WORDSTAGE is a Chamber Music Readers Theater.
Dedicated to the presentation of
works with special
literary, historical and musical merit, our aim is to employ professional Vermont and Ohio based artists whose talents will illuminate
the texts and music of some of the most fascinating and remarkable
figures in the realms of history and the performing arts.
Using letters, diaries, recorded conversations and contemporary chronicles underscored with musical compositions of the era,
a WordStage Vermont
performance will entertain, inform and educate audiences who have a love of literature, the humanities
and the performing arts in their purest form.
The Genesis of WordStage
The concept of WordStage grew out of my early love for Radio Dramas heard from time to time on Cleveland’s commercial classical radio station WCLV , which still thrives today. There was a wealth of repertoire, especially of classic dramas which, at the time, were deemed financially unfeasible to produce in a fully staged format.
So, a few actor friends of mine and I often set aside time to do readings for ourselves and interested friends of these literary masterpieces. At the time, I was a soloist at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, and, under the direction of Daniel Hathaway, the music program grew into a music and performing arts series, and we began to do theatrical presentations of works such as the Play of Daniel, Handel’s Belshazzar, and an Evening at the Court of the Sun King where the music of Lully, Rameau and Couperin were paired with one act comedies of Molière.
In the early 1980’s I moved to Houston, Texas, and became associated with several small professional theaters that were doing very adventurous work. It was there my own directing career came to the fore, and, working with several extraordinary colleagues we established the first performance group devoted to the Readers Theater Format —originally called “Lexus”. Again sponsored by an arts-oriented church—St. Stephen’s Episcopal—we presented several works of neglected 20th Century playwrights, including T.S. Eliot, Jean Anhouile, and the “lesser known” plays of Tennessee Williams.
Returning to the Northeast Ohio area in the late 1980’s the concept, now under the name of WordStage, found a home at Notre Dame College, thanks to the sponsorship of their English/Drama Department, headed by Tony Zupancic. Then I and it moved to Akron where, thanks to the support of Richard Shirey, organist of the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Church of Our Savior, WordStage truly evolved into a company which regularly produced works which married musical and theatrical elements.
The present incarnation comes about after a now 14 year residency in this beautiful state, where I have had the pleasure, through collaborations with Lost Nation Theater, The Vergennes Opera House, The Vermont Opera Theater, the Green Mountain Opera Festival, the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center and the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, of working with an incredible amount of truly talented performing artists living and working in Vermont - and, as of Fall 2011, back in Ohio, where it all began, I decided to try and reestablish WordStage as a way to showcase their talents through a very portable medium that can travel to a variety of locations throughout the state and beyond. And being congenitally nosey, I have based our repertoire is on the lives of many prominent and fascinating literary, historical and artistic individuals, drawing from their diaries and letters and those of their contemporary chroniclers to create performances which we hope are both entertaining and informative to our loyal and growing audiences!
Tim Tavcar, Producing Artistic Director