Debut of The Arts at Center Street

The cast of “It’s Elementary,” concludes one of their musical numbers.

“First world problems. Who’s gonna solve’em?! There’s so many, we don’t know what to do!” If you were around 401 Center Street on Friday or Saturday of April 12 and 13, you would likely have heard these catchy lyrics and more wafting through the double doors of The Arts At Center Street: the venue. Other lyrics from the night’s hit song “First World Problems” lamented relatable woes, like autocorrect making you look dumb and water made too cold by mint gum (Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

“A Night of One Acts” was a night of firsts: The Arts At Center Street’s debut as a performance venue, the unveiling of four original one act plays, and performances from approximately 30 actors, many of whom had never set foot onstage in this kind of production before. Over 300 people were in attendance at “A Night of One Acts”, which was repeated in 3 performances over the course of the weekend.

Producer, Director, Writer, Composer, and the mind behind the Arts at Center Street, Gregg Garner, explains:

Kathryn Montgomery and Derek Bargatze during a tense scene in “What Matters.”

Kathryn Montgomery and Derek Bargatze during a tense scene in “What Matters.”

“We have outfitted our general meeting area into a venue to host a variety of artistic expressions including music and theater. Our hope through this medium is that the venue could become a neutral location for people of the greater Nashville area to enjoy quality entertainment, and also be impacted with meaningful perspectives that would provoke healthy dialogue within their respective association of acquaintances. We want to give people an opportunity to strengthen their relationships by having something meaningful to talk about.”

Highlights from the show include nonstop laughs inspired by the cast of “In the Dark”, featuring Robert Munoz as the gregarious “light guy.” The character’s Jersey accent and penchant for baby-back ribs contrasted his unexpected insight that brought restoration to relationships at a dinner party gone wrong. The startlingly relevant performance of “What Matters,” an intense drama dealing with the media’s control over the portrayal of minority involvement in criminal activity, left audience members speechless at intermission. The lighthearted and subtle humor of “The Arch Imperial,” with compelling performances by Seth Davis, Brett Madron and Brittany Girton, communicated the importance of the journey over arrival at the end goal. The final act of the evening, the featured musical “It’s Elementary,” parodied a trendy Nashville community dedicated to the connoisseur of gourmet coffee and virtual communication, all in the name of taking up a worthy cause. All songs for the musicals “In the Dark” and “It’s Elementary” were written and performed live by Gregg Garner and band. A CD and video of “A Night of One Acts” will soon be available for purchase.

Andrew Wolfe singing a solo as others check their cell phones and sip lattes in “It’s Elementary.”

 

A production like “A Night of One Acts” is more than a great show. It is a launching point from which all involved can apply the skills they have developed to producing similar performances in the various regions of the world we seek to serve. Expression through the medium of drama can transcend language and cultural barriers to contribute towards conversations about real issues. While the lyrics of “First World Problems” and “Burn Out the Dark” are still being hummed in the hallways of Global Outreach Developments International, we anticipate many more theatre productions to grace the stage of the Arts at Center Street.