Preston grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina with Appalachian ancestry stretching all the way back to Tidence Lane, the first Baptist preacher in what would become Tennessee. His childhood dream was to live in a NC Piedmont city where he could hear trains and interact daily with such big city trappings as revolving doors and escalators. He frequently checked out recorded plays on albums from the old Watauga County Public Library and spent many afternoons listening to Marat/Sade, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and A Streetcar Named Desire. His central conflict as a child was that on Saturday evenings his parents wanted to watch The Lawrence Welk Show and he wanted to watch Hee Haw. This conflict still dominates much of his work. Besides a brief fascination with being a dump truck driver, Preston never considered any other career than as a theater maker. He became aware of himself as an artist at UNCSA, developed a passion for visual storytelling at Yale School of Drama, and is deeply indebted to a long line of collaborative partners. He is also thankful for amazing teachers from Miriam Darnell, Sandra Daye, John Foster West, Yury Belov, Earle Gister, Barney Hammond, Lesley Hunt, Ming Cho Lee, Nick Martin and many many others. Preston is honored to pass on the tradition they entrusted to him to the next generation. Gerald Freedman took him under his wing and Richard Hamburger gave him his first real job and mentored him. He founded Triad Stage with Rich Whittington to explore how theater can engage with a community. He’s directed nearly 100 shows, written almost a dozen, and is an honorary citizen of Hawboro, NC. He believes that theater can make our community stronger by exploring stories that unite and challenge us. Preston is grateful to be a theater maker in North Carolina.