Tom Teasley to Bring His Signature Sound to Workhouse Arts Center This Weekend

In a one of a kind evening, Teasley will perform his own compositions to Buster Keaton films

Spend a one-of-a-kind musical evening with Helen Hayes recipient Tom Teasley at the Workhouse Arts Center, Teasley will add fresh musical life to silent comedy films in a mini-film festival tribute to the incomparable Buster Keaton’s cinematic genius. “This is definitely a fun family-friendly performance with no age restrictions,” said Teasley, inviting audiences to the Workhouse Arts Center for the show.

Tom Teasley. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Tom Teasley. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In this “tribute to Buster Keaton, all the live music will be original and composed specifically for these films. I’ll be playing a live soundtrack to Keaton’s Playhouse and Sherlock Jr. said Teasley. “I’m also going to set music to at least one of the commercials he did. They are really funny.”  And, there may be some surprises as well.

For those less familiar with Buster Keaton’s work, not only is he famous for his silent comedy but the films he created, produced and starred-in are considered technically cutting-edge.

Teasley will be performing the music with a number of instruments, perhaps a dozen, in his one-person performance. The instruments will surround him as the Keaton films are projected on a big screen at the Workhouse’s W-3 Theatre.

“I’ll be using a lot of my usual setup that combines various ethnic instruments with a large collection of acoustic instruments and various ‘noisemakers.’ Such instruments would include various temple blocks, cowbells, flexitone, whistles and other fun toys.”

Tom Teasley has a unique music and theater career as a solo percussionist, composer, and collaborator. He has been an artist-in-residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and collaborated with the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to being a recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Awards for professional theater excellence in sound design, Teasley has received multiple WAMA’s (Washington Area Music Award) as World Music Instrumentalist of the year.

Teasley is a six-time recipient of Fulbright-Hayes grants for tours to the Middle East as a cultural envoy for the U.S. Department of State. He also works with the Virginia Commission for the Art and its touring artists’ program. This performance is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The innovative, original live music to re-imagine a pair of Buster Keaton silent films are not all that the evening with Tom Teasley has in store. Teasley enjoys interactions with the audience. He will “have a talk-back with the audience, and discuss the various instruments, with demonstrations and the process of creating the music.”

Tom Teasley with a Buster Keaton Mini-Film Festival plays June 9, 2018, at the Workhouse Arts Center Theater (building W-3) – 9518 Workhouse Way, in Lorton, VA. For tickets, call the Workhouse information number (703) 584-2900 or go online.

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David Siegel
David Siegel is a freelance theater reviewer and features writer whose work appears on DC Metro Theater Arts, ShowBiz Radio, in the Connection Newspapers and the Fairfax Times. He is a judge in the Helen Hayes Awards program. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and volunteers with the Arts Council of Fairfax County. David has been associated with theater in the Washington, DC area for nearly 30 years. He served as Board President, American Showcase Theater Company (now Metro Stage) and later with the American Century Theater as both a member of the Executive Board and as Marketing Director. You can follow David's musings on Twitter @pettynibbler.