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Twin City Stage holds auditions, and another winner at UNCSA

by Mark Burger

Twin City Stage (formerly known as The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem) will be holding auditions for its upcoming production of Michael Cristofer’s acclaimed, award- by Mark Burger winning drama The contributing columnist Shadow Box Monday at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Arts Council Theatre (610 Coliseum Drive). Originally produced in 1977, The Shadow Box earned both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. Cristofer then earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the TV adaptation, which was directed by Paul Newman and starred Joanne Woodward and Christopher Plummer. The story concerns three patients dealing with terminal cancer as they come to terms with their affliction and its consequences on those around them. The beleagured Agnes finds it difficult to deal with her dying mother’s increasing dementia, which only serves to make her more dependent on her daughter. Brian and Beverly are a married couple whose relationship is complicated by the arrival of Brian’s gay lover. Joe and Maggie are a couple trying to prepare their teenaged son — and themselves — for the inevitable. There are nine roles to be cast: Four women, four men and one boy (aged 10-16). The Shadow Box will be directed by Norman Ussery, the executive director of Twin City Stage, and the production will be presented Oct. 9-11. This year marks the theater’s 75th season, and season tickets are on sale now. For more information about the audition, call 336.748.0857 x.201. For more information about Twin City Stage’s upcoming productions and events, check out the website: www. twincitystage.org. Summer is drawing to a close, and the UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA) is gearing up for the fall semester, but there always seems to be something going on there, no matter what time of year it is. Recently, the school’s chancellor, John Mauceri, announced that James Baron Fenwick III is the recipient of the first Leonard Bernstein Excellence Award, named for the legendary composer, conductor, author and teacher Leonard Bernstein (1918- 1990), whose countless accolades included multiple Grammy, Tony and Emmy awards, as well as an Oscar nomination (for the score of the 1954 classic On the Waterfront). The 15-year-old Fenwick, who hails from Todd, studies piano under Clifton Matthews in the UNCSA School of Music. The versatile Fenwick has previously performed — as a violinist — with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra at the Stevens Center in Winston- Salem and at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. The Leonard Bernstein Excellence Award was created by Chancellor Mauceri with the support of Bernstein’s three children — Jamie, Alexander and Nina — and matched by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. “I am so thankful to Leonard Bernstein’s children for helping me establish this scholarship in their father’s name,” said Mauceri in a statement. “Providing assistance for talented, deserving students to continue their study here perpetuates Leonard Bernstein’s commitment to teaching and to the arts.” Mauceri and Michael Rothkopf, the interim dean of the School of Music, selected Fenwick “because he has not only been a terrific student, but he has gone the extra mile to represent UNCSA at frequent events. He is a model citizen, and as a freshman in high school, has set a standard that is absolutely inspirational,” said Mauceri. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a UNCSA music student who best exemplifies the talent and commitment to society that Bernstein himself possessed. Said the award winner: “I didn’t know what to think. It’s such an honor!” Fenwick has been playing the piano since the age of 5 and has performed as a soloist with the Western Piedmont Youth Symphony, and this spring shared first prize in the junior division of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2009 Youth Concerto Competition. Three years ago, he was a finalist in the same competition. Earlier this summer, Fenwick won third place in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition and has therefore won the right to perform with the South Carolina Philharmonic during its 2010 season. He’s even a good speller, having competed in the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee, and even appeared on the semi-finals, which were televised. Fenwick has previously studied piano, violin and viola at Appalachian State University. For more information about all the goingson at UNCSA — and there are often plenty — just go to the official website: www.uncsa.edu.

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