Oct 6, 2023


DaShaun Ellis as the Blacksmith and cast. The Blacksmith was based on Gilbert Hunt,
a real historical hero who saved dozens of women from the Richmond Theatre Fire.

Set Design by the wonderful Clare DeVries

I recently directed Clay McLeod Chapman's play Volume of Smoke at the college where I work. It had a hard-working student cast and crew. It played October 4 - 6.

Here's a bit about the play...

On December 26th, 1811, the Richmond Theatre burned to the ground. A standing-room only audience of 600 people had gathered that night to see a touring company present a billing of several different pieces. During The Bleeding Nun, a short play of haunted star-crossed lovers, the fire began. Of those 600 in attendance, over seventy died including many women and children. Many were trampled in the panic that ensued. The dead included the newly-elected Governor of Virginia, George W. Smith, who died after saving his wife’s life. The incident made headlines as far away as Germany and helped jumpstart a wave of evangelical fervor known as the Second Great Awakening. 

In response to the tragedy, Richmond, VA, erected a church on the ashes of the theatre and banned all public performance (including street musicians) for eight years. The price of breaking the law was a ticket for six dollars and sixty-six cents. 

Weaving together a narrative of fragmented epistolary monologues from dozens of different characters the play follows the lead-up, devastation and then aftermath of the Great Richmond Theatre Fire.

#   #   #

Perhaps you would be interested in adding more excitement and romance, adventure and intrigue to your life. If that's the case, I don't know what to tell you. But I would suggest you subscribe to my newsletter. I mean, who knows? Life is full of surprises. I only send stuff out occasionally, but it is good stuff. Hit the button below...

No comments:

Post a Comment