Elizabeth Derby

Play along with The Cloak Mystery Players as they try to solve The Club Ritz Caper during an interactive dinner performance.
Publicity photo

Peter Ryan’s new dinner table drama

By turns a screenwriter, off-Broadway playwright, and local children’s theater author, Peter Ryan found his latest creative sweet spot at the Holiday Inn on Fifth Street. “This is theater for people who get restless during normal theater,” he said of his latest show, The Club Ritz Caper, which performs in the hotel restaurant during dinnertime. “It’s […]

Sketch cartoonist Warren Craghead’s Seed Toss, A Puzzle is available online as a DIY
printable book.

The abundant, accessible art of Warren Craghead

“I recently saw a book of Picasso’s work where they published everything he did, and between two awesome paintings were about a hundred that weren’t so great.” Warren Craghead laughed with what sounded like relief. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, right. This is the real world. I shouldn’t feel so bad about myself.’” The Charlottesville-based cartoonist […]


Swatch watch: Brighten up

Need to take your home décor out of hibernation? We asked Second Yard’s Jon Floyd to recommend a few of the Downtown shop’s warmer prints now that spring has sprung. Here are our favorites from what he pulled.    

John McCarthy, “Easter Morning,” 2008, oil on linen, 10" x 10". Judy McCarthy referred to her late husband’s work as a translation of the joy we all feel when springtime finally arrives. “The colors were so glorious after the dark days of winter,” she wrote. “He would have epiphany moments that were then transformed into works of art, and we would both see the world with new eyes.”

Les Yeux du Monde welcomes color in ‘Visions of Spring’

If you’re tired of grey skies and slush, you might want to visit Les Yeux du Monde before the end of March. “When you walk in the gallery, you see a lot of color,” said Lyn Bolen Warren, the curator of the space’s current exhibit, Visions of Spring. “You see these big painted urns reaching upward, […]

Mission: Implausible! incorporates social media engagement in a "collaborative" one-woman show.  Publicity Image

One-woman show could possibly save the world

If you’re reading this on your smartphone, and you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, and an appreciation for live comedy and action/adventure, you’re needed at the Helms Theater. There’s a world that needs to be saved, and only you can save it. In her one-woman show, Mission: Implausible!, veteran actor, director, writer, and UVA MFA student Sandi […]

Avery Chenoweth, who published his fourth book through Amazon instead of traditional channels, will discuss Radical Doubt during the festival program “UVA MFA Graduates Present!” Photo: Elli Williams.

Local authors turn to self-publishing with mixed emotions, success

When a heart attack left Avery Chenoweth wondering how much time he had left, the author decided to self-publish for the first time. A Charlottesville resident since 1990, Chenoweth had already published Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity, Empires in the Forest: Jamestown and the Making of America, and the short story collection […]

Author Jane Alison, the newest faculty member of UVA’s MFA in Creative Writing program, will guest judge the finalists in WriterHouse’s non-fiction contest. Photo: Elli Williams.

WriterHouse sponsors new creative nonfiction contest

For many years, The Hook ran a writing contest in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book that was judged by John Grisham. With the newspaper’s closure last summer, it looked like local writers were out of luck if they wanted to compete for cash and readers. But WriterHouse, the local nonprofit dedicated to […]

Frank Riccio's piece is one of the visual works
produced for the interpretation of the short story “This is How
You Open a Pomegranate.”

Ten locals interpret written work through visual art

When FIREFISH Gallery co-curators Araxe Hajian and Sigrid Eilertson brainstormed concepts for their next collaborative project, they decided to flip the script. Rather than host a visual art show that invited verbal interpretation, they decided to ask visual artists to interpret Hajian’s short story “This is How You Open a Pomegranate.” “I didn’t see this […]

Artist and organizer Kate Daughdrill hosts weekly meals in her community. “Eating food with other people is one of the most natural ways to be together,” she said.

Kate Daughdrill on the power of social sculpture

“Social sculpture is the idea that whenever we’re shaping our own lives to be more beautiful, it’s an intentional act to bring more beauty or well-being into the world,” said Kate Daughdrill, a Detroit-based artist, farmer, and teacher who graduated from UVA. Daughdrill is one of 20-plus presenters slated to bring social sculpture to Charlottesville’s […]

Andy Friedman performs his “Art Stories” at Miller’s on Tuesday, followed by The Suitcase Junket.

Taking the story off the page

When Andy Friedman enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, he devoted himself to Venetian oil painting, a skill so intricate that each work takes an average of three years to finish. “I knew that after college I would have to get a job, and I wanted to know the feeling of complete and […]

Second Street Gallery’s “Threesome” exhibition challenges the viewer to explore gender bias. “You don’t have to be compelled to like something,” Tosha Grantham said. “It’s more important to be open. Response is contingent to what you bring to it.” Photo: Elli Williams.

“Threesome” holds the ideal woman in a new light

“When people think of the word threesome, they think of one man and two women, and they think of the man getting pleasured by the women,” said Tif Robinette, a self-declared feminist. “But here we have three really strong female artists from the state of Virginia reacting to and tearing apart ideas of the ideal […]

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 […]