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Two Nights of Theater and Poetry at Vault Virginia


November 22, 2022 – Live Arts Theater announces two nights of theater and poetry at Vault Virginia this December. The Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab presents a staged reading of local playwright John Paul Mandryk’s new play When Liberty Is Sieged at 7:30pm on Monday, December 5, and the next POETRY LIVE! showcase is hosted by local poet James Cole at 7pm on Sunday, December 11. Both events will be presented at Vault Virginia, 300 E Main Street, in Charlottesville. To enter Vault Virginia, audience members should use the door on Third Street SE. 

Tickets for When Liberty is Sieged and POETRY LIVE! are pay-what-you-can (suggested price $5) through the Live Arts Box Office at or with cash at the door. The Box Office can be reached by email at or by phone at 434-977-4177 x123.

About When Liberty Is Sieged | Monday, December 5 at 7:30pm

The Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab is excited to present a staged reading of When Liberty Is Sieged, a new one-act play of verse by John Paul Mandryk, directed by Dawn Schimke and produced by Sean Michael McCord. The reading showcases local performers and Lab members Mandy Shuker as Kenau, Marty Moore as Derdekea, Roger Tolle as Governor Ripperda, James Sanford as Lucifer, Ron Berube as Cardinal Granvelle, Christopher Baumer as The Iron Duke, and Jane McDonald reading stage directions.

The central character of When Liberty Is Sieged is Kenau Hasselaer, a widowed mother of four from Haarlem, the Netherlands, who faces the Spanish inquisition of the mid-16th century. Her story begins with her silence in the face of Spanish and Catholic domination and ends with her rallying 300 women to join the rebel garrison in defense of Haarlem’s walls. After the Haarlemers are starved into surrender, Kenau escapes by divine intervention. What happens next is a miracle. 

The reading is presented by the Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab, a forum for writers of every experience level to share, read, and discuss their work. The Lab develops the work of local writers of all backgrounds in a fun, creative, supportive setting.

Playwright John Paul Mandryk resides in Charlottesville with his wife, Joan, of 48 years. Retired from a 35-year career in investment banking, Mandryk’s engagement in playwriting began by joining the Live Arts Playwrights’ Lab. Mandryk’s works cover topics including the denial of climate change and the miracle of the migration of storks from northern Europe to southern Africa. If he is not at his writing desk, he might be found building wooden boats in his workshop or spinning tales to one of his five grandchildren.

About POETRY LIVE! | Sunday, December 11 at 7pm

POETRY LIVE! is a new series of local poetry showcases presented by Live Arts. Inspired by the Live Arts production of the soaring musical VIOLET (on stage through December 11), this installment of POETRY LIVE! is entitled Self-Discovery.  Just as evolution of the self is never-ending, internal exploration through poetry is an ongoing process. On December 11, local poets Gerry Sacket, James Cole, and others will scour the heights and depths of personal mythos. 

POETRY LIVE! host James Cole is a poet, author, and scientist from Roanoke, Virginia. He graduated from The College of William and Mary where he studied neuroscience, creative writing, and medieval history. Currently, he is a graduate student studying sensory neuroscience at The University of Virginia Medical School. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Oddball Magazine, Rudderless Mariner, and Angel Rust Magazine. James is the founder of the Charlottesville Poetry Critique Circle, a community organizer for the Live Poets Society, and a teacher of literary theory and composition at WriterHouse. His first poetry book, Crow, come home, was released by VerbalEyze Press in December of 2019.

About Vault Virginia

Vault Virginia is a membership-based workspace and social club on the downtown mall in Charlottesville. The Guild at Vault Virginia is a community membership designed to bring everyone together around ideas, culture, and enriching experiences. As a member of The Guild, Live Arts is proud to regularly present affordable and welcoming theatrical performances at Vault Virginia. 

About Live Arts 

Live Arts is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit community theater in Downtown Charlottesville. Founded in 1990, Live Arts is celebrating 32 years of forging theater and community. The 2022/23 Transformations Season is made possible by season sponsors Elizabeth and Joe LeVaca, media sponsors C-VILLE Weekly and WTJU 91.1FM, pay-what-you-can sponsor Ting, education sponsor The Local, and IT partner PJ Networks Computer Services. Shows are sponsored by Allison Partners, The Caplin Foundation, Chaski Global, Pamela Friedman and Ronald Bailey, Barbara and Jay Kessler, Latitude 38, The Madwoman Project at CACF, Panorama Consulting, Silverchair, Strauss Construction, Woodard Properties, George Worthington and Cameron Mowat, and philanthropic gifts by hundreds of theater lovers in our community.

Live Arts is supported by grants from Albemarle County, City of Charlottesville, the BamaWorks Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, the DN Batten Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, and Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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