Clifton Forge—Special Theatrical Artists Revue & Showcase (STARS) will perform “Peace, Love & Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a variety show, at the Good News Church on Main in Covington on Sept. 25, at 3:00 p.m.
STARS was founded by Appalfolks of America Association in 1996 as an outreach program to those in the Alleghany Highlands who face intellectual challenges and/or physical disabilities.
Since the beginning of STARS which made its debut in the Historic Stonewall Theatre featuring 10 performers, STARS has grown to include 30 members.
Paula Crance and Sonya Romanello, co-directors, conduct rehearsals for STARS after a theme has been chosen for the next show. As for auditions, there are none, and performers are accepted into the troupe based on their desire to participate as new members of STARS.
Appalfolks teamed with Media Storm Productions of Virginia Beach to produce a documentary film about STARS in 2006.
The film that was made in the Town of Clifton Forge, including scenes filmed inside The Historic Masonic Theatre, the name the Town of Clifton Forge restored to the theatre after Appalfolks donated the Historic Stonewall Theatre to the Town in 2003.
The film titled “STARS,” won a Bronze Telly, and the award-winning film can be viewed at the Clifton Forge Public Library.
The last performance STARS made in the theatre was in June of 2021. Since then, STARS has held its productions at the Good News Church which donates its facility for three productions per year.
Crance is a member of Appalfolks’ board of directors, and she has been instrumental in recruiting members to double the size of the troupe during the last past decade.
The late Vivian Pendleton was the first director of STARS, and others who followed were Sharon Walthall, Charlie Mick and Lovelle Campbell. Mick and Campbell also performed as members of STARS.
Campbell received an award from Appalfolks for having presented the idea for founding the outreach to those with physical disabilities and/or intellectual challenges and for her role as a performer in the troupe and co-director with Mick.
Chris Fisher will emcee the STARS’ variety show. Appalfolks awarded Fisher the “Reach for the STARS Award” in 2021 for his voluntarism as STARS’ emcee.
The admission fee for the variety show is $6 or a donation at the door.