Performances of the new musical Will & Whit will take place at
the Belmont Arts Collaborative (221 Carlton Road, Suite 3, Charlottesville VA 22902)

Click here to purchase tickets to Will & Whit
(All tickets are Pay What You Can)

Belmont Arts Collaborative (BAC) and DMR Adventures present the new musical Will & Whit, based on the young adult graphic novel by local author Laura Lee Gulledge and featuring music composed by local musician Ceci Vaughan. The show premieres October 14th, 2017 and will run for two weekends. It features a talented cast of local performers under the direction of Melissa Charles, with music director, Celena Cox, and will be staged in the new black box theater at the BAC located at 221 Carlton Road.

Will & Whit is a tale of partnership, trauma and finding light in the darkness. The story is set in Charlottesville and features a teen named Will who makes lamps to fight her fear of the dark. When Hurricane Whitney knocks out the power, she along with her creative friends are forced to face their fears as they come together to put on an end-of-summer arts carnival.

This matriarchal musical also features innovative cross-disciplinary storytelling elements such as an immersive hurricane, live drawing, and shadow puppetry. The production follows in the footsteps of other graphic novel musicals such as the Tony Award winning Fun Home, which is coming to Live Arts in 2018.

“This book was my love letter to Charlottesville, a place which helped inspire me to pursue my big crazy creative ambitions,” said Gulledge. “So I’m thrilled that the musical is coming to life in the community where the story first took root! I hope it can in turn help spark inspiration, connection, and expression.”

Charles, BAC founder and president and DMR artistic director, is excited to premiere the show at the recently opened BAC black box theater.

“I am passionate about musical theatre and especially new musicals that are accessible to young people!” said Charles. “I’m so inspired by the all-female team that created this wonderful piece and thrilled to be a part of bringing it to life. I look forward to this show becoming a staple in high schools and after-school theatre programs.”

Belmont Arts Collaborative and DMR Adventures will present Will & Whit on the following dates and times at at the new BAC Black Box theater located at 221 Carlton Road, Suite 3.

Oct. 14 7PM
Oct. 15 3PM
Oct. 19 7PM
Oct. 20 7PM
Oct. 21 3PM
Oct. 21 7PM
Oct. 22 6PM

Tickets may be purchased online at WillandWhit.bpt.me or at the door, if tickets remain. We suggest purchasing tickets early, as shows at the BAC frequently sell out.  For more information, please email DMR@DMRAdventures.com.   

Will & Whit PosterReviews of the book Will & Whit, which made the YALSA Top Ten Books for Teens 2014:

“Quirky, clever, and insightful.” Kirkus, Starred Review

“Gulledge’s values are wholesome, and her energy is up-to-the-minute fresh.” Publisher’s Weekly


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MELISSA CHARLES is the director of the Will & Whit musical. She is the artistic director of DMR Adventures and founder and president of the Belmont Arts Collaborative. She is a professional actor, director, educator, choreographer, a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Melissa is passionate about musical theatre, arts education, and the two guys with whom she lives (husband, Matt, and son, Cooper).

LAURA LEE GULLEDGE is the librettist of the Will & Whit Musical. She is a local author of graphic novels Will & Whit and Page by Paige, which was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award. Her new interactive book of Sketchbook Dares comes out in February 2018 thru Abrams Books. She has worked in art education, scenic painting, creative consulting, and event production, among other pursuits.

CECI VAUGHAN is the composer of the Will & Whit Musical. She is a local Realtor, song-writer, author, and educator. She is a licensed Simply Music coach, a non-traditional piano pedagogy method. She is also mother of two very talented, strong young women and an avid community arts enthusiast.

DMR Adventures develops artists through education and performance opportunities in acting, dance, and voice. Classes and programs are led by both local and visiting guest artists who are experts in their respective fields. DMR Adventures provides professional performing arts training that serves to drive passion, discipline and commitment in the students with whom they work.

The Belmont Arts Collaborative (BAC) exists to provide artists and arts organizations the opportunity to create, learn, and perform in a dedicated performing arts space. Located in historic Belmont, the BAC fills a long-standing need for affordable performance and rehearsal space for artists, arts organizations, and arts education programs for youth and adults in Charlottesville. www.gofundme.com/belmontartscollaborative

Media Contacts
Laura Lee Gulledge    lauraleegulledge@gmail.com
Melissa Charles    DMR@DMRAdventures.com


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