• 68°

New Lee Street theatre and Catawba College partnership

LSt's next production is “August: Osage County,” directed by Dr. Kurt Corriher

Kurt  Corriher

Kurt Corriher


Justin Dionne

Submitted Press Release

A new partnership between Lee Street Theatre and Catawba College will provide a continuum of great theatre and music for the Salisbury community and more real world, hands-on opportunities for Catawba students.

This joint initiative was finalized by Lee Street Board members and Catawba faculty and administrators as longtime Lee Street Managing Artistic Director and Catawba alumnus Justin Dionne ’07 prepares to exit his role at the end of June to attend graduate school.

As a component of the partnership, Craig Kolkebeck, who has served as Catawba’s scenic shop manager, will assume the position of both interim artistic director for Lee Street and assistant professor of theatre arts at Catawba. In doing so, he will continue to serve as scene shop manager and teach two classes in each semester. In addition, he will work with Lee Street to direct shows, oversee the artistic output of guest directors, assist in developing the 2017/18 season of productions and promote those productions, and facilitate and promote the use of Catawba students in a variety of areas at Lee Street.  This will afford Catawba students yet another venue to assume roles as performers, in set and lighting design, set construction, and administrative operations, enhancing their learning environment and opportunities.

Kolkebeck will also develop a relationship with Catawba’s Department of Music for opportunities for the ADP and Vernaculars to perform at Lee Street, in addition to scheduling other external music concerts.

“This partnership truly is a perfect alignment of all of our joint resources to benefit our community and the students at Catawba College,” explained Lee Street’s incoming board chair Shari Graham.  “Craig has every quality and skillset that we were seeking when we sat down to chart Lee Street’s course for the future. And, tapping the skills, talents and resources of Catawba students just makes perfect sense. I am so pleased that we have given birth to this idea.”

Kolkebeck came to Salisbury in 2006 from Los Angeles, working with C.A.S.T. theatre in Charlotte, as well as being a resident teaching artist with Children’s Theatre Charlotte.  He joined the Catawba College Theatre Arts Department in June of 2013, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience as a SAG/A FTRA/AEA member professional actor and a professional director.  He was the former artistic director for Teatro Los Pobres and Southwest Repertory Organization.  His productions have ranged from the smallest of warehouse stages to one million dollar venues in the theme park live action stunt show arena here in the U.S., as well as Holland, Germany, Japan and Russia.  At Catawba, he discovered a love for teaching and has taught Beginning Acting for non-majors and Acting for the Camera, in addition to his role as scene shop manager.

Theatre-goers will remember Kolkebeck’s work at Lee Street in the recent productions of “A Few Good Men,” “The Parchman Hour,” and “Shipwrecked,” all of which he directed.

“In each of these productions,” Graham said, “it was obvious that the very best performances of his actors occurred due to his direction.  The actors loved working for him and loved being directed by him.”

The Lee Street Board lauded Dionne, who has worked at Lee Street since its early inception, for helping grow its support in the community.

“He was willing to take risks, wear tons of different hats – he did it all and did it very well,” Graham said.  “While we will sorely miss him, he knows and we know that Lee Street is in capable hands with Craig Kolkebeck.”

Catawba Provost Dr. Michael Bitzer shared his pleasure at the new partnership with theatre arts faculty on campus.  He said, “This partnership will help further the Theatre Arts Department’s mission which is ‘to cultivate the growth of well-rounded artist/scholars who are accomplished leaders and theatre-makers, who value creativity as a way of understanding and connecting with the world.’ ”

Lee Street’s next production is “August: Osage County” that runs at 7:30 p.m. July 21-23 and the July 28-30 and at 2:30 p.m. on July 24.  It is directed by Dr. Kurt Corriher, a professor emeritus of Catawba College.  Tickets are available at http://www.leestreet.org/tickets/.


About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post



Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in 1992 murder of Tutterow couple

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker


Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank


North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys


Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools


Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house


Quotes of the week


Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid


When will gas situation return to normal?


Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart


GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire


Black high school softball player told to cut hair


State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan


CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors


One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday


Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases


‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack


Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store


Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem


West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant


Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team