With that other play getting so much attention in Charlotte, we decided to give our local community theater some love.
Chris Timmons, Associate Artistic Director at Theatre Charlotte joins Sallie in-studio to talk about their 91 years of history, upcoming performances and keeping live theatre relevant in the electronic age. Take a listen…
So there’s been 91 seasons of Theatre Charlotte. What’s made your nonprofit so successful?
“We try to engage the community as much as we can. Doing shows and productions that are relevant to the time. With Charlotte being exploded, in terms of growth, I think one of the things that helps us is the influx of people that are new. We get a lot of people that are new to Charlotte, that are new to theatre. And Theatre Charlotte is a great way to start performing, or working backstage or things like that. We sort of pride ourselves on being a theatre that allows people to shine and experience new things and grow… With Charlotte being what it is has helped us.”
Is there anything that scares you about theatre at this point?
“Well, you know it’s changing. Obviously, technology has changed. It’s changed audience’s expectations on what they say. We are a small theatre. We don’t have endless amounts of money, or a facility that allows all the bells and whistles of what people often expect when they come and see a show. It doesn’t mean what we do is any less spectacular or engaging….Technology has a lot to do with what people expect when they go and see anything. It also changes how quickly information gets out there…We’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds. Who knows? It certainly changes, but I think for us, one of the challenges moving forward is keeping up with the pace of theatre goers, expectations and what people expect moving forward.”
What are some shows that people should look out for?
“‘Peter and the Starcatcher,’ which opens September 7. It is the story that precedes Peter Pan, so this is about becoming Peter Pan. I’ve seen the show, a couple of productions of it. It’s very actor-driven. Imagination-driven. It’s a fun show. It’s heartwarming. It’s really in our wheelhouse. It’s something that I feel like we can really do convincingly, and it really showcases our talent. It showcases our actors, that are local. It could be your neighbor. It could be the person that is serving you coffee in the morning. Again, we embrace the community, and this is a chance to really see what’s out there.
The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Sallie Funderburk and is a production of the Charlotte Observer and Brian Baltosiewich.