Curtain Up! on "The Waiting Room"

Friends and supporters of Radford’s Department of Theatre and Cinema gathered on Oct. 13 for Curtain Up!, an annual fundraiser that kicks off the main stage performance season.

This year, Curtain Up! celebrated the premiere of “The Waiting Room” by Lisa Loomer, the season’s first main stage production in Pridemore Playhouse. Before the show, theatre supporters enjoyed dinner and a pre-show program in the Covington Center Atrium.

“One thing I like about this group is that we like to talk and connect,” said Carl Lefko, chair of the Department of Theatre and Cinema. “We don’t get to see each other every day so the social part of these evenings is important.”

Curtain Up! events have been held for many years and some guests in attendance – sometimes called “First Nighters” – have supported the department for decades, giving their time and money to create a more robust arts experience.

Curtain Up! funds go toward bringing guest artists to Radford.

“Your support is what has made it possible to bring guest artists back to campus, to begin to get back toward that level we had many years ago,” Lefko said.

The attendees were eager to see “The Waiting Room,” an eclectic show that explores the thoughts and perspectives of three women from different time periods and countries that deals with many important issues, such as health and social expectations.

Jennifer Juul, associate professor and play director, addressed the Curtain Up! crowd in the pre-show program, where she shared reflections from students involved in all aspects of the show’s production.

“It’s a quirky, eclectic play,” Juul said. “It jumps all over the place, it has characters that don’t belong in the same century and it brings them together to have discussion about a number of threads and themes.”

The resounding theme for the cast and crew was that the play has been powerful enough to open some eyes to others’ experiences.

“When you see someone on the street… you never know what’s inside them until you ask,” Juul said.

Oct 21, 2015