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One curtain closes, two more open

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by Lenise Willis

Snow Camp ends season, while Triad Stage and Twin City Stage look to the future

It’s hard to believe it’s already August and summer is nearing an end, as are summer theatre seasons. And though impending school year’s may be causing an air of gloom, the cooler fall breeze will soon bring with it the joy of new and exciting theatre productions, which theatres are already working hard on, hiring talent and raising funds to prepare for the new season.

It’s been a hot and full season for summer theatres and their energetic children’s productions, including that of Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, which will be closing its 2016 season this week.

The last productions for the theatre will touch a wide range of childlike imagination, from a colorful re-telling of history, to mysterious fairytales and rambunctious pirates. The final week of productions begins on Wednesday with the last performance of their children’s show The Golden Apple, a mysterious fairytale involving Snow White, Robin Hood, Little Red Riding Hood and other famous characters.

Thursday through Saturday, the summer theatre’s mainstage show, Pathway to Freedom, will take its final bow, as well, followed by the closing of the theatre’s second children’s show, The Pirate Prince, on Saturday. The Pirate Prince is a fun musical about a young prince who runs away to become a pirate.

Based on true historical accounts, Pathway to Freedom unveils tales of the Underground Railroad and the locals of Guilford and Alamance County who helped with the flight for freedom. The production includes a cast of more than 30 actors, as well as a score of moving music.

NEW TALENT FOR A NEW YEAR The art of theatre has been around for thousands of years, in part because it adapts to its own needs and that of society. Our area’s longest running theatre, Twin City Stage, which has produced more than 80 seasons in Winston-Salem, knows a thing or two about adapting, improving and magnetizing high-quality talent in order to stay relevant. Late last week, the former “Little Theatre” announced Tyler “TJ” Scott as its new technical director.

A Burlington native, Scott has a degree in Theatrical Design and Technology from Appalachian State University and has accrued more than 10 years of hands-on experience in the field. Scott even served as technical director for his own production company and most recently worked as the head lighting designer for an original show featuring a cast and crew that were deaf. Scott is no stranger to challenges and is sure to bring lively new creativity to Twin City Stage’s upcoming season this September.

MORE MONEY FOR MORE QUALITY It takes more than just high-quality talent to put on a good show, and thankfully Triad Stage now has the financial support to back its creative juices. The theatre announced last week that it raised $504,883 as part of a special fundraising initiative.

“This is an incredible demonstration of the community’s support for Triad Stage,” said Founding Managing Director Richard Whittington. “It also comes at a critical time as we are making proactive changes to ensure Triad Stage’s long-term future.”

Earlier this year, Triad Stage announced that it would be changing its business model and reaching out to patrons to address both current and future fiscal challenges.

With the extra half-million in the pocket, the theatre will be able to better focus on its upcoming season, which will include eight shows, including George Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy, Arms and the Man, which proves perhaps all is fair in love and war as two soldiers compete for the heart of a young Bulgarian. The season will also include the return of favorites The Mystery of Irma Vep: A Penny Dreadful and Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity, a Preston Lane and Laurelyn Dossett original.

“The success of the $500,000 Special Campaign was really the first step of the journey,” Whittington said. “Now the hard work begins to implement the changes we are making and continue producing the highest quality theater for the Triad.” !

LENISE WILLIS, a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill’s journalism school, has experience in acting and ballet, and has been covering live performances since 2010.

WANNA go?

This is the final week to see Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre’s productions at 301 Drama Road, Snow Camp, NC. The Golden Apple runs Wednesday only at 7 p.m. Pathway to Freedom runs Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. The Pirate Prince runs Saturday at 10 a.m. Call 336-376-6948 or visit snowcampoutdoortheatre.com for tickets. Individual tickets, as well as three-play and six-play season passes for Triad Stage are now available. Go to triadstage.org for tickets and more information. Visit twincitystage.org for more information on Twin City Stage, including that of the first production of the season: Little Women: The Musical.

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