BY MALLORY HARMON
Twin City Stage is a non-profit community theater that has been a thriving part of Forsyth County for over 82 years. Its colloquial charm and persevering spirit have kept the doors open for countless individuals in our community, whether spectator or participant. Twin City Stage’s timeless qualities have drawn support through the years and, in its time of need, the community rose up to protect it and help it thrive. Each production requires not only a paid director and stage manager, but also the aid of hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of volunteers and of course, actors. Each person I spoke with feels drawn to the theater in a unique way. Some live off of the rush of stepping out in front of an expectant audience. Others recognize the theater’s artistic qualities or the timeless prestige of performance art. Whatever the cause may be, time and time again, hundreds upon hundreds of members of our community gather in anticipation to experience this priceless establishment’s newest masterpiece and are never turned away uninspired.
The latest Twin City Stage production is Sense and Sensibility, by the witty and satirical Jane Austen. This latest choice in material has caused real excitement in the community; excitement I witnessed first-hand when I attended a live audition session. Many actors and staff mentioned the unique characters that are developed by Austen, raving about the beautiful costumes and elegant dialect she employed. Austen’s expertise in developing dialogue and characters drew Twin City’s staff to her piece. The complex and entertaining tale, and the themes of exposing flaws in, and balancing out, personalities through conflict and romance create a script that is simply enthralling. Adapted by Jon Jory from the novel by Jane Austen and directed by Mark Pirolo.
As a community theater, Twin City Stage’s doors are open to any and all members to audition. I came to the auditions to experience the process first-hand and was immediately enveloped in the sense of nervous excitement and enthusiastic anticipation. Each person who participated came to show the director their best work and interact with the emotions of the theater and with other people who shared their interest. Kristina Ebbink, marketing director and volunteer coordinator, described the audition experience. “Some actors come prepped with script in hand and books read,” she noted. “Others hear about the opportunity ten minutes before the auditions and simply show up, which, incidentally, is highly encouraged for our community. It’s scary to put yourself out there, but it can be such a worthwhile and unique experience. The most rewarding thing I experience here is the ability to take just words in a little book and make it into a full-blown production. The costumes, sound effects, music, the way the light hits an actor at the perfect moment, watching the actors go from reading a script in auditions to actually becoming the character; these things are the reward.”
When and Where:
November 11-13 & 17-20, 2016
Arts Council Theatre
610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem
Thursday-Saturday performances at 7:30 pm;
Sunday matinees at 2 pm
Box office opens Monday, October 31 at 12 noon