The Front Porch Theatre (FPT) at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (BMCA) opens its sixth season by getting political with its presentation of The God Game, written by Suzanne Bradbeer and produced by special arrangement with Samuel French. Tickets are on sale now for shows at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, October 19–20, October 26–27 and November 2–3. Matinees will be held at 2 p.m. on Sundays, October 21 and 28 and November 4.
The God Game is a play about faith and politics, marriage and friendship, choices and consequences. When the play opens, we meet Tom, a Virginia Senator and rising star in the Republican Party and his savvy, devoted wife. A long-time family friend resurfaces and offers Tom the opportunity of a lifetime, causing him to have a crisis of conviction while his marriage hangs precariously in the balance. With mid-terms right around the corner, this energetic play, first produced in 2014, will stimulate conversation long after the curtain has come down.
Artistic director Matt Lutz recently announced the full FPT 2018/2019 season of plays for the Black Mountain theatre group, which has been steadily growing in depth and talent over the past six seasons. Lutz came on board last year to help lead this vibrant Arts Center program into the future.
“Like last season’s play, Freud’s Last Session,” says Lutz, “I feel like The God Game came and found me. A smart theatre friend recommended these plays to me, and I was impressed with them both. The God Game impressed me with its timeliness, of course, it being a modern political drama. But playwright Suzanne Bradbeer does so much more than just write a timely piece: she creates three real people on stage. The characters, as they are written, are fully realized, three-dimensional human beings with flaws, genius and incredible potential. They are smart, funny, talented people—all Republicans: one openly gay, one a committed Evangelical Christian and one an agnostic. It sounds like the setup for a bad joke; instead it’s the setup for a fantastic, thought-provoking two hours of theatre. And also—did I mention that it’s timely?”
The Front Porch Theatre stage is small, with only a whisper of wings. For some this would be a limitation, but for the FPT it is a challenge eagerly met. “We are limited by our size,” admits BMCA executive director Gale Jackson, “but we are not limited in creativity. Small, thoughtful, elegant work is the goal, at least for this first show. Later in the season we plan to let our hair down.”
Also in October: The Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League holds its biannual juried show in the BMCA’s Upper Gallery from Friday, October 12, to November 30. This year’s juror is Nicholas Raynolds. There will be an artist’s reception from 6–8 p.m. on October 12. The Upper Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street in Black Mountain. Tickets to The God Game are $20 and can be purchased by calling 828.669.0930 or by visiting BlackMountainArts.org.