Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Treasures

Posted by Bruce Miller
Congratulations to Carol Piersol, co-founder and Artistic Director of Firehouse Theatre Project, who is recognized in and on the cover of the September issue of Belle Magazine as one of Richmond's seven outstanding women in the arts.

Her fellow honorees include Sarah Shields Driggs, Architectural Historian, Save Outdoor Sculpture; Ashley Kistler, Director, Anderson Gallery, VCU; Pamela Kiecker Royall, Benefactor and Collector; Andrea Orlosky, Executive Director, Art on Wheels; Greta Brinkman, Musician and Music Director, WRIR; and Maya Payne Smart, Author and Vice Chairwoman, James River Writers.

Carol co-founded the Firehouse in 1993 with Jeff Clevenger, Bill Gordon, Anna Senechal Johnson, and Harry Kollatz Jr., and has served as artistic director for the last 18 years. The best way to understand the incredible value of her leadership is to watch Parts 1 and 2 of the terrific Firehouse documentary created by Richmond filmmaker Alan Futterman. and

In the documentary, eight of Virginia's finest actors (Jeff Clevenger, Justin Dray, Sara Heifetz, D. L. Hopkins, Bill Patton, Melissa Johnston Price, Amy Sproul and Scott Wichmann) speak eloquently and movingly about Firehouse's steadfast commitment to its artistic values.

Carol has embodied these values, steered and protected this commitment for nearly two decades. All the while, she and her colleagues have continued to improve the Firehouse's production quality, year after year, while also maintaining its historic facility, and growing its audience and operations. Her contributions to Richmond's theatre community inspire me more than I can say.

She's also been a good friend to Theatre IV and Barksdale for a long time. Congratulations, Carol, on this well deserved recognition.

On a second and equally jubilant note, our beloved facilities manager and indispensible jack-of-all-trades, Tom McGranahan, is back in the saddle with us after his recent surgery. I think he's supposed to still be in bed, but you can't keep a good man down.

I've known a few saints in my life: my father, Phil Whiteway's mother and father, my late Sunday School teacher Barbara Maynard, and Tom McGranahan. He's a bawdy saint, to be sure. But a saint nonetheless. I look at Tom McGranahan and I see the hand of God.

Welcome back, Tom. The old place wasn't the same without you.

--Posted by Bruce Miller

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