Company members with Davidson College students 

Playworks' projects often include the potential for additional education and marketing opportunities inspired by project content. The production of The Christians incorporated outreach with many denominations and faiths, and featured a large, diverse onstage community choir working with the actors to represent the broader community. The production of Lunch at the Piccadilly, through production and special programs, encouraged a timely conversation about aging and caregiving that also resulted in a 10% sales uptick for its sponsor. The education aspects of A Midsummer Night's Dream involved thousands of students in a unique, live experience to promote collaboration and enhance the study of arts and literature. The production of Open Season offered a work/study for theatre majors to partner with professional artists in all aspects of production. Many performances are followed by discussions, further exploring the stories' connection to everyday life. Playworks seeks new ways to find each project's relevance for its audience, as well as innovative ways to collaborate with production sponsors.

Some of the 23 members of the community choir for "The Christians."
This unusual play with 5 actors also calls for an onstage church choir. 

"Being part of a diverse choir that depicts us all makes me proud. Hopefully those who see it will feel the same."
Lydia Diaz, choir member in the play "The Christians"

The choir onstage in "The Christians."

"Being a part of this production encourages us to examine what we believe, and why, on a much deeper level."
Daryl Brown, choir member

Director Steve Umberger, Lyndall Hare, Bishop Tonyia Rawls, Jonavan Adams, April C. Turner

The Christians hosted numerous post-performance TalkBacks among actors, audiences and guest clergy members.

"GREAT play and very thought-provoking...I've seen it twice and every time I come away with something new."
Audience member John Simmons

Cirque du Soleil's Karl Baumann trains students during 'Dream.' 
Playworks sponsored the project's education workshops.

"Thank you for providing students with the opportunity of Shakespeare as it was intended - on a stage with live actors."
Connie Rafferty, Bishop McGuinness High School

"Lunch at the Piccadilly" was also the catalyst for intergenerational programs.
'Heart to Heart' paired musicians with residents in retirement communities.

Post-show 'Piccadilly' talk with authors Clyde Edgerton, Mike Craver, director and cast

"The TalkBack provided an amazing bonus. The musical and TalkBack sparked so many valuable conversations."
Nancy Culp

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever see a musical about assisted living. It's fun and real and sensitively presented. We often forget to look at our older loves ones as the heroes they really are. Well done!"
Andi Reese, performer, gerontologist, and Medicare counselsor

Private kickoff event at Aldersgate ccrc, production sponsor for "Lunch at the Piccadilly"

Aldersgate's Tim Rogers and Steve Umberger
talk with WBT's Kristen Miranda about Piccadilly.

Aldersgate's sponsorship of Piccadilly transformed our presence in the region. It gave us great market distinction in a city with significant competition. Through our work with Playworks, we elevated our standing as a leading voice for elders."
Tim Rogers, Director of Mission Advancement, Aldersgate

Photos: productions of "The Christians" and "Lunch at the Piccadilly" at Booth Playhouse/Blumenthal Arts, and Aldersgate photo: Donna Bise; Production of 'Dream' with NC Shakespeare Festival photos: Nyghtfalcon; WBTV interview photo: Kathy Rowan; Group photo of "The Christians": Amanda Delgadillo

See media archive