BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- Inside the Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre, the WV Collective have begun rehearsals for a new upcoming play called “A West Virginia Story.”
What West Virginian story could this play be about? Well playwright, and West Virginia native, J.C. Lacek states, “‘A West Virginia Story’ is set in the 80s. It’s about the ups and downs of just kind of kind of what life was like in that era. So, like the cold strikes the economy politics, but it’s also an absurdist comedy. So, you know, there may or may not be some aliens. It may be a Dracula. It’s kind of its loosely based on life here whenever I was growing up, so it’s kind of inspired by my family, but it’s certainly not based on them, which is important. You know, and there’s dramatic elements. It’s kind of like a sitcom. It’s like, a full house meets gone with the wind.”
The show will utilize screens and projections to show clips from the 80s to give the audience a better look and memories from the era. The plays director Jason Lockhart, while not a West Virginia native himself, says that he wants to be able to do right by the story and make this truly West Virginian.
“I it just kind of connected with me. I’m not originally from West Virginia. I’m a transplant here. I’ve lived here for almost 18 years. And my business partner and my other partners in the collective are all natives here. So, it really has been an experience in may get into live vicariously through the stories of them growing up in a way because they were all friends growing up,” expressed Lockhart. “And I hope that I do a good job. You know, it was it for them to put the trust in me to take this story and tell a story that’s distinctly West Virginia, not being a native of West Virginia, and they put a lot of trust in me. And so, I take that very seriously. And I put a lot of trust in the cast and the crew and the team that we’ve built to put this thing on stage.”
The show opens on November 1st and will have a two-week run and WV collective co-founder Jamie Smith hopes the show resonates with audiences.
“If the audience is from here, I want them to remember what it was like I’m I was born here in 1982. So, like, a lot of things in this story resonate with me intensely, I’m sure they’ll resonate with my family, you know, my older family, my parents and siblings and things and you know, just kind of a collective spirit of West Virginians coming together and getting through the finish line somehow,” said Jamie Smith.
You can go to their website to purchase tickets.