Firehouse Theatre Project Appoints Jase Smith as Interim Artistic Director

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The Firehouse Theatre Project is pleased to announce the appointment of Jase Smith to the position of Interim Artistic Director. Smith is well known to the Richmond theatre community as a rising star director of shows that have earned many accolades including 24 Richmond Theatre Critic's Circle Awards nominations and eight awards in various categories.

Previous directing credits for Smith include RTCC Award for Best Musical nominees The Rocky Horror Show, RENT, Reefer Madness: The Musical, and The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Firehouse Theatre Project). Other professional credits include A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant (FTP), Zanna Don't! and Christmas with the Crawfords (Richmond Triangle Players).

Smith is an adjunct Instructor in Theatre at John Tyler Community College where he has directed Psycho Beach Party and The Fantasticks. He holds a Master in Fine Arts in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from The College of William and Mary. Jase has previously served as Marketing Director for Firehouse Theatre Project, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and William and Mary Theatre. He is a recipient of Style Weekly's Top 40 Under 40 award in 2008 for his volunteer marketing work with The Conciliation Project and his professional directing contributions to Richmond theatre. He is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

"We are very excited to have Jase join our team as interim artistic director. He has worked with Firehouse Theatre on a number of its most successful shows so we have great respect for his work," says Gini Mallory, Managing Director of Firehouse.

"I am humbled by this opportunity to continue the Firehouse's mission to present important American Contemporary Theatre to the Richmond community. I have been mentored by Carol Piersol for many years and am in a unique position to continue the Firehouse's mission and vision that she helped to create. I am heartened in the fact that the Board of Directors of Firehouse wishes to re-engage Carol in the future of FTP. I will do my very best to serve the community and the Firehouse" says Smith.

Smith arrives just in time for the opening of Zhe: [noun] Undefined, opening this Thursday and running through Saturday. Zhe a new play created by London-based interNational Theatre Company Collective Artistes, director Chuck Mike and performers Antonia Kemi Coker and Tonderai Munyevu. Based on the true-life stories of the two performers, this "immensely moving, funny and courageous" piece of theatre follows the lives of two British Africans living at the crossroads of culture, nationality, gender and sexuality.

"It is also my hope to be able to present Any Given Monday and Time Stands Still, as had been planned for the spring season and to engage the artists who had previously committed to the shows. We will need to open Any Given Monday a bit later, perhaps mid-February rather than the end of January, but I feel that we can do it. And it's a great play that will speak to Richmond audiences," says Smith.

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