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Lee Street Theatre stages first production, ‘One Act Festival’

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
The lights are coming up on Lee Street Theatre.
The troupe is putting on its first production, a One Act Festival.
The festival opened last night and continues at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the theater, 405 N. Lee St.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. You may be admitted on Halloween for $8 if you wear a costume.
The three plays being staged are “Stye of the Eye” and “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls” by Christopher Durang and “Dinner with God” by Marla Brown of Mooresville.
All three plays contain mature language and content.
So what exactly is Lee Street Theatre?
Well, in the truest sense of the word, it’s a black box theater: four black walls surround a small stage. The theater seats about 80 in a deep rectangular space.
“Generally speaking, you do a lot less elaborate productions,” says Robert A. Jones, who’s serving as president of the theater board. “We’re thrilled to have this space to work in.”
He further explains, “We are the resident theater company at Looking Glass Art Collective, but we are a separate entity.”
Not only is Lee Street Theatre a theater, it’s an art gallery, too. Works by local artists currently adorn the theater’s two long walls.
Lee Street’s first exposure to the public came in the form of a 15-minute play, “The Rothko Room,” which was put on Sept. 19 at the collective.
The theater also hosted The Mad Hatter Tea Party Oct. 10 that featured singing, dancing, skits, poetry and performance art.
“It was a blast,” Jones says.
Lee Street Theatre has been a long time in the making.
“For years in this town, we talked about how much fun it would be to have a place to do alternative theater and dance,” Jones says. “This place dropped into our laps. It was time to put up or shut up.”
“Some of it is going to be quite mainstream,” says Claudia Galup, the group’s vice president. Cindi Graham is secretary/treasurer.
But the troupe doesn’t aspire to be a regional theater, she says.
Lee Street Theatre is part of the growing art community in downtown Salisbury. You can now actually pick and choose from among several events on a weekend night, for example.
“It’s a great problem to have,” Jones says. “Our aim is to do things that are different. We want to highlight original work.”
Cirque de Shimmy, a belly dancing event, will take place 8 p.m. Nov. 15. A readers’ theater, “An Evening of Horton Foote,” is set for Nov. 21-22.
“It’s various things,” Jones says. “At the same time, we want to do drama that otherwise wouldn’t be done.”
“We see ourselves as a niche theater,” Galup says.
“I love the intimate setting of a black box theater,” Jones says. “That’s my favorite kind of theater to watch. And that’s what we’re able to offer at Lee Street.”
“Salisbury is becoming a wonderful little arts community,” Galup says.
“There’s tons of talent in this town ó and they want a venue to do it,” Jones says.
The cast for the One Act Festival includes Nancy Brandt, Darryl Casper, Tammie Casper, Len Clark, Sarah Drinkard, Jennifer Hubbard, Robert A. Jones, Amy McCachren, Mary Ann McCubbin, Jamieson Middlemiss, Preston Mitchell and Lee Piper, along with Amber Adams, set, and Micaela Karriker, lights.
Theatre auditions
Lee Street Theatre has announced auditions 7 p.m. Oct. 27-28 for the readers’ theater production, “An Evening of Horton Foote.” The two short plays, “The Man Who Climbed Pecan Trees” and “Blind Date,” will be directed by Jim Epperson and Lou Murphy.
Production dates are Nov. 21-22.
Auditions and performances will be held at the Looking Glass Artist Collective black box theater, 407 N. Lee St. There are four female roles and five male roles for people in their 20s to 50s.
For more information, e-mail leestreettheatre@live.com.
 

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