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DON’T LET SUMMER LAGGIN’ BRING YOU DOWN

 lenise@yesweekly.com

As the sunny air turns hotter and thicker and summer vacation plans start peeping around the corner, an inexplicable smile adorns my face, reflecting what can only be described as summer lovin’. Not the Grease kind of lovin, but simply the love for summer—a sure remnant left over from the childlike excitement of school break.

That is, until I remember how many theater seasons are coming to a close—bad news for theater-goers…and my theater column (or so I think for a split panicking second)!

As last-show announcements start flooding my email, I fear that this 750-word space will increasingly depend on my immodest clever wit and less on exciting press releases, exclusive interviews and coveted reviews.

I share with my readers the same crestfallen attitude toward the Great Lag between spring and fall theater seasons. After all, the kids are finally out of school and those few vacation and “sick” days have finally racked up and you actually have more time to enjoy the things you love.

But after I get over the summer dread, I realize how exciting, challenging and rewarding covering summer theater is. I remember the eclectic fire dancers and contortionists, the sweet and charming summer camp productions, the live in HD shows on the big screen and so much more.

Which brings me to this week’s topic: How to get your theater fix this summer.

After you’ve gotten over the depression of seeing the last show of your favorite theater’s season, pick yourself up and remember that there’s still a chance to catch exciting entertainment this summer—you just might have to search a little harder.

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER … BUT NOT COLLEGE DRAMA STUDENTS

University’s like UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and UNC Greensboro still produce shows over the summer, so check out their theatre, dance and music department’s website and follow along the schedule.

UNCG, for example, has a special theater group called Theatre 232, a collaborative summer theater festival between the school and Triad Stage. In fact, Theatre 232 is producing a show this very week, called All’s Well That Ends Well. The re-envisioned Shakespearean classic is a wild journey of traps, magic, betrayal and true love.

LET YOUR PASSION TAKE YOU PLACES

I’m a huge advocate for supporting your local theaters first, but if there’s a slow week, why not take advantage of that extra summer time and venture out to see a show? Peruse Groupon and Living Social deals and plan a trip to finally see a Broadway production.

Too many miles for that expanded horizon? Check out the arts scene in other nearby cities, like Raleigh or even Atlanta.

THINK OUTSIDE THE THEATER

Good entertainment doesn’t only happen behind a heavy curtain.

Check out other places like the Comedy Zone or Idiot Box for hilarious stand-up and improve performances. Hint: Comedy Zone frequently posts deals on Groupon.

GO DIGITAL!

If you can’t catch a live performance when you’re in the mood for a good plot, check out the big screen at Hanesbrands Theater in Winston-Salem or Carolina Theater in Greensboro. Hanesbrands does a great job screening HD performances of some pretty prestigious groups, like Russian ballets and the National Theatre in London. And Carolina Theater shows popular movies.

For live-streamed performances from around the world, check out http://visualarts.tv.

SUPPORT A KID’S PASSION

Summertime is the season of summer camps, and not just for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Theaters, especially community theaters, run several acting camps throughout the summer and most of them culminate in a children’s production.

Usually the shows are either free or just a few dollars. Check out the sites of NC Shakespeare Festival, Greensboro Children’s Theatre, The Children’s Theater of Winston-Salem, Greensboro’s Livestock Players and Community Theater of Greensboro for more information on either sending your own kids to camp or checking out one of the entertaining productions. You’re likely to be impressed by some of our young local talent.

Look for a feature in Yes! Weekly in the coming weeks for more information on upcoming summer theater camps and registration information.

So even though several theaters are bringing their season to a close, there’s still a lot to sing about in the arts community, so continue to look for it here. !

WANNAgo?

All’s Well That Ends Well performs at Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., this week through June 29. Tickets are $10-$48. For tickets and more information visit triadstage.org or call 272-0160.

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