For 25 years, the Temple Theatre has been bringing professional theatre to the residents of Lee County and the surrounding area. The historic theatre, located in downtown Sanford, is celebrating its 25th season this year and plans to do it in style, bringing eight mainstage productions to the stage in its 2008-2009 season.
    “We are really excited about the upcoming season,” said Karen Brewer, marketing director of Temple Theatre. “We are bringing in a lot of shows that will hopefully bring in lots of people.”{mosimage}
    The box office season includes A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline from Aug. 28- Sept. 28; Christmas Spectacular from Nov. 28-Dec. 21; Hamlet from Jan. 8 –Jan. 25; Once On This Island from Feb. 5-22; Moonlight and Magnolias from March 12- 29, Little Women: The Musical from April 16-May 3; and Dames at Sea from May 28-June 21. 
    The Blackbox Theatre, a new smaller theatre within Temple, is a more intimate setting that seats 63 people. It features smaller productions such as Proof from Oct. 1-12; Stones In His Pocketbook from Nov. 12-23; Way to Heaven from Feb. 25-March 8; and Brecht on Brecht from May 6-17. Way to Heaven will be presented in English and Spanish versions. 
    “We are going to try to draw in the Spanish-speaking population,” said Brewer.
    Temple is a cultural center for Lee County and the surrounding region offering professional and children’s theatre to the area. The theatre, designed for vaudeville, seats 339 people, has an old fashioned orchestra pit, an advanced communication network and a computer-controlled lighting and sound system. 
Some of the groups that have graced the Temple’s stage include the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, the Red Clay Ramblers, the Kingston Trio, Glenn Miller and Count Basie. 
    The Temple Theatre School provides people of all ages the opportunity to take classes ranging from acting technique, improvisation, audition technique, musical theatre, voice and diction, stage combat and other specialty classes. 
    “We also have student matinees for some of these shows,” said Brewer. “We bring students in from the area elementary, middle and high schools.” 
    Brewer added that the actors come out after the show to talk to the students and allow them to ask questions. 
    Another project the theatre is currently focusing on is a fundraiser. 
    “We are trying to raise money so we can expand our restrooms,” said Brewer. “We are really growing and we want our patrons to be comfortable.”                                                                                                           The theatre is located in the downtown area of Sanford,. Show times are Thursdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. 
    For more information call (919) 774-4155. 

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