We are so excited to be participating in International #lovetheatre Day with @twitterUK. Follow us all day on Wednesday, November 19th to see what really goes on in the day in the life of Triad Stage. Every department is participating — from marketing and development to our artistic director. Click here to go to our page and join in on the fun!
Actress Cassandra Lowe Williams discusses the importance of Ethel Waters’ influence on the stage version of “The Member of the Wedding” in this bonus footage.
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.
- 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:
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:
The 39 Steps features a cast of four playing a nearly uncountable number of characters. The bulk of those characters are portrayed by two “clowns.” And by clowns, we mean the extraordinarily talented actors and wonderful humans Sal Cacciato and Andy Paterson.
This show is the Triad Stage debut for each of them, and we’re very happy to have gotten to know them. This awesome duo brings so much energy and hilarity to every performance. You should get to know them, too:
“Featuring four actors, 150 characters, and lots of hilarity, The 39 Steps is a high energy farce that will keep audiences in stitches from beginning to end.”
“A hilarious romp through a spy novel, The 39 Steps, directed by Jen Wineman, combines a light plot of murderous mystery with the creativity of improv and the oh-so-appreciated ‘simple’ humor of an ‘SNL’ skit.”
A few weeks ago, a cardboard Alfred Hitchcock showed up in the Triad Stage office. After his eerie presence stopped startling everyone (including our unsuspecting stage manager working alone — or so she thought — in the office one night), we grew to love him and nicknamed him Alfie.
Since then, he’s been out and about among the people of Greensboro, shamelessly promoting The 39 Steps. Why’s he so invested? Because the play is an adaptation of his 1935 film, which itself was an adaptation of John Buchan’s 1915 classic spy novel. The play version of The 39 Steps is a little film noir, a little Monty Python, and completely ridiculous in the best possible way. We know Alfie looks serious, but he has a fun side, too.