For this special anniversary event, Laurelyn Dossett will lead the Beautiful Star Band for the first time through her own original songs in this holiday musical that starts with Genesis and goes all the way to the Nativity, spinning a holiday story with down-home laughter, toe-tappin’ music and a tug at the heartstrings.
"Preston and I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since Beautiful Star was born,” says composer and music director Laurelyn Dossett. “I love bringing this story back to our community year after year, and I am especially excited to actually sing in the production this season!"
“One of the most thrilling opportunities I have discovered as an artist making my home in the Triad is the remarkably rewarding collaboration with Laurelyn Dossett,” says founding artistic director and playwright Preston Lane. “For a decade now we have been bringing our separate art forms and our distinct vision to a thrilling re-imagination of the way music, theater, region and storytelling can interact. We both have grown so much artistically from our way of working together. Beautiful Star was the second play we collaborated on and it remains one of our favorites. In writing the play I tried to imagine a perfect church that one might stumble into on a bleak December evening and have your heart warmed by the welcome and love of a congregation intent on celebrating their faith. The play could not exist without the music. From ‘Be Not Afraid’ to ‘Beautiful Star’ and ‘Stable Shed’, Laurelyn created songs that feel as old as the mountains and as filled with love as the congregation who sings them.”
“One of the things I love most about my work with Laurelyn is seeing her become aware of her power as a theatrical storyteller. Whenever she becomes a singing character in one of the plays, I’m so deeply moved by the talent of her composition and the power of her performance. As she steps into the Beautiful Star Band for the first time ever, I think we can guarantee this will be the best production ever,” says Lane.
Fans of the show from past productions will recognize many other faces on stage as well. Native Greensboro musician Ric Robertson, who performed in the original 2006 Beautiful Star Band, returns to this year’s production, as well as Gailanne Amundsen of the band The Buck Stops Here, who Triad Stage audiences may remember from last spring’s production of Radiunt Abundunt.
The returning cast includes Carroll Michael Johnson and Cinny Strickland as Reverend Roy and Vestina Ledbetter, and Erin Burniston as Linda Green. Lawrence Evans from last season’s production of Fences will also join the cast. Appearing for the first time at Triad Stage are Greg Brostrom, Bryant Carroll and UNCG BFA student Nick Relos. Local child actors Emma Freeman, Lauren Redding and Erik Winfield will also return, and be joined by new cast member Camille Pepper Varenne.
Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity was written and originally directed by Artistic Director Preston Lane. The creative team for this production includes director Katie Chidester, music director Laurelyn Dossett, scenic designer Robin Vest, costume designer Deb Bell, lighting designer Ken White, and sound designer Taylor Dankovich. Christine Morris is the vocal coach, Denise Gabriel is the movement coach, Cindi Rush is the casting director, and the stage manager is Emily J. Mails.
More information on the production can be found online at www.triadstage.org/holidays.
PERFORMANCE AND SPECIAL EVENT INFORMATION
All performances are at Triad Stage at The Pyrle Theater, located at 232 South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina (between Market and Washington Streets).
Discounted Preview performances are available Thanksgiving weekend. Opening Night is Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m. Pay-What-You-Can performances are Wednesday, November 30, and Wednesday, December 7, at 7:30 p.m. The full schedule of performances can be found online at www.triadstage.org/holidays.
The Beautiful Star Band will hold a series of Concerts following Friday evening performances on December 2, December 9, and December 16, with some very special musical guests joining the party. Ticketholders will receive free admission, concert-only attendees will pay $5.
Triad Stage will also partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern NC to collect food donations at the theater throughout the production for distribution throughout the region.
ABOUT TRIAD STAGE
Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit regional theater company based in Greensboro’s downtown historic district. All Triad Stage productions are created in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina using the best of local and national talent. Triad Stage gratefully acknowledges the support of its Season Sponsors: Blue Zoom, the North Carolina Arts Council, ArtsGreensboro and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
Two-play passes and single tickets are currently on sale for the 16th Season. For more information about the 16th Season, please visit www.triadstage.org. Running concurrently with Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity is the holiday classic A Christmas Carol (November 25 – December 24, 2016) at the Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem. Following the holidays, the next production will be The Price (January 29 – February 19, 2017) at The Pyrle Theater in Greensboro.
All Triad Stage productions feature the bold acting and breathtaking design that have been nationally recognized by The Wall Street Journal and by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, which named Triad Stage one of the top ten most promising theatres in the country as a recipient of the 2010 National Theatre Company Grant. Triad Stage has also earned accolades including “Best North Carolina Production of 2010” for The Glass Menagerie by Triangle Arts & Entertainment magazine; “One of the Best Regional Theatres in America”, New York’s Drama League; “Best Live Theater” (nine years running), Go Triad/News & Record and The Rhinoceros Times; and “Professional Theater of the Year” (2003, 2011), North Carolina Theatre Conference.
To purchase tickets or for performance information on Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, call the Triad Stage Box Office at 336.272.0160 or visit www.triadstage.org.