Silk Moth Stage brings new opportunities to local playwrights and actors
DAYTON, Va. (WHSV) - Artistic Director, Aili Huber, said it all started when she sketched the plan for her new porch. She recalled her son asking why a Shakespeare stage was being built on their home.
“After that, I just couldn’t the idea out of my head,” she said. “Then, I felt the porch was telling me it wanted to be a stage, and I started thinking about what kind of stories it would want.”
From that, Silk Moth Stage was born.
Despite Huber’s background in Shakespeare, she said the goal of this nonprofit is to create opportunities for new work to be shown in the Valley.
“One thing I’m interested in is creating opportunities that are different from what we have available currently... There really wasn’t anybody that was specializing in new work, and I wanted that. I also wanted to challenge people’s idea of what a play-going experience could be,” she said. “We have very minimal tech. We ask the audience to use their imagination a lot, and we use the audience a lot, so if you come to see a play here, you’ll see that people are going to talk right to you. Sometimes our actors are going to move off the stage and among the audience.”
Another goal for Silk Moth Stage, Huber said, was to create professional opportunities in hopes that the area can retain local talent.
“There aren’t opportunities for artists here, so they leave or they stop doing their art,” she said.
This year, Silk Moth Stage has received grants from the Arts Council of the Valley and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. Those funds help the nonprofit be able to pay their actors and expand the community coming to watch performances.
”We got a grant that will allow us to partner with Our Community Place, Bridge of Hope, Skyline Literacy and the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center to offer free tickets, transportation, meal and maybe childcare... to bring some of our lower income neighbors out here to enjoy theater and have a good time and feed their souls,” Huber said.
Huber describes going to a play at Silk Moth Stage as a “community event with a play in the middle.” She said goers can enjoy the river on the property, a picnic, and live music before the show. After the show, they have a fire circle where people can speak to the actors and playwrights.
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