Theatre West Virginia ready for another super summer of musicals and drama in the hills of West Virginia

Nestled on the rim of the New River Gorge, Theatre West Virginia is set for a summer packed with performances that will tell the stories of a small community getting a big opportunity; a legendary family feud; a group of young friends dreaming beyond the stars; and a mysterious candymaker searching for his replacement.

Storied Past
Theatre West Virginia launched its storied history in 1955 as the West Virginia Historical Drama Association. Founding members included former Governor Hulett C. Smith, LeoVecellio, Charles Hodel, C.S. Lewis, Harry Anderson, Waldo Lafon, M.W. Powers and others. They created the organization in an effort to present West Virginia’s unique culture to as wide an audience as possible.

In 1961, the group’s dream was born with the first production of “Honey in the Rock,” the nation’s oldest Civil War drama that describes the historical events that created the state of West Virginia.

After that the organization continued to evolve with the creation of the historical, music drama the “Hatfields and McCoys” in 1968. The play, written and composed by Billy Edd Wheeler, was ready for the stage in 1970. During this time, the organization became known as the Theatre of Arts West Virginia and was touring the state performing classic theater works, as well as touring the East Coast. By the late 1980s the group began to just be known as Theatre West Virginia.

Summer brings old and new to TWV stage
Now in the opening days of summer, Theatre West Virginia’s newest season is set for performances of “Paradise Park the Musical,” “Hatfields and McCoys,” “Rocket Boys the Musical” and “Willy Wonka Jr.”

“Paradise Park the Musical” tells the tale of a small community who knows that “God’s a comin and he’s gonna grant us all a wish.” The new production features a new score composed by Mountain Stage’s own Larry Groce and is based on the cult-movie directed by acclaimed West Virginia native Daniel Boyd. Remaining dates for this Mountain State based musical are June 20-24, June 26-July 1.

West Virginia and Kentucky’s legendary family feud is told through the historical drama “Hatfields and McCoys.” Regardless, of how the feud began, the performance details years of disagreements, strife and violence between the two families that spilled into an all out war across state lines of West Virginia and Kentucky. You can see the “Hatfields and McCoys” story unfold in the the hills of West Virginia on these dates: July 5-8, July 11-15.

Watch the hopes and dreams of childhood friends in the rolling mountains as they yearn for the adventure of space exploration. “Rocket Boys the Musical,” based on the autobiography of state native and NASA engineer Homer Hickam, gives a portrait of Hickam’s life growing up in the harsh conditions of a coal mining town. You can catch this vivid portrayal of a novel come to life July 18 through July 22.

Lastly, rounding out this summer’s season is “Willy Wonka Jr.” Simply described as a timeless version of Roald Dahl’s classic story of a “world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir…” Families can enjoy performances of this sweet tale from July 25-29 and August 1-4.

Want tickets? Learn more and get tickets here.

Which Theatre West Virginia performance do you plan to see this summer?