"Thank you for holding up a mirror and asking us 'why you believe what you believe' and for discussing the script with us."  Audience member Rick Norwood, attending the play 'The Christians'

Playworks' projects often include the potential for additional education opportunities. The production of The Christians incorporated outreach efforts with many faiths, and involved a diverse community choir working alongside the professional cast. The production of Lunch at the Piccadilly, with its intergenerational programs and community discussions, hosted a timely conversation about aging and caregiving. The education aspects of A Midsummer Night's Dream involved thousands of students in a live experience that enhanced arts/literature studies in the public schools. The production of Open Season offered a work/study for college theatre majors working with professional artists in all aspects of production. Many Playworks' performances are followed by TalkBacks among casts, creators, and audiences. 

Some of the 23 members of the "The Christians" choir, representing the broader community 

"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, "The Christians"

The choir onstage in "The Christians"

"I was grateful for this play, and I found that I have lived as almost every character in it."
Bishop Tonyia Rawls, one of the 12 guest clergy at TalkBacks for "The Christians"

Large numbers stayed for TalkBacks after most performances of "The Christians"

"Thank you for demonstrating the vibrant and creative lives of these seven people. Their stories were funny, poignant and humbling. A masterpiece."
Chris McLeod, audience member at "Acting Our Age," a live stage-and-film documentary

Lyndall Hare and Steve Umberger with the cast of "Acting Our Age"

"This is an example of how we can save the world - conversations, empathy, engagement.
Beth Monaghan, audience member at "Acting Our Age"

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 a catalyst for intergenerational programs.

'Piccadilly' TalkBack with cast and company

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

Author Clyde Edgerton signs books for the 'Piccadilly' audience.

"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

"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