Friday, February 26, 2010


We are just beginning our 2010 season with THE FULL MONTY, but we are always looking ahead to the future! We already have 3 of our 4 shows lined up for next year and want to share them with you first. No dates have been finalized yet...but we are too excited to keep this a secret any longer. So far, in 2011, we will produce...

Mel Brooks' zany, irreverent comedy, THE PRODUCERS
The elegant classic, HELLO, DOLLY!
Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA

We are one title short and invite you to leave your comment on this blog to VOTE for the big summer title. If you guess correctly, you will be entered to win 2 passes to our V.I.P. dress rehearsal of Little Shop of Horrors this September.

What do you think the 4th show is? And, more importantly, what do you think of our season?

Unemployed men in the Triangle are excited for a night out!

After the News & Observer article ran on the front page on Wednesday, we have had an overwhelming response from unemployed men in the Triangle seeking a fun night out away from their troubles and stress with friends or family. Here are some touching testimonials from some men who have shared their stories with us:

"I have been laid off twice in 18 months by different construction companies. It has put a burden on everyone in my family."

"Being laid off has stopped all spending on anything not necessary. Going to the theatre, concerts and movies definitely fall into that category. It would be wonderful to "get away" even for a couple of hours."

"The decline in construction has caused me to be out of work for 2 years. I've relocated to NC and now babysit for my granddaughter."

"I've lost my job due to a merger - my only jobs since the fall of 2009 were temporary. I've exhausted my unemployment and my girlfriend is struggling to keep paying our bills."

"I am in the construction industry and been unemployed since December 2008. My wife is now working three part time jobs and every month is a struggle to try to make ends meet."

"I work in the construction industry and have been unemployed for 2 years. I am married with 2 beautiful girls age 3 and 7. My wife is our only source of income and she has to drive 100 miles a day to get to work. We rarely do anything extra but have faith that God will provide for us."

We hope that these men and more will enjoy a night out and enjoy our production!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Full Monty in the Media

I've had the pleasure of getting to know both Sally Struthers and Ira David Wood III over the past week and a half. They have been troopers, heading to various radio and TV stations with me last week and this week. In case you missed them, here are some links to the interviews. Enjoy!

After the interview at MIX 101.5 with Bill & Lynda in the Morning

In the studio with Dave Kent from 93.9 KISS FM

Sally's interview with Roy Dicks of The News & Observer.
News & Observer article on our anonymous corporate donor who is giving 200 free tickets away to jobless men in the Triangle.
USA Today picked up the story as well - see it here.

Tune in to WRAL's Noon News telecast tomorrow - Sally and David will be on the air at around 12:45 talking about the show.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art Imitates Life in The Full Monty

The Full Monty tells the story of six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers and their personal struggles as they search for work and self-esteem. This mirrors the current economic crisis that is hitting men much harder than women in the workplace, largely because male-dominated industries like construction and transportation are bearing the brunt of job losses. An anonymous corporate donor who understands the uplifting power of the arts, has generously underwritten tickets to unemployed men in the Triangle. NC Theatre has set aside 100 tickets for the Saturday, February 27th performance at 8 PM and the Sunday, February 28th performance at 2 PM.

Matt Lenz, director of The Full Monty, says "This show is about humanity. It's about 100% real people that we can all relate to - and they are literally fighting for their lives and their relationships they value most. Terrence McNally's book manages to be enormously touching and hilariously funny at the same time, and the characters are so rich and so real. David Yazbek's fabulous rock score is astonishingly fresh, accurate and evocative of the place and the people he's making sing."

"For any man who has not been in our audience lately - this show is for you! If you're out of work, we invite you to join us for an unforgettable night of theatre with guaranteed laughs and a lot of renewed sense of hope and possibility - for free!" says Lisa Grele Barrie, President & CEO of North Carolina Theatre.

Download the order form at and fax it back to NC Theatre at 919-831-6951. The deadline for this is Thursday, February 25th at 4 PM, so act quickly!

Fun with The Full Monty Cast!

On Friday night, Carolee and I stopped by one of my favorite restaurants, The Pit, to see Sally Struthers, Joe Coots and Ira David Wood III. They got a taste of Ed Mitchell's famous BBQ and he even stopped by to say hello!

Sally (Jeanette Burmeister) & Ed Mitchell, the Pitmaster

Joe Coots (Dave) + Ed Mitchell

On Sunday night after a fabulous designer run at the studios, I took the cast out to The Raleigh Times Bar (another favorite) for a few drinks and delicious appetizers! We all had a great time. It was nice to relax after a busy week and a few of the cast members even went around and helped promote the show!

