Theatre Celebrates Past, Looks to Future With New Direction

In 1962, a group of like-minded individuals got together to dream. As is the case with those with vision, their dream wasn’t small. Their goal: the development of a regional theatre in their community. Driving that vision were Bo and Herbert Thorp, and with the hard work, talent and dedication of the Thorps and their friends, that dream became a reality. And, 50 years later, the community can celebrate that dream during the Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s 50th Anniversary.

uac070711001.jpg Never known for doing things in a small way, the theatre will celebrate its anniversary with an ending, a beginning and an award-winning season featuring some of the community’s most talented performers.

For Bo Thorp, who has been the heart of the theatre for its 50 years of existence, this season is somewhat bittersweet. She can look back fondly at the success of the theatre, and look to the future as she takes a step back and the theatre welcomes its new artistic director, Tom Quaintance.

Quaintance, who has more than 18 years of professional experience, directed Hairspray last season at the CFRT, and was chosen by a special committee appointed by the CFRT board of directors after a two year search.

“Tom Quaintance is an amazing director and educator who will successfully lead the CFRT into its next chapter,” said Thorp, who will remain at the theatre throughout the 2011-2012 season as the Founding Artistic Director. “We are very excited about the leadership and artist abilities that Tom will bring to our community, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

For his part, Quaintance, is excited about the move to Fayetteville and the challenges presented at the theatre.“I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the Cape Fear Regional Theatre family and am humbled to follow in the footsteps of the great Bo Thorp.”

Quaintance looks forward to working with Thorp over the upcoming season to learn the day-to-day interworkings of the theatre and to create a vision for the theatre.

“One of the main things I want to do is to get out into the community and listen,” he said. “My immediate plan is to get out into the community and get in touch with the people. I want to listen not just to the patrons, but those who do not come to the theatre. I want to fi nd ways to bring them in.”

“For 50 years, the CFRT has been synonymous with professional, quality work that engages, inspires and enlightens the community, and I am especially excited to be arriving as the theatre reaches this extraordinary milestone. I have always believed that theatre is an essential part of any vibrant community, and I want the CFRT to always be a refl ection of this area and its positive attributes — warm, open, interesting and diverse. On a personal note, my wife and I are expecting our fi rst child in July, and we cannot think of a better place to raise a family than Fayetteville.”

07-06-11-cfrt-logo.jpgThe Season

The CFRT 50th Anniversary Season brings some of the best of Broadway and the best of the CFRT stage for a compelling season.

Boeing, Boeing

September-October 2011

Written by French playwright Marc Camoletti, Boeing, Boeing, made its English-language debut in London’s West End in 1962. It centers around the love life of Bernard, a man whose love life is a perfect balancing act: When one of his stewardess girlfriends touches down, the next one is already in the air. What could go wrong? The play, which was made into a move in 1965, and had a recent Broadway revival is, according to The New York Times, “The very opposite of what you might expect. It’s not smutty at all. It’s deliciously, deliriously innocent.”

Miss Saigon

November 2011

Set to run in conjunction with Fayetteville’s Heroes Welcome Home for Vietnam Vets, the staging of Miss Saigon is no accident. This is an epic love story set in war-torn Saigon amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam war. An American GI and a Vietnamese girl fall in love, only to be separated by the fall of Saigon. Their struggle to fi nd each other over the ensuing years ends in her making the ultimate sacrifi ce for the child he never knew.

Encore! 50 Years

January-February 2012

It’s the show loyal fans and patrons of the CFRT have been waiting for; performances highlighting 50 years of CFRT performed by your favorites. Special guest stars will return to the CFRT stage to recreate the role that have endeared them to the audience. This musical is guaranteed to be a showcase of the drama, song and dance that has cemented the CFRT’s reputation as the region’s premiere theatre.

The Great Unknown: A New American Musical

February-March 2012

This is a new musical. The CFRT will be the originating theatre and the first to stage this work by William Hauptman, author of Big River and Jim Wann, composer of Pump Boys & Dinettes.The Great Unknown is a jubilant Americana musical about big dreams and even bigger risks. Hoping to inspire and revive a fractured nation, one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell lead a daring expedition of veterans down the Colorado river to the Grand Canyon in the spring of 1869. With a contemporary folk/musical theatre score enhanced by environmental elements, The Great Unknown is an American musical adventure.

On Golden Pond

April-May 2012

Presented to great critical and popular acclaim fi rst off and then on Broadway, this touching, funny and warmly perceptive study of a spirited and lovable elderly couple facing their twilight years introduced a signifi cant playwright to the theatre world. This show will star Thorp and Mayon Weeks.

Special Productions

The Night of January 16th

September 2011

A revival of the CFRT’s fi rst production to be held in its original location — the historical courthouse on Dick Street. The story is a murder trial, but without a prearranged verdict; the verdict is decided by a jury selected from the audience. By design the evidence is presented in such a way that the decision must rest on the jurors’ fundamental attitude toward and life and toward man’s potential for greatness. Mayon Weeks will direct the show.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Dec. 6-16

The 21st annual production of Barbara Robinson’s holiday classic. This hilarious Christmas tale is a wonderful opportunity for students to perform.

50th Anniversary Golden Gala

Feb. 11, 2012This is the event of the season! Celebrate 50 years of magic. This black-tie gala is the ultimate back stage pass. Come lift a glass and toast the region’s premiere theatre.


March-April 2012

Presented as The Class07-06-11-tom-cfrt-page.jpgic Theatre Series Production, the show will be performed at Fayetteville State University’s Seabrook Auditorium.

An Evening With Bo

Spring 2012

Celebrate 50 years of Founding Artistic Director Bo Thorp at the CFRT, with an intimate evening with special guests, performances and reminiscences. A reception to follow.

28th Annual River Show

May 2012

A great tradition continues on the banks of the Cape Fear River at the Sol Rose Amphitheater, Campbellton Landing.

Photo: Tom Quaintance 

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