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Grants go toward exciting Lee Street projects

By Claire Raimist for LSt

Lee Street theatre is pleased to announce that they have received grants from both the North Carolina Arts Council and The Rowan Arts Council. Lee Street is grateful that these funds will go towards upcoming projects throughout the remainder of Season 11.
Lee Street received $5,000 from the North Carolina Arts Council on a grant towards “Blood Done Sign My Name” a new play by Mike Wiley, which opens in April 2019. The grant specifically provides funds for Mike Wiley to come to Salisbury during the rehearsal process and provide insight and feedback on the LSt production. In addition to helping the production, he will provide open workshops in playwriting (free to the public) during his stay.
In addition, Lee Street was granted $2,500 from The Rowan Arts Council in support of the Scrooge Christmas Trolley Tour. Funds for this will be used to provide professional-level stipends for the production manager Raquel Oden, and professional director Kindra Steenerson.
Grants were originally written by former marketing director Caitlin Billings. Lee Street theatre continues to be grateful to the respective arts councils and to the state legislators for their support of these valuable arts organizations.
Artistic director Craig Kolkebeck is excited to have Mike Wiley return to Salisbury. Wiley is an undergraduate Catawba College alumni and received his masters degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On his website, Wiley states that his mission is “to bring educational theatre to young audiences and communities across the country.” Wiley highlights key events and people in African American history and has works honoring the legacies of prominent African American lives. After sold out performances of his play, “The Parchman Hour” in 2016 at Lee Street, Kolkebeck is looking forward to the success of this important play.

“Blood Done Sign My Name” brings to life the recollections of author Tim Tyson surrounding the 1970 murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in Oxford, NC and the events that followed. Marrow, a black man, was chased from a local store by three white men, was brutally beaten, and then killed with a bullet to the head in view of multiple witnesses. Despite the eyewitness reports, an all-white jury acquitted the men. This play recounts the how this time shaped Tyson’s life, who was 10 years old at the time of the murder,  and allows the audience to examine our own roles in the complex and often confusing racial fabric of America.

Kolkebeck went on to say that the Scrooge Christmas Trolley Tour continues to grow and be an exciting Salisbury tradition. “With a month still to go before the tours begin, we are seeing record sales to this production and are once again grateful to be teamed up with the Rowan County Tourism Development Authority in making this project happen,” said Kolkebeck.

Be sure to stay in touch with Lee Street theatre to see the wonderful work that these generous grants allow to happen. Lee Street can be found on Facebook as Lee Street theatre, on Twitter as @LeeStTheatre and on Instagram as @leesttheatre. You can also visit our website at www.leestreet.org for announcements, informations, and ticket sales.

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