriend_Edward_M_1837-1901 Edward M. Alfriend was a Richmond playwright and businessman. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he served in the 44th Virginia Infantry Regiment, fought in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, but was court-martialed and cashiered from the Confederate army in 1865 for being absent without leave and disobeying orders. Following the war, he earned some distinction in his father's insurance company and in 1871 was a delegate to the National Insurance Convention. Alfriend is best known as the author of at least fourteen plays. His work, some of which was produced in New York, was dismissed by reviewers but popular with the public. He died unexpectedly of kidney failure in 1901.
Mon, 08 Jul 2013 09:54:46 EST]]>
/_I_would_fain_die_a_dry_death_an_excerpt_from_The_Tempest_by_William_Shakespeare_ca_1610-1611 Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:20:20 EST <![CDATA["I would fain die a dry death"; an excerpt from The Tempest by William Shakespeare (ca. 1610–1611)]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/_I_would_fain_die_a_dry_death_an_excerpt_from_The_Tempest_by_William_Shakespeare_ca_1610-1611 Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:20:20 EST]]> /Sea_Venture Thu, 06 Dec 2012 01:40:51 EST <![CDATA[Sea Venture]]> http://staging.encyclopediavirginia.org/Sea_Venture The Sea Venture was the flagship of a convoy sent from England in June 1609 to re-supply and revive the failing colony at Jamestown. On July 24, just off the coast of the uninhabited island chain of Bermuda, the fleet sailed into a hurricane. The storm separated the flagship from the other vessels and left it gravely damaged. The 150 passengers and crew members, including Christopher Newport, the ship's captain, and the colony's intended new leaders, escaped death at sea but found themselves marooned on Bermuda. Before the ship sank, crewmen salvaged many of their supplies and even the rigging. For ten months the castaways remained on Bermuda, while their countrymen in Virginia and England assumed them dead. During that time, they built two small boats, which they named the Patience and the Deliverance, and sailed to Virginia, arriving on May 24, 1610. Word of their odyssey fascinated English men and women, who saw in the story providential design: surely, many concluded, God had saved the Sea Venture voyagers. The tale also attracted London's leading playwright: the Sea Venture contributed to the inspiration behind William Shakespeare's last major play, The Tempest. Most importantly for the still-floundering Virginia colony, the amazing story encouraged the English to stick with their American enterprise and even expand their colonial presence in North America.
Thu, 06 Dec 2012 01:40:51 EST]]>