Pictured: Sallie Hayes-Williams, Cassandra Lowe Williams and Erin Schmidt. Photo by VanderVeen Photographers

InSight from Courtney George

When I stepped into the theatre at Triad Stage last Sunday for The Member of the Wedding, I knew I was about to experience a special performance. The cast and crew transformed the theatre into the space of author Carson McCullers’ youth—a space filled with laughter and also with the anguish of adolescence. The play not only explores the adolescence of main character Frankie Addams but also of the 1940s South, and more generally, of 1940s America, as immense changes were taking place across the globe.
Like Frankie, as a child, Carson felt that she wasn’t a member of the polite southern society in which she grew up. Carson was a tall, gangly girl, who dressed and acted more like a tomboy than a lady. She was an avid explorer, and when she walked or biked in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia, Carson witnessed segregation and poverty. Instead of just blindly ignoring it, Carson openly questioned inequality at a very young age—perhaps because she felt like an outsider, too. In The Member of the Wedding, these childhood experiences are reprised in Frankie’s relationships with the girls of the social clubs and also Berenice Sadie Brown and her brother Honey.
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From the Director: Crossing the Threshold

Dear Audience,

This past July, I found myself standing outside 1519 Stark Avenue in Columbus, Georgia. It was a Thursday afternoon and everything was going haywire in Greensboro and New York — an actor had dropped out of our first show four days from 1st rehearsal, and I had spent my Georgia morning on the phone problem solving and planning. But this 1920’s bungalow was the reason for my journey to Columbus, and for the next hour, I wanted nothing to disturb me. So I silenced the phone, walked up to the door and knocked.

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Cassandra Lowe Williams or Ethel Waters?

Here’s a little fun history about the intertwining roles of Greensboro’s very own Cassandra Lowe Williams and legendary singer and actress Ethel Waters.
  • 1950: Ethel Waters as Bernice Sadie Brown in the original Broadway production of The Member of the Wedding:
  • 2009: Cassandra Lowe Williams as Ethel Waters in Triad Stage’s production of Ethel Waters: His Eye is on the Sparrow:

  • 2014: Cassandra Lowe Williams as Bernice Sadie Brown inTriad Stage’s production of The Member of the Wedding:

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Some Special Scenic Artists

What do you do when your set design calls for a wall of children’s drawings? You commission elementary school students, of course!

We asked these Greensboro Day School 4th graders to draw like kindergarteners for a day in order to recreate the drawings we needed to decorate the set for The Member of the Wedding. Everyone did a great job, and we had a blast watching these artists in action:

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A True Southern Writer: Carson McCullers

by Bryan Conger, Triad Stage Artistic Associate & Dramaturg for The Member of the Wedding

Home is where the heart is. It’s a phrase that — though heard often — rings particularly true for Southern writers. Home is the place they return to time and time again in their stories to illuminate truths of the lonely outcast and exorcise demons of the past. A classic Southern writer, Carson McCullers both loved her homeland and battled with it throughout her body of work. Continue reading →