About North Carolina Theatre
Nineteen Eighty-Three was the start of a very entertaining era for downtown Raleigh. That year, Raleigh's City Manager - Mr. L.P. Zachary - created a directive that formed the Carolina Regional Theatre. This new entity, with the deft direction of De Ann Jones, made its permanent home in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium under a contract with the City. A commitment to four major productions a year was also agreed upon.
Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts | Doug Vande Zande Photography
The Mission was written to reflect the Theatre's focus on producing major Broadway musicals of universal appeal as a way to help revitalize Raleigh's downtown. And under an agreement with the Actors' Equity Association (the union for national performers), the Theatre committed to hiring a significant number of Equity performers for each production. Using the highest level of professional talent supported the Mission's goal of maintaining a professional theatre company in North Carolina.
The Theatre debuted with the musical Camelot in May of 1984. It starred Terrence Mann as King Arthur and Sharon Lawrence as Guinevere. Mann, a graduate of the UNC School of the Arts, has played Javert in Les Miserables, The Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Chauvelin in Scarlet Pimpernel and Rum Tum Tugger in Cats on Broadway. Lawrence, a University of North Carolina student, found fame as Sylvia Stipowitz on NYPD Blue, Velma Kelly in Chicago and countless other roles on TV, stage and film.
The successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent was inaugurated. Opening with 825 season tickets sold and a total audience of 24,000, Camelot marked the beginning of the Theatre's new direction. With this new direction as inspiration, the name was changed to North Carolina Theatre.
Culture: Feed the spirit of local citizens by providing exceptional theatre productions, using the best national, regional and local talent. Community: Fortify the cultural vitality of the region by offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth. Citizenship: Foster the next generation of artists and leaders who will become future patrons of the arts through training, performance, and outreach programs.
The Vision of North Carolina Theatre is to preserve the unique American art form of musical theatre, to provide broad access to the arts and to entertain and engage diverse audiences.
• Pursuit of artistic excellence and integrity of process. • Care and attention to creating memorable patron experiences • Fiscal transparency to uphold the trust of our donor community • Belief in the power of the performing arts to transform lives and communities • Commitment to theatre education across all ages • Dedication to collaboration and community engagement