SALISBURY – You might say Catawba College alumni are behind the November 7th grand opening of the Lee Street Theatre & Performing Arts Center in downtown Salisbury.
After all, it is 2008 Catawba alumnus Justin Dionne who is the managing artistic director of Lee Street Theatre, and the theatre’s new Performing Arts Center is in the Tom and Martha Smith Event Center, funded by and named for 1964 Catawba alumnus Tom Smith and his wife.
And, in case you didn’t know, two more Catawba alumni, Brian Romans ’06 and Jason Roland ’98, will be starring in Lee Street Theatre’s opening production, “All the Great Books (Abridged).”
The Lee Street Theatre & Performing Arts Center at the Tom & Martha Smith Event Center, located at the corner of North Lee and Kerr streets, is now the permanent home for two of Salisbury’s theatre companies, Lee Street Theatre and St. Thomas Players.
The Center, an adaptive reuse and renovation of a 1920s warehouse, is an example of redesign and renewal, and will encourage Salisbury’s growing artistic economy. The 9,000-square-foot performing arts center, the former Peeler-Miller warehouse, will also be used for touring acts to perform and will be available for event rental.
Lee Street Theatre was founded in 2008 and undertook at $1.5 million capital campaign (which is still ongoing) to help underwrite the cost of renovating its new home. Its past performances had been staged in Looking Glass Artist Center. In the new facility, flexible seating will be available for anywhere from 130 – 200 people.
“I’m proud to live in a place where the arts and community are so deeply cared for,” explained Dionne, as he encouraged supporters to come out for the opening show in the new space.
“All the Great Books (Abridged)”plays at 7:30 p.m. November 7-9 and November 14-16. In addition to Brian Romans and Jason Roland, Jacob Asher stars in this comedy that promises theatre-goers a 98-minute roller-coaster ride through the trio’s compact compendium of the world’s great books. If you’re confused by Confucius or thrown by Thoreau, buckle up and hold on as these three cultural guerrillas of Lee Street Theatre zip through everything you didn’t get around to reading in school.
Tickets are available online at www.leestreet.org or by calling the box office at 704-310-5507.