by John Stoehr
After two years of dormancy, Theatre /verv/ is coming back to life after finding a new home in North Charleston. Renamed Theatre re/verv/, the company announced it will stage a four-show season at South of Broadway Theatre beginning in fall 2009.
Re/verv/'s goal is to "to offer an innovative mix of live performance with affordable prices," much as it did in the past. Theatre /verv/'s first show was Trainspotting in 2005. The company continued to offer new and exciting works for theater at various Charleston bars and venues, but ceased operations because it could not find a more permanent residence.
Founder JC Conway and partner Andra Watkins relauched /verv/ after seeing what had been done to South of Broadway Theatre. They had not seen it since Mary Gould, director of the nonprofit organization that runs the venue, had refurbished it in 2002. They realized it would be ideal for small theater.
"After a few phone calls, e-mails, and meetings, we decided to do it," he says.
Plays under consideration for the 2009-2010 year, Conway says, include: Steve Martin's Wasp, Jane Martin's Criminal Hearts, and David Hare's Blue Room. Conway says he wants the inaugural season of Theatre re/verv/ to be "open" to everyone. He'll likely offer three light comedies and one dark comedy.
"We want people to have fun," he says. "We'll be getting a feel for the audience, so we'll offer lighter stuff until it's right to offer something more challenging."
Challenging is Conway's specialty. He currently oversees the LateNight series at the Footlight Players Theatre. He opened this season with Dog See God, a Charlie Brown parady, and continues in January with Neil LaBute's Autobahn.
The relaunching of /verv/ is part of a larger effort to "create a community resource for the performing arts" concentrated at South of Broadway Theatre Gould says. Along with music and acting classes, an opera workshop program, and a neighborhood play festival, she has created incentives — i.e., really reasonable rent — for three arts organizations to base their events at the venue.
The second group is Deuce Theatre. It's planning a cabaret show called Broadway B*itches for Jan. 23. The company relocated to North Chuck from New Jersey. It put on its first play, The Emperor Is Naked?, in October. Gould says Deuce is likely to produce two to three more shows in the months ahead.
The other group is the new film appreciate group, the Greater Park Circle Film Society. Its mission is to offer movies you can't get anywhere, not even at the Terrace Theatre. It recently screened Amelie and What Would Jesus Buy?, a documentary about the Reverend Billy's crusade against consumerism. —John Stoehr