news


Celebrating the life and work of Graham Smith
1955-2020

Graham appeared in over 200 plays and eleven films, and was a long-time company member with
Charlotte Repertory Theatre, People's Light & Theatre, Florida Rep, and Playworks. He was a 
force, a friend, and a fierce supporter of the arts and education. Read more about his contribution
to the performing arts, and find out how to support the work he loved in this remembrance.




The Paige Johnston Thomas Giving Tree Foundation was established to honor Paige after
she lost her battle with cancer gracefully in 2020. In 2021 the Foundation will award scholarships
and grants to help young artists achieve their goals. Visit the Foundation website for more.




Looking forward to a post-Covid reschedule of Shea Sizemore's Bygone Billy after its premiere
at River Run International Film Festival was postponed. Cast includes R. Keith Harris, Tonya 
Bludsworth, Brian LaFontaine, Maria Howell, Rebecca Koon and Steve Umberger. See more.



In 2019 and 2020, Call Me By My Name (about the homeless community) and Acting Our Age (about the elder community) were performed, after 18 months and 15 months of development, respectively. An innovative blend of documentary film and live presentation, these works-in-progress continue virtually in 2021, being reinvented for this new age. (In-person activity is postponed due to Covid-19.) Please check back for updates.



Call Me By My Name
A film by Steve Umberger and Jay Thomas
Produced by The Playworks Group with First United Methodist Church

Development screenings-in-progress (postponed):
January 23, Beatties Ford library screening/discussion
January 26, University City library screening
February 1, ImaginOn Wells Fargo Theatre screening/discussion
May 23 at 2 PM, ImaginOn Wells Fargo Theatre, screening/discussion


Acting Our Age 2020
A film of the 2019 production
Film produced by The Playworks Group
Acting Our Age originally produced with Aldersgate

January 27-28 - Carolina Theater (Durham) / Chelsea Theatre (Chapel Hill) 
Duke University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and The Forest at Duke  


Still Acting Our Age 2020-2021  
Created by Lyndall Hare, Steve Umberger & cast
Produced with Aldersgate

A new AOA project with a new cast began in February 2020. Due to Covid, the project moved
online and has been an opportunity to document the pandemic in real time from inside one of
the most vulnerable populations. Four of the eight cast members are pictured above.
  

Full house at the original Acting Our Age, 2019


For more about Acting Our Age and Call Me By My Name visit the documentary pages on the site.


  
   Other projects / events 2015-present

The World Only Spins Forward

Alongside the 2018 Broadway revival of Angels in America, The World Only Spins Forward  (Bloomsbury) by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois, tells how Angels changed the world through interviews with 250 people who have worked on the plays, including the Charlotte Rep team.

The Christians

Lucas Hnath's nationally acclaimed play, produced by The Playworks Group and The Pine Hill Project at Blumenthal Performing Arts in 2017, hosted a conversation about what 'we' believe, and included broad community involvement in a six month project.

Lunch at the Piccadilly

The new musical by best selling novelist Clyde Edgerton and Drama Desk Award winner Mike Craver was developed by Playworks in three productions and at the York Theatre Company, NY (at left, with Mike Craver, Trip Plymale, Amy Jones, Patty Cucco, Rebecca Koon, Greg King, Fleur Alys Dobbins, Neal Mayer)


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