Elizabeth Derby

Each element of this production, from the sets to costumes to lighting and sound design, is wildly, wonderfully creative. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Game winner: UVA Drama’s She Kills Monsters uses family, grief, and fantasy to tell a coming-of-age story about acceptance

The year is 1995, “Friends” is all the rage, and Tilly Evans is “the most uncommon form of nerd in the world”—a girl-nerd who loves Dungeons & Dragons. So begins She Kills Monsters, the 2011 comedy-drama by Qui Nguyen. Known for his innovative use of pop culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, Nguyen transports us […]

See “Growers: New Works by Jeremy & Allyson Taylor” now through July 1 at Studio IX. Courtesy of the artist

Jeremy and Allyson Taylor’s environmental art approach

When it comes to visual art (paintings in particular), you can’t throw a rock without hitting a pastoral fantasy. Which may be why local artists Jeremy and Allyson Taylor’s reverence for nature comes as such a surprise.  “I definitely go to the grotesque,” Allyson says, “because I find it really beautiful and interesting. And sometimes disgusting and […]

See Patricia Asuncion with the Persister Poets & Other Nasty Women on March 17 at The Bridge PAI. Photo by Eze Amos

Poet Patricia Asuncion gathers a sea of sisters

When writer and Charlottesville resident Patricia Asuncion took to the streets of Washington, D.C., during the 2017 Women’s March, her protest felt eerily familiar. “When I was first divorced in the 1970s, I had no credit. I had no bank accounts. I had nothing in my name. I didn’t even have the first name Patricia. […]

Join Annie Temmink and other artists for DIY crafting and a special performance at the opening of “Beasts!” on March 2. By Martyn Kyle

Designer Annie Temmink coaxes ‘Beasts!’ to life

After years spent living abroad and around the U.S., Annie Temmink thought something was missing from her native Charlottesville. “I miss really great dancing and really wild visual clothing and adornment,” she says. “They’re rich opportunities for people to have moments of unbridled, creative expression, and they’re really critical for connection, and happiness, and all […]

Live Arts’ education series recently offered a production of Peter Pan. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was performed as part of Four County Players’ summer camp in 2015. Photo by Linda Hogan photography

Budding artists learn in the spotlight

When I was a tween writing “X-Files” fan fiction, I never suspected my interest in storytelling would lead to an actual career as a writer. But then I enrolled in the creative writing program at a performing arts high school—and discovered my creative power. Dozens of local arts organizations offer Charlottesville children and teens opportunities […]

Under the direction of Betsy Rudelich Tucker, the cast of Top Girls brings fierce women to life, including Claire Chandler’s Marlene, the ultimate ’80s businesswoman who was just promoted at the agency where she works. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Review: Women work their way up in Live Arts’ Top Girls

Enter: a lively dinner party. Lots of crosstalk. Women in a startling array of historical costumes. There’s Isabella Bird, a 19th-century globe-trotter and well-educated author. There’s Joan the Pope, a ninth-century intellectual who lived as a man and briefly became the pope. There’s Dull Gret, a sword-wielding peasant and army leader lifted from the Bruegel […]

Lorretta Goins was the first portrait Sarah Cramer Shields took after the events of August 11 and 12, launching the project “This Is Charlottesville,” on display at VMDO Architects now through the end of 2017, and on Instagram at @thisischarlottesville.  Photo by Sarah Cramer Shields

Photo project shows people through another lens

As the events of August 11 and 12 unfolded across Charlottesville, photojournalist Sarah Cramer Shields watched it happen on the news. “I was putting two small children down for naps when it happened,” Shields says in an interview with C-VILLE. “I wanted to be on the front lines telling the stories of what was happening, […]

Victory Hall Opera’s Sympathy, based on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s La Sympathie, took more than 250 years to come to the stage. L to R: Ted Schmitz (Acante), Rachelle Durkin (Céphise), Sarah Wolfson (Zirphile) and Jorell Williams (Génie) are surrounded by Michael Golez, Valdon Daniel and Ana Lorenza, members of the Forte Dance Crew. Photo by Martyn Kyle

VHO’s Sympathy was centuries in the making

I’ll be honest: I’m not really an opera person. Until this weekend, I assumed opera consisted of people in fancy outfits belting overwrought, angst-ridden songs in foreign languages before dying on stage. And while I’m terribly impressed by the skill and talent required to fine-tune the operatic “instrument,” I am not the most qualified person […]

Queens of the Damned organizer Madeline Iva penned the romance fantasy Wicked Apprentice and contributes to the blog Lady Smut. Courtesy of subject

Local women break through in fantasy and horror

‘‘My book came out last year a week before the presidential elections,” says Madeline Iva, author of the fantasy romance Wicked Apprentice. “What I came away with, standing in the blasted devastation of our liberal democratic psyche, was that I’d just written a book about a woman who ends up holding all the power—and people […]

Peter Benedetti’s “Solve et Coagula” is on display alongside Paul Brainard’s “My Body is a Grave” (above) at Second Street Gallery, now through November 17. Courtesy of the artist

Second Street Gallery flirts with the dark side

Peter Benedetti never planned to make a deck of tarot cards. Instead, you might argue, the cards found him. “It’s not something I would normally do,” says the Brooklyn-based artist, who points to the abstract expressionist influence on the style of his inventive drawings and paintings. But a few years ago, during his daily research […]