The NRV Regional Theatre's Future Looks Bright
If you're from Pulaski, there's no doubt you've heard about the Pulaski Radio Show, and you've probably been to the show as well. Held on the fourth Saturday of every month, the show always delivers, giving patrons a wonderful Saturday night experience. But what goes on behind the scenes at the show, and at other productions at the Pulaski Theatre?
Established a year and a half ago, the New River Valley Regional Theatre has been diligently working to bring more of the arts to Pulaski. The mastermind behind the new theatre company is Robin Brooke, a Florida native who has long had a love affair with Pulaski. Robin had long been familiar with Pulaski, having friends in the area that she had visited many times before.
Robin was attracted to theatre at the young age of five, first taking part in a community play in Jacksonville, Florida. From there, her passion began to grow exponentially; she continued to hone her craft over the years, first in high school and then at American University in Washington D.C. After her time there, she moved to New York to study at a place called HB Studios.
When asked about the differences between holding productions in Florida and Pulaski, Robin said there's not much of a difference. "Whether you have an audience of ten people or an audience of two thousand, you're still going to give your best performance." You can see that response reflected in the quality of work at their shows. Every performance is painstakingly rehearsed and practiced, from the lines of actors and actresses to sets that are often hand crafted right next door at a workshop. I got a chance to see this process firsthand in the Holiday Magic performance last Christmas; everyone involved put their heart and soul into making sure this was one of the best Christmas plays happening in the New River Valley.
Producing new plays is one of the cornerstones of the NRV Regional Theatre's success, and they're very busy on that front. They have multiple plays in the works for 2019, and a few more that are slated for production later down the road. Their next show, Forever Plaid, will be out in May for two weekends. It's about a quartet of high school singers whose ultimate goal is to record an album, but their dreams are dashed after a fatal car accident. They return from the afterlife for one more chance at realizing their musical dream. Following this show, Death Trap will be playing in October, a suspenseful thriller that also has a quirky, funny side to it. As a little hint to a play a bit further off (currently slated for release in May 2020), Robin talked about The Higher Road, which will be set in a small Appalachian town in the 1850s. She told me that this play promises to have a little bit of everything; comedy, tragedy, and inspiration to name a few emotions. "We want to exhaust the audience." And on top of all this, Robin was recently approved to join the Virginia Motor Coach Association. If all goes well, they will soon be offering their services to Robin and the theatre.
In terms of work opportunities with the theatre, Robin says that they are always on the lookout for seasoned, professional talent. Actors and actresses from across the country are looked at very closely, in order to ensure that the NRV Regional Theatre's production quality remains at the highest caliber.
The future looks bright for Robin and the NRV Regional Theatre. They have big plans for growth in the area, hoping to branch out and perform at other venues such as The Draper Mercantile and The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg while having their base of operations remain in Pulaski. Perhaps most exciting is the recent approval for Robin and her company to perform the Pulaski Radio Show at the Chautauqua Festival this June in Wytheville. This event alone will generate huge interest in the NRV Regional Theatre, with thousands of people attending the festival every year.
With the long term goal of being the premier professional theatre company in the NRV, we can't wait to see what the future holds for them. If you want to find out more info about the theatre or pre-order tickets for any upcoming shows, you can visit their website here, or check out their Facebook page.