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Washington (noon) Rotary takes in the arts

From Washington (noon) Rotary Club

At Washington (noon) Rotary Club’s meeting this week, Debra Torrence, executive director of Arts of the Pamlico, shared the history of the community’s arts council and theater and the vibrant menu of arts and cultural events available to the community at its historic Turnage Theatre, along with efforts to seek funding to build more arts programs. This includes the launch of an annual summer of theater at the Turnage.

East Carolina University College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Chris Buddo described the college he leads, which is staffed with award-winning faculty serving more than 2,000 students. He shared the long-standing ECU/AOP relationship and theater collaborations, starting with ECU Storybook Theatre performances by the Theater for Youth, part of ECU’s School of Theatre and Dance and led by Dr. Patricia “Patch” Clark, of Washington.

Buddo noted the critical importance of ECU students performing at the Turnage, a high-quality venue with stellar acoustics and a perfect theater for voices to shine. School of Music faculty member Dr. Daniel Shirley shared the joint vision for Riverside Lyric Theatre, the AOP/ECU summer stock theater in Washington, and information about the upcoming ECU opera performance of “Hansel & Gretel” on the Turnage stage, Nov. 22 – 24. The Club sang along with Shirley as he performed a dreamy rendition of the well-known song “Edelweiss,” from “The Sound of Music,” as a little teaser for what’s to come. The musical will be performed by ECU Opera Theatre in late July 2020 on the Turnage stage, launching annual seasons of summer theater in Washington, in partnership with AOP.