TFA Presents “Live Wire” at Hylton and Center for the Arts

Posted: April 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm

By Jill Graziano Laiacona

Take a trip back to the Golden Age of Radio as Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), Mason’s award-winning professional theater company in residence, recreates the distinctive look, exciting sound and nostalgic feel of the classic radio days of the 1930s.

“Live Wire,” featuring a selection of authentic shows drawn from Mason’s extensive Federal Theatre Project archives, is directed by Rick Davis. “Live Wire” will be performed in the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Merchant Hall in Manassas on Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m., and at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax on Sunday, April 17, at 4 p.m.

Spanning a range of styles from “living newspaper” to mystery and musicale, TFA’s original staging of “Live Wire” in 1992 was broadcast by National Public Radio.

The Federal Theatre Project was a division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was launched as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in order to provide employment for artists, writers and performers during the Great Depression. From 1935 to 1939, the Federal Theatre was the only federally sponsored and subsidized theater program operating in the United States.

The Federal Theatre Project Playscript and Radioscript Collection contains more than 200 copies of scripts written and performed in the 1930s as part of the Federal Theatre Project. The records were brought to Mason on permanent loan from the Library of Congress through Lorraine Brown, Mason Professor Emerita of English and former associate director of the Research Center for the Federal Theatre Project, who died in February 2010. TFA is dedicating this production in memory of Brown.

TFA’s mission is to discover, develop and launch new, thought-provoking plays and serve as an artistic home to the next generation of playwrights. Since its founding in 1990, TFA has produced 42 full productions, most of which have been world premieres, as well as numerous staged readings of new work by both professional artists and student playwrights. TFA’s productions have won 12 Helen Hayes Awards out of 37 nominations, and many of its plays have been published, produced nationally and internationally, televised and broadcast, or recorded as award-winning original soundtrack CDs.

Discussions, free to ticket holders, begin one hour prior to the performance in the Buchanan Partners Gallery at the Hylton Performing Arts Center and 45 minutes prior to the performance at the Center for the Arts on the Center’s Grand Tier.

Pre-performance discussions at the Center for the Arts are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts. Novant Health is the Inaugural Season Sponsor of Hylton Presents at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.

Tickets for the April 15 Hylton Performing Arts Center performance are $19, $27 and $35. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center.

Tickets for the April 17 Center for the Arts performance are $18, $28 and $36. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit Free parking is available in Lot K.

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