New theater group forming in Beaufort County

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beaufort County has a new community-theater group – almost.

A collection of local volunteers is working under the umbrella of the Beaufort County Arts Council to organize the group, tentatively called Second Line Community Theater.

The Second Line had its second general meeting Monday night at the arts council’s offices just off Gladden Street in Washington.

Among the topics discussed were the possibilities of staging a comedic, murder-mystery dinner theater and a play reading, said Joey Toler, executive director of the arts council.

“We’re going to look at some titles; we’re going to pick something and announce it,” Toler commented.

This announcement will be followed by open auditions, he related.

The play reading – preferably of a comedy – is intended to be a short-term way to introduce the community to the Second Line players, said Crystal Holman, one of the organizers.

The murder mystery is a work in progress, Holman added.

“We’re open and receptive to any talents that the community has got, whether it be working on costumes or set, being onstage, directing – all of it,” she said.

The group has no formal membership structure at present, but people who are interested in assisting should call the arts council at 252-946-2504 or send e-mail to

The “members” of Second Line are keeping in touch by e-mail and Facebook, Holman said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing live theater in Washington,” said Vail Rumley, chairwoman of the arts council’s board of directors.

Holman and Rumley are members of a steering committee that’s working out a structure for Second Line, which eventually could become a stand-alone entity separate from the arts council.

The movement toward Second Line started in early February, when the arts council hosted a sort of fact-finding session to gauge interest in pulling together a new community-theater group.

In announcing the meeting, Toler pointed to a gap in the local arts community because of the lack of an active community-theater organization.

Around 18 people attended that first meeting in February. Fewer people attended Monday’s meeting, but Toler expects the number of participants to grow once a project is on the calendar.