The Front Porch Theatre announces its sixth season

From Staff Reports
Black Mountain News|USA TODAY NETWORKS

The Front Porch Theatre at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its 2018-19 season, which will be its sixth. In past seasons the theatre has offered audiences crowd-pleasers like Steel Magnolias, Greater Tuna and Freud’s Last Session.

Artistic director Matt Lutz now has a full season under his belt, which will help deliver a high-quality community theatre that is entertaining and enlightening.

Ambitious plays have been chosen including the North Carolina premiere of a musical and a staged reading of a new work, with most runs extending three weeks instead of two.

Tickets for most shows are $20.

Starting things off is a timely political piece, The God Game by Suzanne Bradbeer, about faith and politics, marriage and friendship, choices and consequences. It will run on weekends from Oct. 19 - Nov. 4.

On the heels of a successful fifth season, the Front Porch Theatre with artistic director Matt Lutz (pictured left with Kelly Hinman in last year’s sold out production of Freud’s Last Session) announces its sixth season with a summer musical as part of the ambitious line up.

The Front Porch Theatre’s holiday offering this year is A Christmas Pudding by David Birney. Music and carols are interspersed with classic stories and poems that together will pluck the heart strings and elicit joy and laughter. The show will run Dec. 14 and 15 and again on Dec. 21 and 22.

As It Is In Heaven by Arlene Hutton will be offered for three weekends in May, 2019. Departing from the usual springtime comedy, Lutz has chosen a sober, and tuneful piece about an 1830’s Shaker community in upheaval after a non-believer has an ecstatic experience. The drama (with humor) is punctuated with a Capella singing.

The end of summer closes out the season with the North Carolina premiere of Trails, a musical about two childhood friends fulfilling their commitment to hike the Appalachian trail together. Written by Christy Hall, music by Jeff Thomson, and lyrics by Jordan Mann, it's scheduled for August, 2019.  

Over the years the Front Porch Theatre has spiced up its seasons with smaller productions with a specific focus, such as the wonderful Eleanor’s Story which presented a rarely heard harrowing tale of WWII from a German citizen’s point of view or the captivating Carry On and Out of the Bag one-woman show workshop performances by Black Mountain’s Murphy Funkhouser Capps. Last season’s heartwarming Broadway Romance with Kevin Massey and Kara Lindsey, was a one-night only performance that attracted so much attention that the venue was the much larger Owen High Theater.

This season’s mid-season adventure is the reading of a new work, Midnight Lunch by Edla Frankau Cusick, which explores the relationship of a young Thomas Wolfe (an Asheville native) and his much older muse, Aline Bernstein, over the course of ten years.

“As I look over the season we have planned, the theme that stands out to me is ‘America,’ says Artistic Director Matt Lutz. “Each piece is classically American from The God Game which explores the messy intersection of American politics and faith to As It Is In Heaven, which details the lives of Shaker women almost two centuries ago. During this election year, I think it is crucial to remind ourselves why both our nation’s past, and our present, are worth digging into and learning from. Live theatre does that so incredibly well. And I hope the folks of the Swannanoa Valley will come ready to do some excavation.”

The Front Porch Theatre is a vital part of the Black Mountain Center for the Arts located at 225 West State Street. For more information call 669-0930 or visit BlackMountainArts.org.