Monologue Slam Winners Announced;
50 Young Actors Cast for Children’s Theater Season Finale;
Red Barn Studio Theatre Announces New Summer Season

WILMINGTON, NC – This time of year, things are typically winding down for local community theater Thalian Association as it heads into the last shows of the season for its main stage and Children’s Theater. But this year, the drama is just getting started. Here’s an overview:


Thalian Association has announced the winners of the Wilmington area’s first Monologue Slam held on Saturday, April 26 on the Second Street Stage at the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center. The winners of the Adult round include John Burke, First Place; Lynn O’Connell, Second Place and Courtney Poland, Third Place. Children’s round winners include Matt Winner, First Place; Kendra Novelli, Second Place and Jadin Harris, Third Place.  The Monologue Slam was produced by the Thalian Association’s Children’s Theater (TACT) Leadership Program and directed by Sara Lucas. The event was inspired by her Senior Project.

“Wilmington is blessed to have such an active theater community, but the productions are often primarily musical theater, so we thought a Monologue Slam would be a wonderful opportunity to spotlight another type of acting talent,” said Susan Habas, Executive Director of Thalian Association. “The talent and turnout for the event exceeded our expectations, so this will very likely be an annual event for Thalian Association.”

The Monologue Slam featured 15 contestants ages 10 through adult who showcased their talent and artistic expression in three minute performances. The show’s format was similar to a music revue with monologues instead of music. The Monologue Slam judges included Tom Briggs, L.J. Woodard and Lee Lowrimore.

TACT Leadership Program is an initiative established in 2013 to offer young people the opportunity to stay involved with the theater year round. The Leaders are senior members of the Children’s Theater who mentor their peers, foster community spirit, and encourage involvement in all aspects of theater.


More than 50 young actors attended auditions for Thalian Association Children’s Theater’s season finale, TACT Radio Hits Through The Ages, on Saturday, April 26 at the Community Arts Center, and 50 have been cast in this original music revue. The revue will be directed by Michelle Rieff; musical direction will be provided by Jonathan Barber, and choreography by Kevin Green, Mary Beth Henderson and David T. Loudermilk, Thalian Association Artistic Director. TACT Radio Hits Through The Ages will be presented on the Second Street stage in the Community Arts Center on June 5 – 8, 2014. For more information and to purchase tickets online visit


A classic from the Golden Age of Broadway comes to the local stage with Thalian Association’s season finale Wonderful Town. The production tells the story of two sisters who move from the homey comfort of Ohio to the bohemian area of New York City known as Greenwich Village. Their hilarious misadventures are accompanied by one of Bernstein’s most effervescent scores. The winner of five Tony Awards including Best Musical, Wonderful Town will be presented at historic Thalian Hall in downtown Wilmington May 15 – 25, 2014, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm with Sunday matinee performances at 3 pm.


  • “‘The most uproarious and original musical carnival we’ve had since “Guys and Dolls.”” – The New York Times, 1953
  • “Pulses with Personality with a capital P! Great characters with various idiosyncrasies that translate as naturally as breathing into song and dance.”” – The New York Times, 2000


Thalian Association has announced a new summer season of three straight plays that will each make their Wilmington Premiere at Red Barn Studio Theater at 1122 Third Street in downtown Wilmington from June through August. The selections include:

1.    Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike – May 29 – June 21, 2014

2013 Tony Award and Drama-desk Award Winning Best Play by Christopher Durang. The play features middle-aged siblings sharing the family home in Bucks County, PA as they bicker hilariously about the circumstances of their sorry lives. When their movie-star sister swoops in with her new boy toy, old resentments flare up and lead to threats of selling the house. Playwright Durang has great fun deconstructing Chekov to illuminate our American lives. Mike O’Neill, Holli Saperstein, Tamara Mercer and Jacob Keohane are cast in the title roles.


  • “Deliriously funny…a heedless good time.” —New York Times.
  • “Riotous, the show’s a ton of fun …This is the kind of full-on comedy that’s sadly rare on Broadway.” —New York Post.

2.    Red – July 3 – 26, 2014
2010 Tony Award-winning Best Play by John Logan. The play explores the life of master abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko in his New York studio in 1958, painting murals for the exclusive Four Seasons restaurant.  He orders around his assistant, Ken, as he mixes the paints, builds the frames, and paints the canvases. Ken brashly questions Rothko’s theories of art, skeptical of his having accepted such a commercial commission. This confrontation between two very astute men, of different generations and points of view, illuminates our American lives.


  • “Intense and exciting…a portrait of an angry and brilliant mind…RED captures the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations.” —NY Times.
  • “Smart, eloquent entertainment, just delightful.” —The New Yorker.


3.    Good People – August 7 – 30, 2014
2011 Tony and Drama Desk Nominee for Best Play by David Lindsay-Abaire. In the Southie neighborhood of Boston, a night on the town might be a few rounds of bingo; this week’s paycheck might be last month’s rent. When Margie has trouble arranging care for her special needs adult daughter, she’s fired from her dead-end job for being late. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie is reminded of an old high school fling. He made it out of Southie, became a doctor, and is living fancy. Could he be her ticket to a new start? This timely, powerful, funny and heartbreaking play explores the struggles and shifting loyalties between friends that illuminate our American lives.


  • “The scrappy characters have tremendous appeal, and the moral dilemma they grapple with. . .holds special significance in today’s harsh economic climate.” —Variety.
  • “A penetrating drama about deeply relatable issues, albeit this time with more warming doses of humor.” —Hollywood Reporter.


Established in 1788, Thalian Association is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to enhancing the Cape Fear region through live community theater and arts education. Thalian Community Theater produces five major productions annually on the Main Stage at historic Thalian Hall. Thalian Association Children’s Theater (TACT) is a youth production company that offers training and performance opportunities for children age 7 through high school seniors. In 2007, the North Carolina legislature named Thalian Association the State Community Theater of North Carolina. For more information, go to