Parkway Playhouse Announces Line-Up
The Parkway Playhouse has unveiled a six-show lineup featuring three plays from Western North Carolina playwrights, two Broadway musicals, plus a remake of a Shakespearean classic set in contemporary Appalachia.
The 2012 season marks the playhouse's 66th consecutive, making it the longest continually operating seasonal theater in North Carolina.
Each show runs about two weeks, beginning with "Mama Won't Fly" (April 28-May 12) and concluding with "Between the Tackles" (Sept. 15-29).
"Mama Won't Fly" makes its North Carolina premiere. It's a comedy about a woman who travels with her mother to her brother's wedding, and must drive because Mama is afraid to fly. It was written by noted Asheville playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, a famed trio which has collaborated on more than 1,800 productions.
"Outlander" (June 2-16), a world premiere from Sylva playwright Gary Carden and Bryson City musician Frank Lee, is the story of Horace Kephart. A noted travel writer, Kephart was a key figure in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The play combines traditional storytelling, mountain music and humor.
"Nine to Five" (June 30-July 14) is a Broadway musical version of Dolly Parton's hit film. It is penned by the same writer as the movie and has 17 of Parton's songs. "The musical might even be better than the movie," said playhouse director Andrew Gall. "It is really, really funny."
"Big River" (July 28-Aug. 11) is the Tony-award winning adaptation of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn," featuring music by country legend Roger Williams.
"I don't think this story ever gets old," Gall said. "It's a fantastic adaptation of one of the greatest American stories."
"Romeo and Juliet" (Aug. 25-Sept. 1), is a re-imagining of the Shakespeare classic set in modern day Appalachia with a different take on this famous story of star-crossed lovers.
"Between the Tackles" premieres in the hometown of writers Britt Kauffman and Stephanie Stark Poling. The comedy is about three men in their early 40s who are fans of a perennially bad football team. The story focuses on their friendship during the course of a rare winning season, and how their friendships are tested and celebrated during one glorious autumn of football.
The Parkway Playhouse was established in 1947 by the Women's College of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro).
For most of its life, the playhouse was a summer theater where students worked alongside professional actors and directors. Nowadays, it is more of a regional theater with a six-month season and less student participation.
"If you look at the economics of this, the Parkway Playhouse shouldn't even exist in our small, mountain area," said Gall. "And yet the quality of theater we're able to produce is on par with work that you see in much larger cities."
Ticket prices for adults range from $15-$20 per show, while tickets for children 17 and under are $12. A season pass provides six flexible admissions for $100. There's also a family package which admits four for $50.
The theater is located at 202 Green Mountain Drive, Burnsville.
For information, call (828) 682-4285 or visit www. parkwayplayhouse.com.
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