The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 31, 2013

Ars Creo putting on show this Friday

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

— Once upon a time, Joseph and Simon Much lived in a peaceful town, where they both happily worked as mechanics.

But then, things starting changing.

“Accidents,” so many of them, started to plague the townspeople.

As the Much brothers work on repairing the damage to their borough, they also find themselves trying to explain a mysterious force that’s settled over their metropolis.

“The Tragic Account of Joseph Much” is an original, modern-day musical produced by the Hinton-based Ars Creo theater group.

Written by Ars Creo founder and playwright Ashleigh Gill, with original musical scores by composer Zack Merritt, “Joseph” is the group’s fifth original production.

“They best way to describe ‘The Tragic Account of Joseph Much’ is, it is a fairy tale,” said Gill, who also wrote and produced “The Catch” for Hinton audiences last year. “I really like reading fairy tales.

“It comes from traditional myths ... so it just stemmed out from there.”

Gill said the cast and crew for the show is a dedicated group of talented volunteers.

The play is co-directed by Gill and Chris Clark, and the brothers are portrayed by Bradley Luchton (Joseph) and Scott Bennett (Simon).

Like all past productions, “The Tragic Account of Joseph Much” is free to the public.

This year, however, the play will be moved from Summers Memorial Building to the auditorium at Summers County High School due to a need for better sound and a more visible stage area.

“We all grew up using the memorial building when we were all kids in drama,” said Gill. “We were dedicated to the place and love the space itself.

“It can be a little hard for people to see because everything is flat on the floor,” she added. “We decided to try a place with some nicer seating.”

The musical will open with Merritt’s original number “Accidents Happen.” Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and a live orchestra will perform the musical numbers both nights.

More information is available about Ars Creo at