By Preston Lane
Just when things had seemed to calm down in Hawboro after the recent unpleasantness concerning the Zebulon Zebras, a new theater company announces plans to develop a play to celebrate the town’s sesquicentennial. As they probe the official story and rehearse the drama, the contemporary concerns of the artists and the community begin to parallel the struggles of the city’s first citizens. From Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter, the line between the present and past, rehearsal and reality begins to blur as new truths emerge and tempers flare. In the tradition of Common Enemy, this world premiere drama returns Triad audiences to the town of Hawboro for a bold exploration of the contemporary South. Contains adult language and themes.
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS
Southern Stories – Monday, April 17 @ 7pm | UpStage Cabaret
A night of true stories about the modern South.
A Conversation with Preston Lane – Thursday, April 20 @ 5pm | Scuppernong Books
A discussion on playwrighting and Actions and Objectives.
PAST SPECIAL EVENTS
Inside Scoop – Monday, March 27 @ 6pm | UpStage Cabaret
An ice cream sundae bar and an inside look at this World Premiere production.
First Friday reception – Friday, April 7 @ 6pm | International Civil Rights Center and Museum
An Opening Night pre-show reception.
“Can't stop thinking about it.”
Preston Lane’s newest play, “Actions and Objectives,” may be based in the fictional town of “Hawboro, N.C.”But with its debates over Confederate memorials and the fictionalization of the Civil War, it could be Reidsville. With the woes that it depicts in a town whose economy is struggling to regain its footing after the decline of a bedrock industry it could be Eden or High Point or Kannapolis. With its reference to the fallout over the mixed legacy of Gov. Charles Aycock, it could be Greensboro.
The world premiere of Preston Lane’s “Actions and Objectives” took place at the Triad Stage this past weekend. On Friday, April 7, a cast of fifteen actors and seven creative team staff members came together to help perform an unrestrained political play within a play about the contemporary South. “Actions and Objectives” takes the setting of the fictionalized Hawboro, a repeat of three of Lane’s other plays including “Providence Gap,” “Common Enemy” and “Radiant Abundant.” Hawboro, is a small Southern town situated in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina that was finally in a state of tranquility after the recent debacles with the Zebulon Zebras in Lane’s play “Common Enemy.”
In the director’s notes from his new play, “Actions and Objectives,” Preston Lane observes, “A writer writes from what (he knows).” Right away, you know this play from the prolific Lane is his perspective of race, relationships, power structure, of events current and past, and truth. But Lane is also a teacher and was 2016 artist-in-residence at UNC-Greensboro. Writers write; teachers teach; and when you’re both, you find a way to combine the two.
The world premiere of a play in Greensboro Friday shines a light on race relations and other hot button topics.
There aren’t many 11-year-olds who can say that a playwright wrote a part specifically for them. But Aidan Armstrong can. Preston Lane, a playwright and Triad Stage artistic director, originally didn’t have a child’s role in his latest production, “Actions and Objectives,” but he created one specifically for Armstrong.
William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Such is the case in the fictional North Carolina town of Hawboro, setting of Triad Stage’s latest original play “Actions and Objectives.” Playwright, Triad Stage Artistic Director and native North Carolinian Preston Lane first introduced audiences to Hawboro in “Providence Gap” and returned to the town in 2015’s “Common Enemy.”