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One to watch: Justin Dionne

Multi-talented describes Justin Dionne, who brings an effervescence and an upbeat collaborative spirit to the local arts scene. Well known as an actor and a musician, Dionne has also found success as a director, winning a Metrolina Theatre Award for the St. Thomas Players production of “Almost, Maine.”

Currently head of the upstart Lee Street Theatre, Dionne has been a driving force behind plans to transform an old warehouse on Lee Street into a performing arts center. The site, which could be completed as early as fall of 2013, will be the venue for both Lee Street Theatre and the St. Thomas Players, as well as a place for outside acts to perform.

Rowan County born and bred, Dionne graduated from West Rowan High School and then went to Catawba College, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in theatre arts. He moved to New York and later to Chicago after he graduated. He got pulled back to Salisbury during what was meant to be a visit of a few months, taking a job as the technical director of Piedmont Players Theatre early in 2010. He later served as PPT marketing director — and shared his considerable gifts on the stage there as well, most notably as the lead in “It Runs in the Family.” In May of 2012 he became the director of Lee Street Theatre.

Dionne is a positive force in the community, serving on the board of Downtown Salisbury Inc, and as treasurer of the Rowan Arts Council. He’s a member of Civitan and a founding member of the Salisbury Ghost Sign Project. In his spare time, you might catch Dionne singing and playing guitar as part of the local music scene.

— Katie Scarvey

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