Cheri Van Loon is a “Jane-of-all-trades” and an asset to the Triad arts community. The freelance artist is a director, choreographer, dancer, singer, actor, writer, scientist, teacher and pet-rescuer. She holds a degree in medical technology (now clinical laboratory science) from UNC, but has been onstage since the age of 12, when she appeared as a member of the children’s chorus in the ECU Playhouse production of La Boheme.
In 1990, Cheri was working for a medical company in California and was transferred to Winston-Salem. “I grew up in Raleigh, so I was excited to move my family back east. I liked that Winston-Salem has lots of trees, many artistic offerings and virtually no traffic!” said Cheri.
“It is amazing how much the theatre/arts community has grown since I moved here in 1990. On any given day there are so many arts events to choose from, I can’t get to everything I want to see! I do hope our City of the Arts can get to a place to offset some of the venue expense for the theatre groups. Producing shows is expensive! And I do hope our school system can maintain/expand the arts that they have. The arts are just as important and impactful as literature, history, math and science, and can always be tied in to those core subjects.”
Cheri is currently working on projects with Theatre Alliance, Spring Theatre and Take the Lead North Carolina. She has been featured in dozens of radio and television commercials. She has directed, choreographed and costumed shows like Into the Woods, Jr., West Side Story, The Outsiders, Romeo & Juliet, Finding Nemo, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Grease, Footloose, Pippin, Rent and more. And she has more than 50 onstage and movie roles to her credit. Cheri has many years of experience in teaching, administration, operations, fundraising and grant writing for many non-profit arts organizations. She has also written plays and her own adaptations of Romeo & Juliet and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, performed at The Little Theatre in Winston-Salem.
She is busy now rehearsing for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, at Theatre Alliance, opening October 13, 2017, and is directing a holiday review she wrote for Spring Theatre called, There’s No Business Like Snow Business.
Cheri is also an instructor for the DANCING CLASSROOMS program offered by Take the Lead NC to WSFCS 5th graders. This is an amazing 10-week/20-class artist residency that teaches children teamwork, self-confidence and respect through the medium of ballroom dance.
Of the shows she’s been a part of, some of her favorites she’s directed include The Outsiders, Anne of Green Gables, West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, and Jungle Book. As an actor, some of her favorite performances were Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret, Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors and ‘night Mother.
In addition to her artistic offerings, Cheri recently started the business, UNSTUFFED, with her sister, Lisa, with a mission to help people live better with less! Find it at getunstuffed.com.