The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

July 3, 2014

Veterans and newbies unite for new TWV season

Both veterans and newbies have pulled together this year to make Theatre West Virginia’s 54th season a reality.

Many were concerned after the theater’s closure that the Grandview stage would go dark, but the theater community has pulled together and 17 performances of “Hatfields and McCoys” will be shown starting July 11.

Deb Brady, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a veteran of the theater, as she performed in “Hatfields and McCoys” in 1984-85.

“It’s been a unique experience,” Brady said of the resurrection of TWV. “We’ll see how it goes.”

She said she was deeply saddened to hear when the theater went under and she was thrilled to be a part of bringing it back to life.

“It feels surreal.”

Brady grew up in Huntington and attended both Marshall University and West Virginia University as a theater major.

She has since moved to New York, where she has pursued her acting and singing career.

“They are all special performances in some way,” Brady said. “Each role you assume connects you to a part of yourself. It’s a really unique experience.”

Back in the 1980s, Brady acted as Betty McCoy and she will assume that role again this year for TWV Act II.

“I’m so glad to see it coming together and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Although Caleb Waybright only has two years under his belt at TWV, being a part of the rebirth was no less important to him.

“Theatre West Virginia is so great for this area and the entire state.”

Waybright, of Elkins, said West Virginia has made strides in embracing the arts, but is still somewhat behind.

He is currently attending Radford University as a dance major, and he hopes that everyone realizes the importance TWV during Act II.

Exposing children to arts at a young age is extremely important, Waybright said, and TWV is a great way to introduce youngsters to theater.

TWV is his first professional dance credit and he said it will reflect well on a resume.

“I just hope people realize what an important asset and resource this is.”

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