Looking ahead to another 80 years
Founded in 1935 as “The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem,” Twin City Stage has come quite a long way and has a lot to celebrate, including 80 successful seasons, a wide array of instructional camps for kids, and even merging with The Children’s Theatre of Winston- Salem in 2011. And they’re not stopping there. They have a full schedule planned for its 2015-16 season.
“Because the stories to be told include compelling autobiographies, romantic shenanigans and the usual complications that make for good theatrical entertainment,” the theater announced in a press release, “Twin City Stage has deemed this a season of ‘Life, Love & Flying Monkeys.’” The theater’s 81 st season will begin with Is He Dead?, a madcap farce set in 1846 Paris and based on a play by Mark Twain. The play, which features a gifted painter and his struggles with business, love and an evil art dealer, runs September 18-20, 24-27.
Set for November is Swingtime Canteen, a musical comedy set in WWII London featuring popular songs from the 1940s. The hilarious show highlights an all-girl band that goes overseas to entertain the troops after a failing film career in Hollywood.
For the holidays, Twin City Stage will bring back Macy’s Yes, Virginia: The Musical, with music by Wesley Whatley and book and lyrics by William Schermerhorn. Running December 18-20, this heart-warming story depicts a young girl who, full of hope, writes to a newspaper editor about the existence of Santa.
In honor of St. Valentine’s month, the theater will produce Neil Simon’s romantic comedy, Proposals, February 5-7, 11-14. The comedic drama recalls one summer afternoon in 1953 and all the dreaming, longing and dreading during a family retreat.
The theatre company’s biggest show of the year will be The Wizard of Oz April 15-17, 21-24, 28, and May 1. Mitch Albom’s uplifting drama, Tuesdays with Morrie will finish up the season June 3-5, 9-12.
Also throughout the year, Twin City Stage will offer four special events in addition to its main stage lineup. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, a musical by Lanie Robertson, will bring the story of Billie Holiday, the infamous jazz star, to the stage August 14-15.
Barbara Field’s The Boxcar Children, an adventurous drama, will hit the stage November 6-8, as part of the theater’s Youth Production Series. Also a part of the series is Christopher Sergel’s The Outsiders, which will be performed March 5. Finally, in honor of Mother’s Day, the theater in conjunction with ArtsPower will perform the musical rendition of P. D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother?, adapted by Greg Cunning.
While most of the theatre’s productions will be on its home stage at the Arts Council Theatre, three of the productions will be presented downtown at the Hanesbrands Theatre: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, The Boxcar Children and Tuesdays with Morrie.
“The opportunity to work with the Arts Council in different facilities is an exciting proposition for Twin City Stage,” commented TCS Executive Director, Maureen Daly. “We look forward to introducing our work to an ever growing audience and to increasing the variety of plays we produce.”
In the meantime, the theater has filled its space with young, pondering minds and budding actors this summer. The acting camps for children ages 4-18 help aspiring children hone their skills, or at the very least have some good, clean fun. Campers have been playing theatre games, learning improvisational skills, performing in shows, and learning all of the technical aspects of putting on a show.
Main stage summer camps include James and the Giant Peach, Cyrano de Burger Shack, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Cinderella, A Tangle of Tales, Camp Shakespeare, The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. !
Season memberships are available now through Sunday, Sept. 27. Memberships are $100 and include five flexible admission tickets, good for any of the shows the theatre offers during the 2015-16 season, along with additional benefits, such as discounted single tickets, early reservations and discounts on acting classes. Single tickets, which will not be offered until the season begins, will be $25 for main stage performances, $15 for Youth Productions and $12 for the touring production of Are You My Mother? For more information, visit twincitystage.org.