AWARD-WINNING REGIONAL THEATER LIVES UP TO NAME WITH ADDED WINSTON-SALEM PROGRAMMING
In unprecedented commitment to regional arts, Triad Stage and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County work together to strengthen arts community
Winston-Salem, NC (October 22, 2013) – With significant support form The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Triad Stage, the professional not-for-profit regional theater in downtown Greensboro, announced a major expansion of programming with three new productions produced at the Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem.
Preston Lane, Artisitic Director of Triad Stage, said, “When Rich Whittington and I founded this theatre company over 13 years ago, we named it Triad Stage with the idea that it would be the premier regional professional theater serving the Piedmont Triad. We strive to honor the Triad in our name and welcome this opportunity to deepen our commitment to the region by creating professional theater especially for Winston-Salem audiences in one of the region’s premier performance venues, Hanesbrands Theatre.” Jim Sparrow, Arts Council President and CEO, said the net effect will be to strengthen the Winston-Salem theater community and increase opportunities for audiences to enjoy quality, professional theater in the city.
North Carolina native Lane is a graduate of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has maintained strong ties there. Those ties were not forgotten while Lane and managing director Richard Whittington attended Yale University School of Drama and were instrumental in the decision to bring a regional theater to the Triad. Lane has also made it a priority to hire UNC School of the Arts graduates and created internships to provide practical experiences within the industry to boost their formal training. “I became an artist because of my time in Winston-Salem. Creating theater here feels like coming home,” Lane said.
During the holiday season, Triad Stage will bring to Hanesbrands Theatre (December 10 - 22, 2013) the timeless Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. Originally produced in Greensboro in 2010, this adaptation written by Lane himself was called “Not just A Christmas Carol, but THE Christmas Carol, as Dickens intended” by Classical Voice of North Carolina. In February, Triad Stage will present Red, by John Logan (February 11 - 23, 2014). Red gives a glimpse into the life of artist Mark Rothko set in his studio in the late 1950s. Its limited Broadway run resulted in a 2010 Tony Award for Best Play. Finally, Brother Wolf will wrap up Triad Stage’s inaugural season in Winston-Salem. Written by Preston Lane, with music and lyrics by popular Triad based singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett, Brother Wolf blends folklore, myth, music and mountain religion in an Appalachian adventure tale based on the story of Beowulf (May 6 - 18, 2014).
WINSTON-SALEM AND THE ARTS
In July, The Arts Council created a Theatre Support Task Force to develop a creative vision for the theatre community in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, explore the possibility of a new model from Arts Council theatre grant making and look for additional partners for Hanesbrands Theatre. Leon Porter, former Arts Council Annual Campaign chair, is heading the group whose primary focus has been professional theatre.
Sparrow praised the work of the Task Force and said, “Hanesbrands Theatre is a young venue, and its role in the Winston-Salem and greater Triad theatre community is still evolving. There are things we want it to represent. First and foremost is quality. Second is diversity. We are doing a good job with both, but we still have nights when the theatre is dark. This affects bottom line and viability. The Task Force has looked at a lot of options and concluded that this strategic alliance with Triad Stage is a rare opportunity to move forward the concept of “Triad” in the arts community at large and strengthen the entire theatre community here in Winston-Salem.”
Sparrow noted that since Triad Stage made its appearance on the Triad theatre scene 13 years ago, attendance has increased for community and amateur theater groups as well. “We believe that a rising tide raises all ships. We are proud of the theatre community here and will continue to support a variety of community groups as we work to enhance Winston-Salem’s reputation as a regional destination for professional theater.”