Cotton Patch Gospel Opens this Friday, January 25 at Hanover Tavern

VaRep_Cotton_Patch_1Looking for something fun this weekend? Well, here it is!

Virginia Repertory Theatre announces the opening of Cotton Patch Gospel on Friday, January 25, 2013 at Hanover Tavern, 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road.  The show is part of the Acts of Faith Theatre Festival and will run through April 28.  Adapted from the books by Clarence Jordan, the musical by Tom Key and Russell Treyz retells the Gospels of Matthew and John set in the mid-20th-century American South.  Harry Chapin wrote the music and lyrics just before he died in 1981.

Under the direction of Chase Kniffen, the intimate show features a cast of six musicians and actors.  Chase is the Associate Artistic Director for Virginia Rep and won the 2010, 2011, and 2012 RTCC Award for Best Director of a Musical for his work on The Sound of Music, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Spring Awakening.  Most recently he directed Madeline’s Christmas. 

Virginia Rep is delighted to welcome back Music Director and actor, Drew Perkins.  Drew most recently served as Music Director of Always, Patsy Cline and the Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy.   He toured nationally with Hank Williams – Lost Highway. 

Christopher Stewart plays the lead role as Matthew.  His Virginia Rep credits include The Producers, A Year with Frog and Toad, Annie, A Christmas Carol, Wizard of Oz, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  Lucas Hall, Brian Sulsar, Eric Williams, and Corey Wells round out the cast and bluegrass band.  Full bios can be found on our website.

Background of Cotton Patch Gospel and Habitat for Humanity

Cotton Patch Gospel is based on the writings of Clarence Jordan, a farmer and New Testament Greek scholar. In 1942, he founded Koinonia Farm, an influential religious community in southwest Georgia that continues to thrive today. Jordan was very involved the civil rights movement and social justice.  In an effort to translate both the words and context of the scripture, he wrote several popular “Cotton Patch” adaptations of the New Testament, resetting the lives and preaching of Jesus and the Apostle Paul in contemporary rural Georgia.

In 1965, Millard Fuller, a lawyer and self-made millionaire, visited Koinonia with his family. Inspired by Jordan, the Fullers chose to make Koinonia their permanent home.  Together the Koinonia residents started “Partnership Housing,” a nonprofit designed to build and sell affordable homes at cost with a no-interest mortgage for low-income families.  The Fullers’ five years living at Koinonia followed by three years of building “partnership housing” in the Democratic Republic of Congo led, in 1976, to the creation of Habitat for Humanity.

Virginia Rep is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to celebrate the writings of Clarence Jordan and his role in the founding of the organization.  On January 31, the cast will be play a few numbers from the show to kick off the dedication of a new Habitat home for the Toomey family in Ashland.  Tim Bowring, Executive Director of Hanover Habitat, will participate in the Acts of Faith talk back on Sunday, February 10 following the 2:00 p.m. matinee performance.

Ticket Information

Box Office 804-282-2620

Full Price Tickets:  $40 Standard, $42 Premium

Supersaver and Discount Performances $35 to $38

Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available.

U-Tix for college and high school students $15.  Available by phone or in person.  Student ID required. 

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