Aug 28, 2014

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Added Performance of Mary Poppins!

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By popular demand and due to sold out performances we have added an additional performance of Mary Poppins on Saturday, September 6th at 2PM!

You can purchase tickets by calling our box-office at (901) 726-4656 or purchase online by clicking HERE.

Additionally one of our generous sponsors, Fed-Ex, has opened up a limited number of tickets for the performance of Mary Poppins this Thursday, August 28th at 8PM. Call our box office at 901-726-4656 or reserve online today

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Aug 25, 2014

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Best of Enemies: The True Story

The Herald-Sun | File photo by Jim Thornton Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis, with other city leaders, prepare for the school integration charrette in 1971.

File photo from The Hearald Sun by Jim Thornton Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis, with other city leaders, prepare for the school integration charrette in 1971.

A black civil rights activist and an exalted cyclops of the KKK becoming life friends?

Not a true story you hear every day, Best of Enemies by Mark St. Germain, tells the story of an unlikely pair fighting together for school desegregation in Durham, North Carolina in 1971.

Bill Riddick, a black activist determined to desegregate North Carolina, nominated Klansman C.P. Ellis and Civil Rights Activist Ann Atwater  to co-chair the charrettes. A charrette is a meeting of a group with conflicting opinions to attempt to resolve conflicts. 

Riddick’s goal was to have as many viewpoints as possible from the community represented, and to allow people to discuss their concerns openly in public.

Atwater and Ellis “took the first two weeks hollering at each other,” Atwater, now 77, said in a recent interview with the Herald Sun. They eventually found common ground talking not as enemies, but as community members with similar problems.

Atwater and Ellis were on the surface an unlikely match as civil rights leaders, but Davidson’s book points out the ways their lives were similar. Both grew up poor, but did their best to change their circumstances. Ellis opened a gas station, and worked as a janitor. Atwater was a single mother so she took jobs as a domestic to help support her family.

In a 1980 Durham Morning Herald interview, Ellis discussed how his views of Atwater and civil rights changed. “I began to see that she was just as sweet as she could be,” he said. “She’d walked the streets of Durham trying to help poor black people. I basically was trying to do the same, to help poor white people. I was finding out I had been wrong. I admitted it and changed. It wasn’t an easy task.”

When Ellis died (in 2005), Atwater said she was asked to sit at the funeral with family members. An usher asked her, “How can you be in the family?” she recalled. “I said, That’s my brother. That man just about fell out,” she said.

Ann atwater and CP Ellis BILL WILLCOX — 1996 AP FILE PHOTO

Ann atwater and CP Ellis
BILL WILLCOX — 1996 AP FILE PHOTO

Best of Enemies runs August 22 – September 14 at The Circuit Playhouse. The Pay What You Can performance is Thursday, August 28, sponsored by Autozone. The Circuit Playhouse is located at 51 S. Cooper Street. For more information or to make reservations, please call 901-726-4656 or purchase tickets online at here.

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Feb 21, 2014

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The Second Annual NewWorks@TheWorks Competition

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We are accepting scripts for the 2nd Annual “NewWorks@TheWorks” Competition.   A panel of local directors, actors, and designers will review all submitted scripts and select six to receive staged readings during the 2014-15 season.  After the six readings have been presented, Playhouse on the Square will select two that will receive full productions during the 2015-16 season.  These two new works will receive world premieres at Playhouse’s third performance space, TheatreWorks.

Along with these fully mounted productions, the two winning works will each be awarded a prize of $500.  The playwright(s) of each play will also be flown to Memphis to take part in the rehearsals and development of the new work.

For competition guidelines, click here. The deadline to submit is May 30, 2014.

Looking for other ways to get involved with NewWorks@TheWorks? Click here.

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