Piedmont Players prepares for Season of Firsts with new executive director

Published 12:05 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

SALISBURY — Piedmont Players Theatre is currently preparing to open its next season, offering a fresh repertoire of plays and musicals that have not been presented in over 50 years.

Bradley Moore took on the role as executive director at the downtown theater in November 2021 after receiving his master’s in art administration in 2020 with an extensive background in Nashville where he started Music City Theatre Company. He came in the middle of a season, which got him on his feet to take on the next one by making creative decisions to discuss with the board. He wanted to bring new plays to the theater in Salisbury.

“I’m a fan of new stuff and the traditional classics,” Moore said. “There’s new stuff around every corner.”

With never-before-seen performances at the theater, Piedmont Players named this season the Season of Firsts. It will open with The Lion King, Jr., incorporating youth actors for the first presentation at the Norvell. It is directed by Titus Quinn. Moore will be directing four plays throughout the Season of Firsts, including “Kinky Boots,” “Bye Bye Birdy,” “A Christmas Carol” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which he also choreographed.

Moore said working with participants and volunteers at the theater has been one of the most encouraging experiences in Salisbury. Additionally, the beauty of downtown that can be seen through the windows of the third floor of the Meroney Theater on South Main Street inspired him to bring a new event to Piedmont Players.

“I wanted to create an experience for those who have to rush to get a bite to eat before coming to the theater for performances,” Moore said. “The third floor room is where I had my interview for this position and I thought to myself, ‘this space needs to be used for theater’.”

The idea for the first After Dark presentation at the Meroney revolved around the idea of having a wine bar with desserts to complement a small stage comedy suited toward a more adult audience. Moore began his career in dinner theaters and wanted to bring a similar experience to Piedmont Players.

“Everyone’s been very supportive since I came on here,” he said. “I enjoy the team who has been put in place before me and they’re open to these new ideas.”

Taylor Hutchins is president of the board of directors and said the new array of plays and musicals will hopefully provide a good atmosphere. The momentum led Piedmont Players in other directions, such as having producers for the first time using the space on the third floor of the Meroney.

” ‘After Dark’ did quite well the first time,” Hutchins said. “We want everyone to be involved in theater and this event brought in audiences we’ve been trying to reach, such as college students and those who don’t experience theater often.”

He said the direction of this season goes along with having to venture into new avenues for performances and revenue. Moore brought a refreshing twist to the scene while still keeping the environment and spirit of Piedmont Players alive at the Meroney and Norvell.