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DIRECTOR WOODY KING TO STAGE PLAY AT A&T
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DIRECTOR WOODY KING TO STAGE PLAY AT A&T

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Broadway and film director Woodie King will shape the first 1990-91 production of the theater division of N.C. A&T State University. It's called ``Brown Silk and Magenta Sunsets' and will be seen Nov. 1-2 and 4-5.

Described as a mysterious tragedy, the work is by playwright P.J. Gibson.The season will include three other major productions, ending in April with ``The Wiz,' a musical version of the Wizard of Oz story. When last spring's production of ``The Wiz' was canceled because of state budget cutbacks, university officials promised to stage it this season.

The cancellation, which theater director H.D. Flowers II said came without proper consultation with him, led to his resignation. Flowers, who came to A&T in 1982 as artistic director of the theater division, had long sought autonomy for the theater. He wanted a separate department within the university, with its own budget.

Flowers is now at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

King is the first of the guest directors who will stage the main productions this season, said Dr. Mary M. Tuggle, head of the theater division.

King has headed the New Federal Theatre in New York for the past 20 years. He has directed and produced plays by such notable playwrights as Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Ron Milner and Ed Bullins over the past 20 years. His most recent success was Milner's ``Checkmates,' which ran on Broadway and on the Arena Stage in Washington.

The play King will direct here is the story of a wealthy widow with a guilt-ridden past. In ``Brown Silk and Magenta Sunsets,' she confronts three revenge-seeking adversaries: a female mentor, a former lover and her own daughter. The play is for adult audiences.

The A&T season will continue with ``The Road to Bethlehem,' Fae Donna Colley's Christmas story, Dec. 7-8 and 9-10, and ``God's Trombones,' James Weldon Johnson's play built around such gospel sermons as ``Go Down Death' and ``The Creation,' Feb. 22-25.

``The Wiz' is to be presented April 19-22 and 26-28.

Season tickets are $30, $10 for students. A season ticket allowing two admissions per show is $45. Several levels of patron support are also available. For information, call the A&T theater office, 334-7852.

Stevens Center series ``Something for Everyone,' a new series of productions sponsored by the N.C. School of the Arts Foundation and the Stevens Center Community Council, will bring E.G. Marshall and Colleen Dewhurst to Winston-Salem Oct. 29.

The noted stage and screen performers will appear in A.J. Gurney's play, ``Love Letters.'

The season continues with the Carlota Santana Spanish Dance Company, Nov. 2; the Flying Karamazov Brothers, jugglers, Nov. 19; and singer and actor Burl Ives, Dec. 15. Neil Simon's recent farce, ``Rumors,' with Peter Marshall and Patty McCormack, will be seen Feb. 8. The Red Clay Ramblers will play March 10, and De Dannan, an Irish traditional music group, will be heard March 17.

The Inkspots will perform March 26, followed by the Gatlin Brothers April 26. The next day, jazz singer Betty Carter will perform. The series will end with ``A Night at the Opry' May 28, with Grand Ole Opry stars.

All performances will be at 8 p.m.

Those who order five tickets or more receive a $2 discount per ticket. Individual tickets vary from the $20 for ``Love Letters' to $10 for the Red Clay Ramblers and the Inkspots. For information, call the Stevens Center box office, 721-1946.

Historic theater Using what may be the first ``little theater' in the nation, the Kernersville Little Theatre will present its annual production in Korner's Folly, beginning Oct. 12.

``The Good Doctor,' Neil Simon's adaptation of short stories by Anton Chekhov, will be seen in the third-floor ``Cupid's Park' theater. It got its name from the murals of Cupids which decorated it when it opened in 1897.

Shows will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 and 28 and 3 p.m. Oct. 21. Admission is $15. This includes a tour of the three-story, 22-room house before the show and wine and cheese at intermission. For tickets, call Brenda Kelly at 993-6556.

Bel Canto gets grant The Bel Canto Company of Greensboro, a professional choral ensemble, has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the District of Columbia American Guild of Organists Foundation.

The funds will be used to engage instrumentalists to accompany the singers in the Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 holiday program planned for Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and to produce a recording featuring J.S. Bach's ``Magnificat,' director David Pegg says.

The organists' foundation lists its goals as fostering ``professional excellence within the realm of organ/choral music and to assist in sustaining a climate in which organ/choral music may flourish and reach the widest possible audience.'

The Bel Canto Company ``represents the highest standards of choral performance practice,' says Dr. James Moeser, national president of the American Guild of Organists. ``I was frankly amazed that such a polished group existed outside a major metropolitan area.'

Pegg, who teaches at Salem College, is director and conductor. Ivan Battle, director of the Greensboro Music Academy, is associate director and accompanist. The ensemble has members from around the Triad.

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