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Triad Stage co-founder Preston Lane resigns from the downtown Greensboro theater
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Triad Stage co-founder Preston Lane resigns from the downtown Greensboro theater

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GREENSBORO — Preston Lane has resigned from Triad Stage, the downtown professional theater that he opened with Richard Whittington nearly two decades ago.

Preston Lane

Lane

Triad Stage announced Monday night that Lane had notified the theater board of trustees on Nov. 9 that he was resigning from his post as producing artistic director.

The news release from Marketing Director Deidre James did not elaborate on why Lane had resigned. James said she is not able to speak on personnel matters.

Lane did not respond to a phone call, email or text message inquiring about his resignation.

The announcement quoted Board Chairwoman Deborah Hayes as saying that planning for leadership succession at the theater is underway.

Like other theater and music organizations, Triad Stage has stopped producing live performances during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has continued to present plays and concerts virtually.

It has suffered financially as a result, as have other artistic organizations. In the spring, it laid off several staff members. 

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"We are looking forward to building on our rich artistic history as we continue to work toward the day when Triad Stage can return to live productions in a post-pandemic world," Hayes said in a news release.

In a follow-up email from James, Hayes added, "Preston will announce his plans on his own timetable."

"We are continuing our planning for a post-pandemic future," Hayes said through James. "With Broadway dark well into next year, that planning continues to be a work in progress. As we develop further clarity we look forward to sharing it with the community we so greatly appreciate and on whose support we depend."

Lane came to Greensboro in 1998, with plans to start a nonprofit professional theater downtown with fellow Yale graduate Whittington. They raised more than $5 million and turned the former downtown Montgomery Ward department store at 232 S. Elm St. into home base for Triad Stage. It opened in January 2002.

Lane directed more than 50 productions there, according to the theater website at triadstage.org. The theater produced several of Lane's plays and adaptations.

Whittington left his position as Triad Stage’s founding managing director in June 2019. Whittington said then that he wanted to spend more time with his family and didn’t want Triad Stage to suffer.

Three months later, Whittington joined UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem as associate vice chancellor for advancement.

Lane also taught acting and directing as an adjunct instructor at UNCG, whose students often appeared in Triad Stage plays.

He last worked at UNCG in December 2019, said Eden Bloss, the university’s senior director for external communications. The university has no plans for him to return, Bloss said, declining further comment.

Lane also has taught at N.C. A&T, UNCSA, Greensboro College, Southern Methodist University and the Professional Actors Workshop at the Dallas Theater Center.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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