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[Business Spotlight] Triad PLaywrights theatre

The mace scene featuring Elizabeth White as Rala Benjzeel the diversity coordinator, CJ Shelton as China O’Rourke the intern, Rex Rideout as Leroy Lovelace the T.V. station technician, Mary Black as Olivia O’Rourke and back left: Pranav Bhandare as Dr. Sanjay Banerjee Tumer the psychiatrist, and Crow as Bill O’Rourke the late anchor at FOX News.

On Aug. 10-12 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, the Triad Playwrights Theatre will debut their first show as a theater company. Their show is called “The 5th of July: A Comedy” by the Triad Playwrights Theatre’s founder Jonathan S. Crow and is about President Trump’s former psychiatrist giving his first live interview on T.V. after being fired and later sued by the Don himself.

“It is exciting to see theater veterans of the Triad working with people who have never been on a stage before or haven’t been on a stage in 20 years,” Crow said. “Everything you hear on the news is so dire and awful that you need to be able to laugh at them to be able to survive these days.”

The writer and director of the play is a schoolteacher who has been in and out of the theater his entire life. Crow established the Triad Playwrights Theatre in February of 2017 and wants to showcase playwrights of the Triad by giving them a space and platform to make their words a reality. Theresa Hunter, the Triad Playwrights’ production coordinator and daughter of Crow said the concept behind the company is “local writers putting on local plays within the community.” Aspiring playwrights will submit their scripts to the table and the playwrights review the scripts and begin to make it a reality. Hunter said Triad Playwrights isn’t necessarily home to only writers, despite that being the concept of the company. Stage crew, lighting, directing, artistic design is always welcomed, Hunter said, and it is advertised in the casting calls. The next casting call is Aug. 22 and 29 and it will be for both the fall play written by David Ratcliffe called “A Letter to the President” (which Hunter said, is not political and does not refer to President Trump) and the spring play called “Rhonda” written by Grace Ellis and directed by Barb Blackledge.

Hunter said the goal of Triad Playwrights is to produce three shows each year, one in the summer, fall and spring production. Hunter said her father would always direct the summer productions, as he works during the rest of the year, and others will be directing the other two productions. The cast of the production features Rex Rideout as Leroy Lovelace the T.V. station technician, CJ Shelton as China O’Rourke the intern, Mary Black as Olivia O’Rourke the T.V. station director, Elizabeth White as Rala Benjzeel the diversity coordinator, Pranav Bhandare as Dr. Sanjay Banerjee Tumer the psychiatrist, and Crow as Bill O’Rourke the late anchor at FOX News. As for what makes Triad Playwrights unique, Hunter said it is one of a kind and committed to mainly showcasing local voices and talent. Hunter said that the community is supporting the community when they come to one of these productions.

“There is a lot of theater in Winston,” Hunter said. “But I have not found another theater company that is doing original plays consistently.”

The Triad Playwrights meet bimonthly at different locations, Hunter said. Trinity Presbyterian Church ad the Shepard’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem is sponsoring the event and 10 percent of the profits from ticket sales will go to Trinity Presbyterian. Tickets are $8 at the door and there are group rates available. For more information, email triadplaywrights@gmail.com

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