News Column

Low-key drama

May 12, 2014

By Tim Preston, The Daily Independent, Ashland, Ky.



May 12--ASHLAND -- With one gathering for Broadway in the Basement behind them, Ashland's "four horsemen of the theatre" are making plans for their next dramatic enterprises.

"We wanted to do something to let people come in and just goof off," said Tyler Bradley of Flatwoods, who serves as production manager for the Company of Dreams group, which has recently taken up the basement of the Pendleton Art center on Winchester Avenue.

Bradley said last weekend's Broadway in the Basement was a free-for-all inspired by late-night TV, inviting musical theater enthusiasts to come together to share chips and sodas while singing show tunes on a Saturday night. Participants were urged to bring karaoke tracks or original recordings for the sing-along session, he said.

"We told people to do the scenes, do the songs -- just get into theater," he said, noting the initial event was organized less than a week in advance and still drew a crowd of roughly 15 performers. "That set an attendance record for the theatre! We hope to do one of those a month."

Despite the location in the title, Bradley said the first karaoke-style event was actually hosted upstairs at the downtown arts center.

"We do need donations to get the theater up and running," he said. Participants in the event were asked only to bring snacks or a soft drink to share, he said, although financial donations and support will be appreciated and required to help the underground theater thrive.

For the new theater effort, Bradley said he has teamed up with his brother, Nathan Bradley, who is serving as artistic director, as well as Executive Director Samantha Bibbey and Resident Director Jim Maggard to make up the "Four Horsemen" group.

"The Basement Playhouse is brand new at the Pendleton Art Center," Bradley said, explaining supporting members have been working to renovate the downstairs space, which had sustained water damage in the past. "They pretty much gave us the run of the basement."

Future efforts by the theater group are likely to include "Theatre film night, or whatever we decide to call it," Bradley said, noting the availability of some outstanding musical performances in movie format.

For more information about Broadway in the Basement and other events hosted by the newly-formed theatre company, visit their page on the Facebook website.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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Source: Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)