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New theater season brings comedy, Shakespeare to stages of Fayetteville companies

Cape Fear Regional Theatre opens with ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’


The curtains rise on a new theater season in Fayetteville with “The Play That Goes Wrong” at Cape Fear Regional Theatre.

“We are super excited about this upcoming season,” said Ashley Owen, marketing director of CFRT. “When we were planning it, we really wanted something for everybody. So. I think that every show in our season appeals to everybody. You could be a little kid all the way to age 99; there’s going to be something in our season exciting for you.”

This season also will mark the end of an era for Cape Fear Regional Theatre. After the season ends next spring, the theater will close and begin major renovations. The expansion will add two classrooms, event spaces, and updated accessibility.

A closer look at Cape Fear Regional Theatre's upcoming season.

“It’s such an important moment for arts not only in our community but in the country,” Owen said. “There are theaters, really incredibly rooted theaters, that have been around for a very long time that weekly were getting closure reports. So, we’re really thankful for everyone in the community because they have supported us through a really, really hard time for the arts, just in general.”

“We’re just really thankful to be able to do what we love doing in a place that we love so much. We are so proud to call Fayetteville home. We are just really excited to have a new season filled with shows that we didn’t have to cancel over the last couple of years or postpone. Everything just feels fresh and fun and new and exciting. We’re just excited for people to come and see shows, and to laugh with us and enjoy with us. It’s a really exciting time.”

“The Play That Goes Wrong” is about the opening night of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” Things quickly go from bad to utterly disastrous. The production is a whodunit featuring an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything.

“It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my entire life,” Owen said. “We had our first full run-through on the stage last night. There was probably somewhere 25 to 30 of us in there, and we were howling from start to finish.”

“The Play That Goes Wrong” will have previews Sept. 7 and 8, and opening night will be Sept. 9. The production will run Sept. 7-24.

Pre-show events are planned for some performances. A Welcome Back Bash on Sept. 7 will include champagne and treats. On Sept. 8, murder mystery trivia is planned. The winning team will get a free concessions voucher.

Military Appreciation Night will be on Sept. 13, and Teacher Appreciation Night is on Sept. 15.

The show is rated PG-13 because of some mild adult language and comedic violence. Ticket prices range from $15 to $28 and can be bought at https://ci.ovationtix.com/36634/production/1172194.

The next show, scheduled Oct. 19-Nov. 5, is “The Addams Family Musical.” It will feature the return of some of Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s most beloved members, including Tyce Diorio, an Emmy Award-winning choreographer. James Clark, music director of Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s “Matilda the Musical” last season, will return as well.

More information about that production can be found at this web page.

Gilbert Theater

Gilbert Theater will celebrate its 30th year of contemporary and classical productions this season.

The 2023-24 season will begin with “The Rocky Horror Show” on Oct. 6-22. In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters. Complete with audience participation, cascading toilet paper, and an array of other  props, the deliberately kitschy rock ’n’ roll sci-fi gothic musical is more fun than ever.

For more information about the production and the rest of Gilbert Theater’s season, go to the theater's website.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare

The nonprofit theater company has announced seven shows for Fayetteville this upcoming season, but the dates of the performances have not been set. The season will be from October through June.

The shows in Fayetteville include “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “LIT Housewives of Windsor,” “Julius Caesar,” “Everybody,” “Green Tea: Merry Wives of Windsor,” and two more that have not been announced. Season tickets are available at the Sweet Tea Shakespeare website.

Artist Village

Artist Village, a Hope Mills nonprofit organization with goals to enrich, educate and entertain the community, will kick off its inaugural production with a radio play, the infamous “War of the Worlds.”

The performance will be transformed into a live, onstage production and is scheduled Oct. 6-8 in Hope Mills. Ticket information has not been released.

For more information, go to the theater's Facebook page.

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Fayetteville, theater, entertainment, arts, Cape Fear Regional Theatre