YADKINVILLE — Those looking for great entertainment this fall need look no further than the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. Tickets went on sale Aug. 1 for the fall series of musical performances and plays to be held in the Willingham Theater, and Theater Manager Lindsay Craven said tickets are going fast.
“Tickets for ‘A Sanders Family Christmas’ and The Kruger Brothers will no doubt sell out,” Craven said.
Ron Stacker Thompson, artistic director for the Willingham Theater, said audiences had a lot to look forward to in the upcoming season.
“We at the Willingham hope we’re continuing to give our patrons the kind of variety and quality in our programming that speaks to our mission. We want people who come to our theater to know when they visit us, they’re going to get something special — be it music, dance, theater or film. We want them to know they’re going to be entertained, engaged, maybe even enlightened.”
This fall’s season of shows includes acts performing bluegrass and country music and theatrical performances, including Thornton Wilder’s classic “Our Town.”
Craven said the arts council is particularly excited about “Our Town” as the show will be performed by local actors. A series of free acting workshops were held this spring and generated excitement among community theater performers. The fall community theater acting workshops will kick off again on Sept. 6. Area residents with an interest in acting are invited to participate. Open auditions for “Our Town” will be held on Sept. 27.
On Sept. 19, North Carolina bluegrass band Molasses Creek will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. The group hails from Ocracoke Island and are award winners from Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion.” With more than 14 albums to their credit, Molasses Creek’s music is described as having “elegant harmonies, blazing instrumentals and a quirky sense of humor.”
Craven said a number of tickets already have been purchased for the first show of the fall season featuring Molasses Creek and opening with a performance by local bluegrass group None of the Above.
In October, famed bluegrass trio The Kruger Brothers will perform their newest concerto “Lucid Dreamer” along with the Kontras Quartet. Performances are slated for Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35.
Taking the stage in November, will be local actors performing in “Our Town” Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $16.
“This will be the first theater performance in the Willingham Theater staring local actors,” Craven said. “It will be great as people will get a chance to see their neighbors, friends and co-workers on stage, or be on stage themselves.”
This play is set in the fictional Grover’s Corners, a small town much like Yadkinville, Craven said, and tells the story of the town through the lives of its citizens.
Country music fans will get a special treat on Nov. 22 when Jim Lauderdale performs. Lauderdale is a multiple Grammy and Americana Music Association award winner who has written country and bluegrass music for artists such as Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, George Straight and more. Tickets are $20.
There are still 125 shopping days until Christmas, but gospel music fans should buy their tickets now to see the “Smoke on the Mountain” sequel “A Sanders Family Christmas.” The play is a continuation of the story of the Sanders Family and is set in 1941 as America prepares to head to war. Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe and the rest of the Sanders clan share poignant and comical stories, as well as perform 25 well-loved Southern gospel Christmas tunes. Due to the popularity of “Smoke on the Mountain” last winter, there will be six performances of the Christmas sequel. Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 7 and 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Craven said group seating is available on a limited basis for church or other groups. Groups interested in sitting together for these performances should call the Arts Council as soon as possible to purchase tickets.
Season tickets for the entire series are available on a limited basis for $100. Season ticket holders also get preferred seating at the performances. Tickets are available on the website at www.yadkinarts.org, by calling 336-679-2941 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday from 1o a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Also this fall, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center continues it’s free classic movie series on Saturdays at 1 p.m. with Bonnie and Clyde on Sept. 6, True Grit on Nov. 8 and White Christmas on Dec. 20.
On Sept. 27, fans of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show will get a chance to see it on the big screen in the Willingham Theater. Craven said the Arts Council is planning an entire theater experience that will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner and a trivia contest, followed by a screening of the film. Attendees are encouraged to dress up like their favorite Rocky Horror character and props will be available for audience participation during the film. Due to theater restrictions, no outside props are permitted. The film is rated R so attendees must be 18 years of age, or accompanied by a parent or guardian. For dinner reservations, call 336-677-6006.
Throughout the month of October, Friday nights will be a chance for horror movie fans to see some of their old favorites on the big screen. On screen in the Willingham Theater at 7 p.m. will be “Psycho” on Oct. 3, “The Omen” on Oct. 10, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” on Oct. 17 and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” on Oct. 31.
For those wanting to try their hand at art, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center also will be hosting a Cafe Art ala Carte series that includes hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine and a guided art project facilitated by a local artist. The cost is $30 per person. Featured artists are Bill Gramley on Sept. 25 doing chalk pastels and Jody Pounds on Oct. 15 creating bottle wind chimes. On Nov. 20, attendees will “studio hop” and create four unique holiday ornaments in each of the artist studios at the arts center.
For more information about upcoming events at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, visit www.yadkinarts.org or call 336-679-2941.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.