New Spoken Space Theatre will feature comedy, original plays

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 28, 2013

Although the venue looks almost exactly the same, the Looking Glass Artists Center is no more.
Salisbury resident Sam Post is now renting the space, which he has dubbed Spoken Space Theatre.
Post, owner of Piedmont Coffee News and past president of the Looking Glass board of directors, said he’s looking forward to bringing comedy, music and original plays to the facility.
“I don’t want it to be more of the same,” he said. “My idea is to do something that’s never been done before, to do something I don’t know how to do.
“I don’t want to compete with Lee Street.”
The Lee Street Theatre group performed at Looking Glass until the new Performing Arts Center opened up across the street earlier this month.
One thing that will definitely make Spoken Space unique is the newly-formed comedy group Laugh Tracks, Post said.
“It’s not going to be improv, it’s going to be sketch comedy,” he said. “We’ll have a few gaps, but we’re going to have shows pretty much every week.”
Post said the group will get together each week to write fresh material for that week’s performance.
“I want people to have a chance to develop as a team and really work together and fail together,” he said. “They can try things and then come back and change it up.
“This will be a place for people to realize their full self-expression as a performer and to contribute to the community.”
Auditions for Laugh Tracks took place earlier this month, but Post said he plans to host another round later.
“I want to have a cast of about 30 people because nobody is going to be able to participate every week,” he said.
Post said he plans to model the Laugh Tracks shows after “Saturday Night Live.” Each show will feature a guest host and musical performer with sketches in between.
Salisbury actor Bob Paolinio will be the first guest host for the shows, which kick off Jan. 17 and 18 with performances at 8 and 10 p.m.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners were Post’s original inspiration for the comedy shows.
“(They) were such a comedy to me,” he said. “If it were on a national level, it would be all over the late night comedy shows and yet everybody around here takes it seriously.
“If you look at the Salisbury Post headlines every day, there are usually a few that are really funny out of context; we can work that stuff in.”
Post said another focus is going to be original work.
“I’ve been a playwright for a long time and there are a lot of other playwrights around,” he said. “It’s very difficult to get a production of a new play, it doesn’t happen very often.
“Most theaters will not take a chance on a new play, but I want to nurture new work here.”
In order to cater to his new audience, Post has moved in comfortable furniture including sofas and recliners.
He also plans to split the current stage in half and put it on wheels, making it easier to move around for a variety of productions. The audience for the comedy shows will be seated in a U-shape around the stage for a more intimate feel.
“I want this to be a contribution to the community and I want this to be a place where performing artists can come and take a shot,” Post said.