Adaire Theatre celebrating fall with show about love and mini camp for kids

by Neesey Payne

PULASKI, VA – It’s fall, y’all. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are getting cooler and it’s proving to be a busy time for Adaire Theatre.

The theatre kicked off the fall season with its production of “Quiet Courage,” a show that tells the story of Chauncey Harmon, Sr., a man born in Pulaski who fought for equal educational opportunities for African American students and equal pay for African American teachers.

Keith McCoy, associate artistic director, said the production was eye opening for many teachers who saw the show.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from teachers who want this story to be told in their schools. This is exciting because we want this story to be told to as many people as possible. It’s a powerful story of what one person can do with their voice,” McCoy said.

“Quiet Courage” was an original production written by Keith McCoy and Kendall Payne, founder of Adaire Theatre. Former Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey came to see the show with his wife, Jeannette. He explained he and his wife attended a predominately African American school growing up and how seeing the performance took him back to those days.

The theatre’s upcoming production is called “The Last Five Years.” The show made it’s Off-Boadway debut back in 2001 and was very popular; so much so that it made an Off-Broadway revival at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City in 2013. In 2014, a movie was made based on the show.

“The Last Five Years” is about Cathy and Jamie — two 20-something New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years and each of their takes on how the story went. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, telling her story backwards while Jamie, tells his story chronologically with the two characters only meeting once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

“It’s a story about two people who are juggling their personal ambitions, while trying to stay committed to their marriage. It’s one of those shows that will put you through all the emotions. So instead of spending the weekend watching Hallmark, just come and check out the show. I know you’ll be glad you did,” Payne said.

The show will take place over two weekends, October 22-24, and 29-31. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and Sunday performances take place at 2 p.m. The who will take place at the Pulaski Elks Lodge located at 8 West Main Street, tickets $10. can be purchased the day of the show, or guarantee your seat and purchase them online at adairetheatre.org.

Adaire Theatre is also gearing up for their Fall Break Camp, “I’m really excited about this because one of our goals is to keep students engaged in their down time. They’re going to be able to have fun while working on their performance skills; that’s why this camp is perfect. Plus, we’re performing one of my favorite shows” McCoy said.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The Peanuts crew is celebrating Halloween and Linus is hoping he’ll be visited by the Great Pumpkin.

Registration is open and you can visit adairetheatre.org/camps to sign up. The camp is for students in second through 12th grades.

Camp will take place Saturday, Oct. 30, and Sunday, October 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The campers will perform on Monday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m., at the Pulaski Elks Lodge.

“We have some really talented kids who always participate in our camps and I hope some new faces will be added this time around,” Payne said.