Jarrod Emick (Jerry) and Angie Schworer (Vicki)

Kingsley Leggs (Horse) taking his Full Montini shot - for all of you Dreamgirls fans, he starred as "James Thunder Early" in that production and is back again for The Full Monty

The Raleigh Times was nice enough to bring us all The Full Montini shots - they were delicious. Make sure you order one when you are there!

Sally was excited about these signs!

Meet Pat - Sally Struthers' traveling chicken AKA her purse

Sally Struthers, Julie Reiber (Georgie) and Pat

Brittnye Batchelor, our hair/wig/make-up assistant and me

Joshua Stalls (Chorus) & Stephen Schellhardt (Malcolm)

Joe Coots (Dave) and Ken Griggs (Teddy)

Anne Karner (Susan), Tracy J. Wholf (Estelle) and me

Cessalee Stovall (Joanie), John Carroll (Buddy) and Mary Adamek (Molly)

I had a great time with everyone - I want to thank all of the cast members who came out and hung out with me! Til next time...

Kristin Buie, Communications/Company Manager

PS - If you don't have your tickets to The Full Monty, click here for our special $35 tickets in the mezzanine (code word: MADNESS)!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Broadway is here to stay at NC Theatre!

The headline of last week's article in the News & Observer titled "Durham Grabs Raleigh's Musicals" was somewhat misleading. Broadway caliber musicals are alive and well in Raleigh produced by North Carolina Theatre at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. NC Theatre, one of the region's most successful non-profit, professional regional theatres, has been producing musicals for 26 years, blending the very best Broadway and national stars with regional performers. Since 1984 we have entertained and inspired audiences with lavish sets, fabulous costumes and thrilling technical effects - complemented by a full, vibrant orchestra. Our upcoming production of THE FULL MONTY, opening at the end of this month, stars Sally Struthers and local favorite Ira David Wood III, along with an outstanding cast of actors with impeccable Broadway credits. What's more, NC Theatre's Conservatory for the Performing Arts provides a first-rate education department offering professional training and performance opportunities to aspiring young performers and outreach programs for under-served youth in this community. We take pride in our talented young performers who go on to the Broadway stage as well as those whose training prepares them for the stage of life. We are passionate about NC Theatre's impact in this community and throughout the state; we have transformed lives at so many different levels through all of the programs that we offer. We invite everyone who has an interest in musical theatre to join us for our next production of THE FULL MONTY and for the remainder of our 2010 season that includes CINDERELLA, ANNIE and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and to participate in classes at our Conservatory in North Raleigh taught by Broadway professionals. NC Theatre provides entertainment and so much more and we are here to stay!

Tina Bernhardt
Board Chair/NC Theatre

Lisa Grele Barrie
President & CEO/NC Theatre

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Full Monty Cast at Raleigh Times Bar!

Join us on Sunday night, February 21st at 7:30 PM at the Raleigh Times Bar, located at 14 E. Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh. Some of the cast of The Full Monty will make an appearance and have a good time before the show opens. Meet and mingle with them before you see them on stage!

If you don't have your tickets for the show yet, now is the time to buy!! Click here to purchase.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Walk-On Roles for The Full Monty

Edythe Poyner and Walter Powell are loyal NCT patrons and donors. One of the benefits they receive as a donor at the Director Level is they get to pick ONE show in our season and be a part of the cast! Both of them have chosen to be a part of The Full Monty! Once they choose their show, members of the creative team decide which scene/number is best for them to be in. Prior to the show, they will head back stage to get ready, meet some of the cast members and wait for their shining moment.

Edythe will appear in the Wednesday, March 3rd performance with a lot of her friends cheering her on! Walter's date is to be determined. Stay tuned to hear their thoughts on the process.

If you are interested in finding out how you, too, can get a walk-on role email or call 919-831-6941 x6946.

To purchase tickets to The Full Monty, click here or call 800-745-3000.

Monday, February 8, 2010

NCT Conservatory Student Wins Scholarship!

Congrats to Emily Gardenhire for winning the Artist of Tomorrow (AOT) Scholarship - she was one of five students to receive the award. Each will receive $1,000 college scholarships and she won for theatre/musical theatre.

She will be recognized at the Pieces of Gold ceremony on March 10th. For more information on this program, please click here. AOT Scholarships are supported soley through generous local contributions.

NCT Conservatory Artistic Director Ray Walker says, "Emily Gardenhire was one of my very first voice students. She has studied with me for 6 years and in that time has become an integral part of the NCT Conservatory student body. She is an absolute shining example to all other students. We are so proud that her hard work and perseverance has paid off in such a wonderful way."

Friday, February 5, 2010

Broadway Star Lauren Kennedy Underwrites Subscriptions for HipTix!

