Offstage Theatre

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Offstage Theatre
City Charlottesville, Virginia
Country United States of America
Type site-specific theatre
Opened 1989

Offstage Theatre produces site-specific one-acts and short plays and stages them in the locations—bars, museums, shops—for which they were written. Founded in Charlottesville, VA in 1988-89[1] by Doug Grissom, associate professor and Head of Playwriting at University of Virginia, playwrights Mark Serrill and Tom Coash, with John Quinn as its first Resident Director, the company remains committed primarily to producing new work in non-theatrical spaces, with a few exceptions.

In 1993, then-Artistic Director John Quinn began producing Offstage's plays in Boston and Cambridge, MA, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Joel Jones took Offstage to NYC in 2005. Offstage is most well known for its Barhoppers series performed in Charlottesville area restaurants, its Pub Crawl in Boston/Cambridge area pubs, and an educational touring program ("But I Said No") addressing acquaintance rape that has received national acclaim.

Playwrights, directors and performers[edit]

Offstage has performed several world premieres, and draws heavily, though not exclusively from local Virginia and University of Virginia playwrighting talents, including works from Edward Albee, Margaret Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Eric Bogosian, Tom Coash, Lila Fenton Heasley, Matthew Farrell, Tina Fey, Scott Fishel, Doug Grissom, Elizabeth Harris, David Ives, Joel Jones, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Sandy McAdams, Aidan Parkinson, John Quinn, Laura Quinn, William Rough, Mark Serrill, Aaron Sorkin, Barney Strauss, Jr., Lucinda McDermott among others.

Directors have included Tom Coash, Elizabeth Harris, Joel Jones, Cristan Keighley, John Quinn, Mark Serrill, Tricia Sexton, Betsy Rudelich Tucker among others.

Notable performers in Offstage Theatre works have included Cate Andrews, Phillip Beard, Bambi Chapin, John Wentworth Chapin, Richard Gilman, Lila Fenton Heasley, Scott Fishel, Ben Jones[disambiguation needed], Cristan Keighley, Jennifer Marshall, Dave Matthews,[2] Thadd McQuade, Beatrice Ost, Brooke Plotnick, Sian Richards, Stuart Ross, William Rough, Pamela Rogers Schnatterly, John Schnatterly, Steve Tharp, Richard Warner[disambiguation needed], David Wellbeloved and many others.

Performance history[edit]

Year Production Cast and Crew Performance venue
1989 Chug, written by Ken Jenkins directed by Tom Coash
John Quinn(Chug)
Coash's Cabin, Albemarle County
1989 The Zoo Story, written by Edward Albee directed by Mark Serrill
John Quinn ( Jerry), John Wentworth Chapin (Peter)
Lee Park, Charlottesville, VA
1990 Barhoppers I Millers Restaurant, Fat City Diner, and Eastern Standard Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA
Ringing the Bell, written by Tom Coash directed by John Quinn
John Wentworth Chapin (Chug), Pat Daly (Julie), Connie Sanders (Sarah)
An End the World Pass, written by Mark Serrill directed by Mark Serrill
Margaret Baldwin (Megan), Dave Matthews (Harry), John Schnatterly (Jim)
Welcome to the Moon, written by John Patrick Shanley directed by John Quinn
John Wentworth Chapin (Vinnie), Dave Matthews (Ronnie), John Schnatterly (Stephen), John Quinn (Artie), Yael Ksander (Shirley)
1990 Krapp's Last Tape, written by Samuel Beckett directed by John Quinn
Mark Serrill (Krapp), Joel Jones (sound)
Purcell Rug Company, Charlottesville, VA
1990 Chocolate Cake, written by Mary Gallagher directed by Tom Coash
Bambi Dean (Joellen Fitzer), Pam Loftin (Delia Baron), Lew Stokes (Voice of Ted), Victoria Moore (Voice of Polly), Robert Harllee (Voice of Spuds)
Miller's Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA
1990 The Actor's Nightmare, written by Christopher Durang Karen Schnatterly (Meg, The Stage Manager), John Quinn (George Spelvin), Joel Jones (Executioner and Announcer), Vanessa (Ellen), Kyly Sicher (Sarah), Richard (Ned) Needham (Henry) Eastern Standard Restaurant, Charlottesville, VA
1990 Save the Paramount Series Under the marquee of the Paramount Theater, Charlottesville, VA
 ?, written by Tom Coash directed by Mark McLaughlin
Burt Creasy (Lazarus Lee), Margaret Baldwin (Ginny)
In the Heat, written by Doug Grissom
directed by Doug Grissom
Tracey Howell (Zelda), Margaret Baldwin (Ellie), Pam Loftin (Hanna), Dave Matthews (Quinton), John Quinn (Pablo)
1990 Famous for 15 Minutes Series Tandem School, Charlottesville, VA
A Pre-Matrimonial Conversation, written by Mark Jensen directed by Colleen Kelly
Bambi Chapin (She), John Wentworth Chapin (He)
Four-Thirty, written by Katie Griesar directed by Tom Coash
Dean Cameron (Walt), Dan Mueller (Levon)
Intensity, written by Tom Coash directed by William Rough
Sean Bather (Ishmael), Bert Creasy (Coach)
Man Under, written by Collette Burson directed by Margaret Baldwin
Joyce Sparagdis (Harriet), Betsy Stalkner (Myrtle)
Contact, written by Doug Grissom directed by Doug Grissom Richard Warner (Man), Tricia Sexton (Voice)
The Kindness of Strangers, written by Jack Turner directed by Victoria Moore
Cate Andrews (Ann), Ben Boyar (Bill), Christian Breedan (Punk), Kathy Compton (Punkette)
Just Say No, written by Barney Strauss, Jr. directed by John Quinn
Tony Donelson (Bart), Thomas Doran (Matthew), Pam Lofton (Micki), Dave Matthews (Joel), Kyly Sicher (Skippy)
1990 ‘But I Said No’ Tour, written by Margaret Baldwin and Doug Grissom directed by Richard Warner
Margaret Baldwin, Bambi Chapin, John Wentworth Chapin, Jean Collins, Pam Loftin
university campuses
1991 The Library Series the Pink Building, Charlottesville, VA
1991 The Art Gallery Series the Pink Building, Charlottesville, VA

Production venues[edit]

Charlottesville, VA Boston / Cambridge, MA New York / Brooklyn, NY
Millers Restaurant,

Eastern Standard Restaurant, Escafe, the Downtown Mall, Tandem School, Estouteville Farm, the Pink Building, Live Arts Theatre, Rapture, Frank Ix Building, University of Virginia

An Tua Nua,

the Black Rose, the Burren, Charlestown Working Theatre, Clery's/The Claddagh, Mr. Dooley's, Doyle's Pub, the Druid, Emerson College, the Field, Finnegan's Wake, the Harp, James's Gate, the Kells, Kinvara Pub, Ned Kelly's
Phoenix Landing, the Plough and Stars, Tir Na Nóg


Artistic directors[edit]

Tom Coash
Doug Grissom
Mark Serrill
John Quinn
Joel Jones
Larry Emmons
Jeff Kitchen
Tim Van Dyck & Denise Stewart (co-artistic directors)
Chris Patrick


  1. ^ "Offstage Theatre Archives". Offstage Theatre. Offstage Theatre. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  2. ^ The Dave Matthews Band (Book). Retrieved November 2008.