New Studio Series at Lynn Theatre Brings Original Works to the Stage
The premier of Jump Baby kicks off the Studio Series.
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Fostering the creation and performance of new works and elevating diverse and often underrepresented voices in the theatre are at the heart of the new Studio Series launched this month by The Lynn Theatre at Brightpoint Community College. The Studio Series is designed to facilitate community-based collaborative artmaking, giving people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Brightpoint students, the opportunity to work together and learn from each other. “Every work was once a new work,” says Kerrigan Sullivan, professor of theatre at Brightpoint. “We are at an exciting place in the theatre right now where previously unheard voices are being elevated. By involving our students and the larger college community in this process, we hope to foster and recognize the many voices that make up our society.”
The Lynn Theatre Studio Series kicks off with the premier of Jump Baby, by local playwright and veteran Rachel Landsee. Set in 2009-2010 against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, two army officers continually reunite just to be torn apart again. Through music, humor, and a poignant reckoning with modern armed conflict, Jump Baby is about duty and change, love and war. Written from the perspective of an active-duty military attorney, Jump Baby highlights a voice rarely heard from in the theatre – a female veteran. Landsee wrote Jump Baby, which is based loosely on her one-act play Soar, after receiving a National Endowment for the Arts-supported fellowship for U.S. military veterans.
Development of this new work has been a true community collaboration, as well as a learning experience for Brightpoint students. Jump Baby features original music by Richmond-area composer Mark Messing. The production is directed by Sullivan, and Cassie Cipolla, an adjunct music instructor at Brightpoint, is the musical director. Over the past year, theatre and music students at Brightpoint participated in three readings of the script as it moved through development. Brightpoint student actors will be alongside professional actors on the stage, and the band for the show will be comprised primarily of Brightpoint music students. “Collaboration is rewarding in the most wonderful and unique way,” says Landsee. “Many brains together create something far greater than any one brain alone. This is as true in the military as it is in theatre. The joy of the final product is also in the process.”
Jump Baby will open January 27, 2023 and run through February 5, 2023. Audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a talkback with the playwright after some performances. This show is recommended for ages 12 and up. Performances will be held at The Lynn Theatre, located in Trailblazer Hall on Brightpoint’s Midlothian Campus, on the following dates and times:
- Friday, January 27, at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, January 28, at 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday, January 29, at 2:00 p.m. (Talkback with the playwright follows the show)
- Thursday, February 2, at 7:00 p.m.
- Friday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, February 4, at 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday, February 5, at 2:00 p.m. (Talkback with the playwright follows the show)
Those attending Jump Baby will also have the opportunity to see a photography exhibit by Rhita “Abby” Daniels, a Brightpoint photography alumna and an Army reservist.
Tickets for Jump Baby are on sale now. General admission tickets are $10. Military and veteran tickets are $5. Current Brightpoint students may get their tickets for free with a Brightpoint Student ID. To purchase tickets, go to https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5692705.
For directions to Brightpoint’s Midlothian Campus, visit https://www.brightpoint.edu/locations. For more information, questions about tickets or inquiries about The Lynn Theatre, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brightpoint Community College, formerly John Tyler Community College, offers more than 80 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 11,400 students during the 2021-22 academic year. It also assisted approximately 5,700 learners, including more than 2,700 job seekers, through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Brightpoint and Reynolds community colleges.