WANT TO GO?
The Tennessee Williams Project
WHERE: Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans
WHEN: 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday
TICKETS: Adults $20, students and seniors $10.INFO: Call 304-721-8896
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There was a point a little more than a year ago when actress and acting coach Leah Turley was really ready to leave West Virginia for good.
The 27-year-old had plans to move to Washington, D.C. to pursue acting and had come home over the summer to teach a few theater workshops.
"I'd actually been gone for almost 10 years when I came back," she said. "And the thing I noticed was not a lot had changed with local theater since I'd been away."
All the people were the same.
"What I noticed was that the same companies were producing pretty much the same kind of work with the same leadership intact," she said. "I kind of wondered, 'Why aren't more young artists staying and kind of picking up the slack?"
Turley and the Appalachian Artists Collective, for which she's creative director, hope to remedy that. Today, the group presents its first production, "The Tennessee Williams Project," a collection of scenes from Tennessee Williams work including "Talk to Me Like the Rain," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "This Property is Condemned" and "Summer and Smoke."
Using a broad series of acting methods from Sensory Awareness to Meisner and Suzuki, Turley and Collective member Evan Wilson will create a journey through eight characters and four locales. It's not the usual theater show, Turley thought, and that's kind of the point of the Appalachian Artists Collective.
Turley said she began working on the project after she decided to stay in West Virginia.
"I called up Evan. I asked him if he wanted to do something acting work with me -- nothing serious, just do some scenes and see what happens."