Elizabeth Derby

Lord Huron frontman Ben Schneider transcends self-reflection when its time to perform.
“On stage it’s all about communal experience and play with the audience,” he said.

Lord Huron’s existential sonic pursuit

Have you ever driven through the desert? Flown across dry, red earth while mammoth spires of stone and humps of rock pin back the wide blue horizon? Maybe you stopped in the shadow of a peak and began to climb through wiry brush and sandy succulents, picking a forgotten trail up the monolith’s face. Dust […]

Insufficient Funds: Can public money grow Charlottesville’s arts scene?

Insufficient Funds: Can public money grow Charlottesville’s arts scene?

It seems like an absurd plan to grow a city’s art scene: take the cultural community, run it through two years of focus groups and surveys, and publish six long-range goals (diversity and inclusion, arts education, cultural destination, creative workers, creative placemaking, and cultural infrastructure). It’s a wonky, almost anti-artistic approach. Doesn’t such an effort […]

The Charlottesville Ballet strives to promote health and well-being in the professional ballet world. The company will perform The Nutcracker Suite this weekend. Photo: Martyn Kyle.

Charlottesville Ballet puts a new twist on the art of dance

“When I was 3, my parents took me to see The Nutcracker, and I remember telling them, ‘I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy,’” said Caitlin Lennon. “They were like ‘O.K., sure, we’ll sign you up for ballet classes.’ But in my mind I thought, ‘No, I’m gonna do that. I’ll take classes for a […]

Lee Fitzpatrick in the lead role of the scheming Miss Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the American Shakespeare Center.

ASC’s She Stoops To Conquer stands on comic timing

With a tilt of her head and a cascade of red curls, Kate Hardcastle considered her suitor across stage. “You’re so great a favorite there, you say?” “Yes, my dear,” Young Charles Marlow grinned, determined to prove to this beautiful barmaid his popularity at the Ladies Club. Swaggering toward the stage right audience, he looked […]

Andy Davis (left) and Rivers Upchurch play the lead characters in PVCC’s production of the absurdist riff on Shakespeare, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

PVCC reaches out to the community for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When Tom Stoppard wrote Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, an absurdist comedy about two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he was only 27 years old. Trapped in a nebulous otherworld, courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern debate the nature of freedom and fate from lives pre-scripted to death. Comic dialogue coupled with philosophical themes, including the use […]

Brian Wimer (right) has his hand in two of this year’s Virginia Film Festival features. He is the co-director of CLAW, and stars in the werewolf road movie Faux Paws. Image: Douglas Bari

Filmmaker and actor Brian Wimer on freedom in expression

“There’s a point in Peter Pan when Peter and Wendy are pretending to be parents to the Lost Boys. Peter says, ‘Are we playing or is this real?’ Wendy says, ‘Oh it’s a game, but it’s real.’ Eventually Peter says, ‘I’m tired of playing this game, let’s play a different one.’ But that’s the reality […]

Trippy, undulating tunes will emanate from the Pavilion stage when The XX plug in on Friday.

ARTS Pick: The xx

London trio The xx performs its signature chill-out electro pop on the final leg of a U.S. tour that followed the 2012 launch of its latest album Coexist. Fresh from a festival circuit that included Coachella and Bonnaroo, the band blends gentle rock with metaphysical themes and electronic elements resulting in evocative, intriguing trance ballads […]

The finer points of blacksmithing are handed down through the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Pat Jarrett

Virginia Folklife apprenticeships promote the arts of everyday life

In a world of exploding tuitions, shaky job markets, and ubiquitous unpaid internships, the notion of an apprenticeship sounds like an antiquated luxury. In the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, however, the system of master and apprentice is alive and well, not only offering hands-on education but the cultivation of inter-generational connections and preservation of Virginia […]

Old school magicians tell tales and perform tricks from more than 40 years on the nightclub circuit at PVCÇ’s season opener.

ARTS Pick: Carnival of Wonders

Fill up on sword swallowing, fire eating, and other illusions at the Carnival of Wonders, an evening of fantastic performances led by career magicians Peter Monticup and Steve Pittella, assisted by Miss Electra and The Rubber Girl. Their big city stunts and sleights of hand will kick off PVCC’s 15th season of fine and performing […]

Locally based concorDance company blends form and imagination in three area performances of Tripping the Light Fantastic.

ARTS Pick: concorDance

Crozet-based contemporary dance company concorDance presents Tripping the Light Fantastic, a concert of playful choreography that celebrates mirth and merriment in movement. Pieces range from “Shamone,” a carousing number that conjures Bob Fosse, Michael Jackson, and Austin Powers to “Elevator Theory,” a duet that imagines love in a short ride between floors. Performances include live […]

Bill Murray stars as a mischievous camp counselor in the '79 cult classic Meatballs. © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Arts Pick: Summer Camp Film Series at Packard Campus Theater

Embrace the last of the lazy August days with the Summer Camp Series at the Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper. Ten movies, including two double features, will celebrate all things campy throughout the latter half of the month. From summer sleep-away comedies to sci-fi schmaltz, you can get your fill of over-the-top entertainment with silver […]

Gregg Lloyd (pictured) portrays Mark Rothko in a pivotal moment in the modern artist’s career. Michael Bailey.

Heritage Theatre Festival’s Red depicts an artist in turmoil

The year is 1958, and abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko sits in a chair in his New York studio, smoking a cigarette and considering the audience. Or rather an invisible canvas that hangs between us. Aside from a coffee pot, a phonograph, and scotch, every surface is dedicated to artistic detritus. Rusty buckets, stained drop […]

Olympian John Carlos will appear at the Paramount Theater to discuss vision and action for world change. Photo courtesy of Festival of the Book.

We cannot live without books: Festival hosts 200+ events over five days

Of the festival’s myriad non-fiction topics, one of the hottest will be Thomas Jefferson. This is Charlottesville, after all. Three separate programs focus on T.J., including Jefferson’s Legacies with Henry Wiencek and John Ragosta (Friday at 4pm at CitySpace). Wiencek’s Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves received much attention for its highly-charged topic. “There was so much about Jefferson I didn’t understand,” Wiencek said. “There’s a saying among authors, ‘I write to find out.’”

Hysteria ensues in Live Arts' In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) starring Sarah Edwards as Sabrina Daldry,
Melissa Charles as Catherine Givings, and
Bill LeSueur as Dr. Givings. (Photo courtesy of Live Arts)

Good buzz: In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)

Onstage, a fine-featured woman removes her skirt, collapses her bustle, and adjusts the corset nipping her waist. Her hands are pale and flighty as she sits on the doctor’s bench and pulls a medical drape up to her chin. Diagnosed with hysteria, a Victorian umbrella term for ailments including headaches, light sensitivity, and predisposition to […]

Students from UVA Catholic Student Ministries volunteer at Casa Alma, a family-run Belmont homestead that offers housing and support for locals in need. Photo courtesy Steve and Laura Brown

Local Catholic couple runs Casa Alma, a refuge for those in need

Many people dedicate their holidays to giving, but one Charlottesville family has built a life around it. Laura and Steve Brown, members of the worldwide Catholic Worker movement, are live-in hosts at Casa Alma, an urban homestead in Belmont that offers housing and community support to families in need—and a home and way of life […]

A quick guide to New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville

A quick guide to New Year’s Eve in Charlottesville

Whether you decide to spend your New Year’s Eve with talented student filmmakers, passionate performing artists, or rocking out to big band sounds, you’re guaranteed to ring in 2013 with a newfound love of Charlottesville’s arts scene. First Night is an annual “celebration of the arts” that began in Charlottesville in 1983 with dozens of family-friendly […]