by Holly Van Auken
The Virginian Pilot, January 30, 2015
by Jesse Scaccia
Altdaily, January 28, 2015
From David Beloff's photoblog, Photographing Beloff
January 31, 2014
Welcome to Hampton Roads' brand new theatre company: DOUBLE DOG THEATRE
With an opening show that has plenty of bite, Hampton Roads' brand new theatre company, "Double Dog Theatre" will soon perform the hilarious musical "Reefer Madness". Perfect timing for a show that displays the paranoid delusions of yesteryear in contrast to today's possible country-wide legalization of marijuana. WOOF! RUFF! RUFF! Boldness...that's the kind of awesomeness we can expect from this super cutting edge theatre company.
Last night "DDT" had their launch party at Charlie's American Cafe' and the place was stuffed to the gills with practically every theatre person in South Hampton Roads. It was a site to behold. Everyone was happy and randomly busting into monologues and songs from their favorite shows. OH yes! It was a theatregoer's paradise. I'm sure that at one time of another I've (thankfully) photographed most of the people that attended the launch party...and if I didn't, I definitely did last night!
January 12, 2014
Norfolk-based Small Professional Theatre Company to Launch in January 2014
A husband and wife team will launch a new Norfolk-based professional theatre company in January 2014. Double Dog Theatre LLC, the company formed by Brendan and Tara Hoyle, aims to foster artistic development and to provide professional-quality theater at affordable ticket prices.
The Hoyles’ involvement in Norfolk’s performing arts have spanned over a decade. As a classically trained mezzo-soprano, Tara joined Virginia Opera mid-season in 2000 after relocating from New Jersey, and has performed with the company in over twenty productions as a chorister, cover, comprimario artist, and supernumerary throughout the state of Virginia. Brendan has held numerous positions in theatre administration and serves as the Theater Director for the new Meredith Center for the Arts at Norfolk Collegiate. He previously held the position of Director of Cultivate at Virginia Stage Company. His regional directing credits include "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," Virginia Stage Company's 2012 and 2013 "All the World's a Stage" galas, "Urinetown: The Musical," “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” "Closer," and “I Ought to be in Pictures."
Together, Brendan and Tara realized that what Hampton Roads was missing was a small professional theatre company that bridges the gap between smaller community theaters and larger professional organizations. “We have had the unique opportunity to see both professional and community theatre as performers, directors, patrons, and administrators, which helped to shape our vision,” says Brendan. Once they came to that realization and made strong enough connections with many of the exceptionally talented theatre professionals in the area, it became apparent that they had what they needed to launch Double Dog Theatre.
Double Dog Theatre’s profit-sharing business model differs from the largely non-profit model of other local theatres. By empowering the artists as owners/shareholders of their work, the Hoyles aim to create a unique artist-driven theater. “Each actor, designer, and team member will receive a percentage of the net profit for productions,” explains Tara. “Not only are we committed to paying every person working on our shows, we are paying them in direct relation to the success of the show.” This shareholder model encourages participants to have a vested interest in the success of the show, both on-stage and off, to improve the profitability for all.
“The actors/creatives/designers in Hampton Roads are truly exceptional based on the breadth of knowledge and experience they bring to the craft,” says Brendan. “We've worked with designers, allowing them to draw upon their experiences from professional companies and expand their creativity in directions they may not have the opportunity for in their daily work. We've seen new actors relocate locally and excite audiences with fresh and engaging performances.” “We've been privileged to witness local creatives light up a stage with their unique vision,” says Tara. “These people have fueled our energy to improve upon our own creativity, to challenge ourselves, and to challenge our audiences and performers to stretch their limits beyond what they could have imagined.”
Double Dog Theatre’s inaugural production of the musical “Reefer Madness” will be presented at the Little Theatre of Norfolk next summer, where Brendan has served as artistic director and marketing director and where he has served on the board for several years.
As one of the oldest Hampton Roads theatres and one of the longest-running theatre organizations, partnering with the startup group opens new opportunities for Little Theatre of Norfolk.
“Our mission is to foster and improve the cultural environment of the City of Norfolk and surrounding areas,” says Little Theatre of Norfolk board president Jason Martens. “We offer a place for people to create in a comfortable and safe environment while bringing to life something beautiful,” says artistic director Christopher Bernhardt. “Little Theatre of Norfolk offers a way to help art grow and allow for people to do what they love to do but need a space to do it in.”
According to Martens, “Reefer Madness” will be the the first full summer production that Little Theatre of Norfolk has presented. “Our five show season only satisfies a small demographic,” says Martens. “By partnering with other local arts groups, we open our doors and introduce the community to new forms of theatre. “
The Hoyles presented the idea for a full summer production to the theatre board and were met with approval and excitement. “Whether our season extra is improv, international theatre, works of expression and interpretation, Little Theatre of Norfolk is seeing new faces experience live theatre,” says Martens. “Brendan has demonstrated a prowess in mounting high quality productions; each production continually raises the bar.“ Bernhardt adds, “This partnership is giving both Double Dog Theatre and Little Theatre of Norfolk an opportunity to grow artistically while bringing to life the thing we all love the most: good live fun theatre and entertainment.”
“Live theatre is a completely analog event because it can only be truly experienced by physically going to a performance,” explains Brendan. “With fewer options for completely unique experiences being available, people are ready to truly cherish live theatre as long as it can make good on 3 promises: successful theatre must be good, it must be entertaining, and it must be affordable.” Tara concludes, “This is the perfect moment for Double Dog Theatre to offer the audiences of Hampton Roads exactly that: good, enjoyable theatre that they can afford.”
For more information about Double Dog Theatre LLC and to learn about auditions for “Reefer Madness”, visit DoubleDogTheatre.com