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Summer on Stage

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: May. 2, 2013 | Modified: May. 2, 2013
Summer on Stage

Mark Allen Woodard and Bob Hass act out a scene in one of the latest productions by Ensemble Stage in Blowing Rock.

Photo submitted



It’s curtain call for spring, as Ensemble Stage prepares for summer.

This season will offer star-studded casts from four distinct films that range in topic from heartwarming and charming to thrilling and comical.

“It’s a really nice mix,” artistic director Gary Smith said.

“Searching for Eden” follows the adventures of Adam and Eve in their exploration of new beginnings and love, according to the play’s synopsis.

“It’s a really fun and heartwarming comedy that follows Adam and Eve up to present day, when the Garden of Eden is turned into a luxury resort,” Smith said. “The play is really well written.”

“Searching for Eden” runs on the theater’s main stage June 15 to 23.

The nonprofit’s second production, “Mindgame,” will follow, from July 6 to 14.

“‘Mindgame’ is very ‘Twilight’-esque,” Smith said. “We will see some technical challenges in terms of producing this one.”

Smith said the play’s synopsis is similar to a “suspense thriller and psychological drama where nothing is as it seems.”

“I’m excited about all four shows, but I’m really excited about that show,” Smith said. “This is something the audience has never seen before as far as this type of show.”

The synopsis for “A Bench in the Sun” follows the exploits and mishaps that ensue when a famous former actress moves into the local retirement community, and two longtime friends find themselves at odds, as they vie for her attention.

“This one is really charming and heartwarming,” Smith said.

“A Bench in the Sun” hits the stage July 27 and runs until Aug. 4.

The theater’s last production of the summer, “Bedside Manners,” running Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, will round out the season of professional productions.

In this play, when a brother reluctantly agrees to look after his sister’s country inn, he does not anticipate the wild comings-and-goings that follow. He soon becomes hilariously engulfed in confusion and bewilderment as he tries to prevent the inevitable meetings of husbands, wives and lovers in assorted compromising situations, according to the synopsis.

“This one is a real mad farce,” said Smith.

Ensemble Stage’s summer season differs from the fall and winter production seasons that follow in that these plays are performed by professional actors, Smith said.

“We are kind of unique kind of theater in which we do a professional season and then shift gears to do community-based theater over the fall and winter,” he said. “There is a less strenuous rehearsal process in those months, but the actors still have to audition. This gives people a good chance to get a very small taste to feel what it is like to do this as a professional actor.”

When looking for shows to feature during the upcoming seasons, Smith said he has to take much into consideration before deciding on a finalized lineup.

“First, the shows must be a fit for the logistics of space,” Smith said. “We can’t do giant musicals. The stage is not big enough. The play has to also fit in the budget we have, and then we can start doing play readings in the fall and winter and even into the early spring.”

The shows must also be a nice mix in terms of variety and “work together” for the summer season, Smith said.

For more information on the upcoming productions or information about tickets and seasonal passes, visit http://www.ensemblestage.com or call (828) 919-6196.

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