We are so excited to announce that NC Theatre alum, board member and Broadway star Lauren Kennedy will underwrite 50 subscriptions for the launch of our newly formed HipTix program. HipTix is a $100 subscription to all four productions in 2010 with the opportunity to network at HipTix socials before performances at a designated Empire Eats restaurant. Because of Kennedy's generosity and dedication to the theatre, the first 50 HipTix members will receive a subscription for FREE when they purchase one subscription at full price.

In her first year as a board member at NC Theatre, Kennedy wanted to do more than just write a check. She wanted to make a difference – the way that NC Theatre made a difference in her own life. Kennedy says, “NC Theatre was a huge part of my life growing up; my early experiences on the NC Theatre stage provided me with invaluable training and helped shape me into who I am today. I want to make live theatre affordable to those just out of college, maybe paying off their student loans, perhaps not yet accustomed to seeing shows on a regular basis. Theatre can transform lives. I really believe that.”

Originally from Raleigh, Lauren Kennedy’s Broadway credits include Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show as Daisy Hilton and Fantine in the final year of Les Miserables. Lauren starred as Nellie Forbush in Trevor Nunn’s revival of South Pacific at the Royal National Theatre in London and she starred opposite Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. She has also recorded two albums, Here and Now and her debut album Lauren Kennedy Songs of Jason Robert Brown. Kennedy has appeared in numerous NC Theatre productions, most recently in Annie Get Your Gun alongside Larry Gatlin.

Benefits of HipTix
  • Discounted subscription – normally 50% off, but with Kennedy’s donation now nearly 70% off
  • Meet other young professionals in the Triangle at a pre-show networking event
  • Additional single ticket discounts for those outside the HipTix age bracket
  • Free ticket exchanges for Tuesday or Thursday evening performances
  • Personalized service from the NC Theatre Box Office
  • 30 % off discount cards to Empire Eats restaurants four times per year
All HipTix are for the Wednesday evening performance and are located in the mezzanine section.

We are also excited to partner with Empire Eats in this new program. Before the show, mix and mingle with fellow HipTix members at an Empire Eats establishment and enjoy drink and appetizer specials. Empire Eats restaurants include The Pit, The Raleigh Times Bar, The Morning Times, Sitti and Gravy. For more information on Empire Eats, visit

Ordering HipTix
Call the NC Theatre Box Office at 919-831-6941 x6944, click here to download the order form or visit the NC Theatre Box Office located at One East South Street in downtown Raleigh.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Conservatory Students Perform Cinderella at Cardinal Club

Cardinal Club members were in for a treat last Friday evening (right before the big snow!). Led by Ray Walker and accompanied by Jay Wright, Conservatory students Paige Burhans, Alex Tobey, Katie Bottomley and Meredith Davis lent their voices and talents in a mini-production of our upcoming show, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella: Enchanted Edition. They delighted the audience with their performance - kudos for their hard work and energy! Here are some photos from the event:

Paige Burhans as Cinderella

Evil Stepsisters Katie Bottomley and Meredith Davis

Stepsisters take 2: Katie Bottomley and Meredith Davis

Prince Charming AKA Alex Tobey

Mingling with some of the audience members

The whole group after the performance!

Tickets are now on sale for Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, which runs April 10-18 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and stars Paolo Montalban. Click here to buy!

Master STAS "Fame" Auditions This Saturday!

Master STAS presents

Fame the Musical

Auditions for Master STAS will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2010 beginning at 1:30 pm at the Conservatory located at 3043 Barrow Drive in North Raleigh (near Triangle Towne Center). Be prepared to sing 16 bars in the style of the show. A dance combination will also be taught at the audition.

What is STAS?
Summer Theatre Arts School (STAS) is an intensive performing arts school for all ages. The theatre school consists of workshops, classes and productions led by some of New York and Raleigh's best performing artists and educators. All acting classes and rehearsals take place at the NC Theatre Conservatory located at 3043 Barrow Drive Raleigh, NC 27616 near Triangle Town Center in North Raleigh.

When is it?
Master STAS will run from
June 14-July 11, 2010. The performances of Fame the Musical will be July 8-11, 2010.

Week 1- Consists of a series of all day workshops offered by some of the finest New York City theater professionals.
Weeks 2 and 3- Rehearsals and production for Fame the Musical directed by Tito Hernandez /Artistic director, Ray Walker.
Week 4- Technical rehearsals and performances.

Where is it?
Master STAS will be held at the
NC Theatre Conservatory located at 3043 Barrow Drive in North Raleigh.

Who can attend?
Master STAS is for
serious musical theatre students ages 11-21.

How much does it cost?
The cost is $1100.00. Need-based scholarships are available. For questions, please call the Conservatory at 919-855-0015.

For additional information, visit