Instead of presenting its Live From WVL Radio Theatre: It’s A Wonderful Life show in person, as it has each year since 2009, Immediate Theatre Project has created a new live online version for a three-week run via Zoom. Company co-founder Willie Repoley says he and costars Lauren Kriel, Tony Larkin and Maria Buchanan are “all playing versions of ourselves, and we’re put into an impossible situation, and the audience gets to see us and see how we are able to use It’s A Wonderful Life to get our own stories back on track.”
Repoley continues, “I think a story about a young man who becomes frustrated by circumstances largely outside of this control, who tries and tries to do the right thing but keeps falling short of his dreams, who is rescued from a deep despair only by prayer and the generosity of his community, is exactly what we need right now. It’s a very hopeful story. It asks us to believe in our neighbors and in what we can accomplish together that we can’t do alone.”
Unique performances take place Thursday, Dec. 3-Sunday, Dec. 20, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. The production is directed by Hans Meyer, and the stage manager is Jared Stover. Tickets are $25 per household. ncstage.org
Other area theater companies are also offering digital productions. A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas was filmed on the company’s grounds and in Hendersonville and “captures the spirit of the holidays like never before with dancing on Main Street, fireside singing, stunning performances on stage and a virtually connected chorus.” Online attendees select one day of viewing through Sunday, Dec. 20, during which the link will be active 10 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Tickets are $53. flatrockplayhouse.org
And Hendersonville Community Theatre has recorded A Christmas Carol Radio Play, in which a handful of actors bring dozens of characters to the stage, complete with live sound effects and musical underscoring from Anthony E. Palermo, who also adapted Charles Dickens’ novella for radio. The show is directed by Jonathan Forrester and available on demand for $15, Saturday, Dec. 5-Saturday, Jan. 2. hendersonvillecommunitytheatre.org
The N.C. Arboretum’s Winter Lights show has evolved into a drive-thru event for 2020, allowing guests to navigate a 1-mile stretch of the Arboretum’s campus to view exhibits illuminated by thousands of holiday lights. Offerings include several new nature-themed displays, including winter wildlife, colorful butterflies, a special insect lantern exhibit and a giant daisy “garden,” all cued to optional holiday tunes playing via simulcast and accessible through vehicle radio systems.
The show runs daily through Sunday, Jan. 10, 5:30-10:30 p.m., with incoming cars admitted no later than 10 p.m. Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets online in advance to save on ticket fees and reserve space. Pre-sale admission is $25 per personal vehicle and $30 at the gate the night of the event. Discounts are available daily for Arboretum Society members and to the public every Tuesday (excluding Dec. 22). ncarboretum.org
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Nearing its one-year anniversary, Sand Hill Artists Collective has organized a Virtual Holiday Gallery Tours event. Each weekday, Dec. 2-15, 5-6 p.m., via Zoom, a different local gallery will present “unique programming highlighting their artists and offerings, as well as their backgrounds and collections that contribute to Asheville’s rich visual arts and crafts scene.” Participating galleries include Black Mountain College Museum, Blue Spiral 1, Center for Craft, LEAF Global, Momentum Gallery, Penland Gallery, Pink Dog Creative, River Arts District Artists, Southern Highland Craft Guild and Tracey Morgan Gallery. Tickets are $55 and include private access to the 10 Zoom webinar links. Proceeds support SHAC’s mission of displaying and promoting the work of artists, arts organizations and arts events in the West Asheville, Enka, Candler and Biltmore Lake area. sandhillartists.com
In honor of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, the Western North Carolina AIDS Project debuted a collection of short films directed by Asheville-based documentarian Francine Cavanaugh. The featured film showcases the various aspects of WNCAP’s services, including HIV testing, case management, outreach, advocacy, PrEP services, harm reduction and food delivery. Six additional short films focus on a different notable individual who’s been affected by HIV, hepatitis C or substance use disorder.
“The goal of the WNCAP Mini Docs is to amplify the voices of people who are normally marginalized in our community,” says Michael Poandl, WNCAP development & communications coordinator. “By hearing directly from the people affected, our goal is to destigmatize HIV and harm reduction and to mobilize our community towards greater education and compassion.” avl.mx/8rq
The Texture of Myth debuts Friday, Dec. 4, at Foundation Studios, featuring sculpture by Cathleen Klibanoff, oil paintings by Robby Gall and photography from Micah Mackenzie. The free opening night event runs 6-8 p.m. and features live music by Pimps of Pompe. The exhibit will be on display through Monday, Jan. 4. Masks and social distancing are required. ashevilleartstudio.com
Meanwhile, Tiger Strikes Asteroid Greenville has launched its Minimum Space Requirements show, featuring art viewing boxes placed around Asheville. The small-scale installations, created by MaDora Frey, Steven Pestana, Sophia Sobers, Charles Sommer and Eric Tillinghast with the dimensions of the boxes in mind, center on “reflection, motion, boundaries — metaphors for our COVID-riddled experiences.” The boxes — viewable at 76 Gertrude Place, 135 Lookout Drive, 65 Kenilworth Road and 74 Tacoma Circle — have windows on three sides, which allow for a “direct visual interaction with the immediate environment” and enable works to transform with the changing light throughout the day. They will be on display through Friday, Jan. 1. tigerstrikesasteroid.com