Monday, March 7, 2011


For Immediate Release

Contact:  Jill Graziano Laiacona







Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8 p.m.



MANASSAS Va., March 7, 2011 – Take a trip back to the Golden Age of Radio as Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), George Mason University’s award-winning professional theater company in residence, recreates the distinctive look, exciting sound and nostalgic feel of the classic radio days of the 1930s with “Live Wire,” featuring a selection of authentic shows drawn from Mason’s extensive Federal Theatre Project archives. Directed by Rick Davis, “Live Wire” will be performed in the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Merchant Hall in Manassas on Friday, April 15 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion will be held one hour prior to the performance in the Hylton Center’s Buchanan Partners Art Gallery. Novant Health is the Grand Opening Season Sponsor of Hylton Presents at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

            Spanning a range of styles from “Living Newspaper” to mystery and musicale, Theater of the First Amendment’s original staging of “Live Wire” in 1992 was broadcast by National Public Radio.

            The Federal Theatre Project was a division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was launched as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in order to provide employment for artists, writers and performers during the Great Depression. From 1935-39, the Federal Theatre was the only federally sponsored and subsidized theater program operating in the United States. The Federal Theatre Project Playscript and Radioscript Collection contains more than 200 copies of playscripts and radioscripts, written and performed in the 1930s as part of the Federal Theatre Project. The records were brought to George Mason University on permanent loan from the Library of Congress through Lorraine Brown, a Professor Emerita of English at Mason and former associate director of the Research Center for the Federal Theatre Project, who passed away in February 2010. TFA is dedicating this production to the memory of Professor Brown.

Founded in 1990, Theater of the First Amendment’s mission is to discover, develop and launch new, thought-provoking plays, and serve as an artistic home to the next generation of playwrights. TFA has produced 42 full productions, most of which have been world premieres, as well as numerous staged readings of new work by both professional artists and student playwrights. TFA’s productions have won 12 Helen Hayes Awards out of 37 nominations, and many of its plays have been published, produced nationally and internationally, televised and broadcast, or recorded as award-winning original soundtrack CDs.


PLEASE NOTE: Theater of the First Amendment will also present “Live Wire” at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Fairfax on Sunday, April 17 at 4 p.m. Please visit for more information.



Tickets for THEATER OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT’S “LIVE WIRE are $19, $27, $35. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit



About the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,140-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, is sure to quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of collaboration and commitment to the arts.



About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.


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