Theatre FrontAfter nine months of renovation, the Cape Fear Regional Theatre is good to go. Demolition started in March, and everything is to be complete just in time for the "The Wizard of Oz" show in January.

"We had our first indoor performance in 21 months on Dec. 4," Ashley Owen, marketing director at CFRT, said. "Our last performance inside our theater was March 15, 2020."

The theatre's 285 seats are now wider with more legroom, but that is not all that has improved.

"Renovation highlights include brand new seats that are wider, rows that are deeper, a brand-new sound system designed by TONY-Award winning Sound Designer Rob Kaplowitz," said Owen. "There also is a new fresh-air intake HVAC, upgraded energy-efficient lighting, new flooring, new paint and upgraded ADA accessibility. Pretty much, if you can name it, it's new."

Marc de la Concha, the education director at CFRT, has been at the theatre for two and half years.

"CFRT is special because of the relationship we have with our community," de la Concha said. "Whether here as audience members, class participants or volunteers, the theater is always full of people who share their love and passion for the arts."

"People come back to the theater because our productions are the perfect blend of local and out-of-town talent. Each production that we present is an entirely new experience in terms of content, diversity and talent," de la Concha said.

Owen agrees, "CFRT is special in so many ways. We are a professional theater that is deeply rooted in its community, and you can feel that when you walk in the front doors. It has a magical essence to it that sticks with you the entire time you're there."

The productions at CFRT are home-grown, providing the community with unique and quality events.

"People should come to the CFRT because the performances you see on our stage are created here and feature people who live and work in this community," Owen said.

The theater offers unique quality shows for value and honors military and educators.

"Depending on the show and the night you come, tickets range from $15-$32. $32 is our top ticket price.

We have military discounts for every performance and host military appreciation nights where tickets are 25% off for service members. We also host educator appreciation nights where educators receive 25% off ticket prices," Owen said.

Productions are not the only thing that CFRT offers the community. There are multiple classes for various ages, summer and single-day camps for children and special educational programs for military children.

"In addition to our productions, we offer a wide range of educational opportunities for all ages," de la Concha explained.

The CFRT has a range of programs scheduled for 2022. Based on the classic film everyone knows and loves, the 60th Anniversary Season at CFRT will kick off with "The Wizard of Oz" featuring a cast with both new and familiar faces and amazing special effects, including flying characters and pyrotechnics.

The "Wizard of Oz" runs from January 20, 2022, to February 1, 2022. CFRT will follow that up with "Welcome to Arroyo's" (March 10 - 27, 2022),"Clue" (April 7 - 24, 2022), and "The Color Purple" (May 5 - 29, 2022.)

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