Ticket to Heritage season success
Photo by Michael Bailey
members Maceo Oliver (left) and Lauren Hooper from the
Heritage Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ragtime.”
are you going to top this?
the question everyone is asking Robert Chapel following
the artistic and box-office success of the Heritage Repertory
Theatre’s season opener “Ragtime.”
show’s run played to sold-out audiences for seven
of the 10 performances as well as for the Saturday matinee.
When all the analyses are completed, “Ragtime” could
be the Heritage’s biggest hit ever, said Chapel,
artistic director for the theatre and chairman of U.Va.’s
directed the first Heritage musical, “I Do, I Do,” as
a visiting director from New York in 1988. When he took
over as artistic director in 1995, Chapel, a musical theater
expert, introduced the big musical season opener.
increased in a very great way when we started adding musicals,” he
three of this year’s six productions are musicals,
Chapel chooses each season’s bill of fare from shows
he likes and respects while taking into consideration
popular appeal and box office draw as well as the capabilities
of the actors and the behind-the-scenes contributors.
year’s $538,000 budget supports the work of 110 employees.
From cast to box office staff, all work hard to make each performance
a success, Chapel noted. “Selecting the season is the
hardest thing I do.”
addition to the musical opener, he includes a show with a great
message — and music; a comedy with a message — and
if possible, music; a
more serious play; and a family-oriented show.
year’s line-up included “The Syringa Tree,” the
Obie Award-winning, one-woman show starring Heritage favorite,
Sarah Dandridge, whose role required her to portray 23 different
characters. Like “Ragtime,” this show exceeded attendance
projections during its run.
season also features four other plays, still in repertoire
through Aug. 7. They are: “Snoopy!!!,” “Driving
Miss Daisy,” “True West” and
“ Five Guys Named Moe.”
information about show schedules and ticket sales, call the
HRT Box Office at 924-3376, or visit http://www.uvahrt.org.