It's terrible that such a terrific venue with amazing history and potential is so poorly run. Someone please come fix this place. I don't like to bash a company, but they had some very serious problems that start at the top and work their way down.
-Lack of safety in many areas (black mold on the stage floor, incorrect rigging, etc.)
-All techs had either quit or were fired and we had insufficient crew to run and build shows.
-Production manager had no experience in production management and boy howdy it showed. #1 problem.
-SM was a minor with no professional or collegiate experience (though she did incredibly well).
-The main production was a high school musical that was remounted at TWV under the same director with the same set and same staging. His main method of directing was giving line readings. Very disappointing.
I will say, however, that the actors who work there are very tight-knit, there are some seriously talented people, the area is gorgeous, and the community loves the productions.
I'd only recommend working at TWV if you're in it for the full experience. If you know what you're in for, it can be fun. Still, know that you WILL be working for and with many unprofessional people who have very little idea what they're doing.
You will literally be in the middle of nowhere. Spotty cell service at best and, unless you bring a car, you are at the mercy of other people to drive you to and from rehearsals (about half an hour each way). The company is run now by a rather tyrannical family--the stage manager wife is married to the lead actor and her brother and sister work tech. Mostly everyone else is below the age of 22 and without any professional experience and the backstage drama is way more intense than anything on stage. The community is lovely and so welcoming but it does not make up for the living conditions or artistic experience at all. I wouldn't recommend this gig for anyone who has had any professional experience.
I usually wouldn't rate a place this way, but just go look up some production photos and ask yourself how you'd feel standing in front of that mess in BFE West Virginia.
Great experience. Cell phone service not a problem. Ride to theatre not a problem. Ridiculous what people find to bitch about. Interesting comment about the photos. Very shortsighted. I guess I am old school but I always assumed it was how well you told the story. And to me every show I was in at TWV told the story very well. Photos look rustic and old because that's part of the story.
Very recently, this theatre has fallen on hard times due to state budget cuts. I worked there for 6 years. Instrumental in shaping me as a professional. I can see how some of the more fragile and pampered colleagues may find there time there a bit tough. However, I would recommend this experience to any level headed, hardworking, true artist and professional.
It is truly sad to hear what the 2013 company's experience was like, which has nothing to do with the type of company Theatre West has been for most of it's 54 years of existence. I'm very happy to say that the 2014 cast had a very different, very professional, very high quality experience... Even with the occasional dropped cell phone call! The area is remarkably beautiful and it breaks my heart, after so many incredible experiences there, to hear this kind of false narrative about TWV. Sure, it fell on hard times but thankfully that dynamic is long gone. TWV is a great professional experience.
A great company that seems to have lost its way for a while but is now back on track.
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