Alan Campbell and Lauren KennedyWilson, N.C. – Broadway stars Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell joined with campus and community dignitaries on April 24, to break ground for the new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre.

Granting more than just their names to the theatre, the husband and wife team hope to use their New York connections to bring fellow Broadway stars to Barton to enrich our students’ educational experiences.

Seeking to enrich the learning experience of Barton’s theatre students, Campbell said that there are “plenty of directors and people we know” that could interact with the theatre program.

Kennedy remembered her early exposure to theatre professionals such as Terry Mann while she was at the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. She believed it helped prepare her for her professional career on stage.

“I already felt like I had a leg up,” said Kennedy.

With the possibilities presented by partnerships with Broadway personalities, theatre students and supporters at Barton have much cause to celebrate.

In addition to professional relationships, the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre, as a structure, offers more cause for celebration. The new building, which is to be located between Moye Science Hall and the Case Art Building, will provide Barton’s students and theatre-goers with a black-box-theatre experience.

A black box theatre accommodates a variety of staging styles, ranging from proscenium to thrust to theatre-in-the-round and more. Because of its intimate atmosphere, black box theatres can feature one-man shows or larger productions without the need for microphones.

“It truly is the most useful kind of space,” said Campbell describing the versatility of this type of theatre.

However, the versatility extends beyond the performance space. The theatre will also house classroom space and workshops. It also benefits the campus chapel. Currently, theatre productions at Barton are performed in Howard Chapel; so having a dedicated theatre allows the reclamation of Howard Chapel as a sacred space.

The coming of the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre poises Barton to offer exceptional educational experiences to its students and enhanced entertainment to its theatre-goers.

Hot Summer Nights at Raleigh’s Kennedy Theatre will partner with Barton’s theatre program to provide students with great on- and back-stage experience.  This will give Barton’s theatre students the opportunity to interact with professional actors and stage engineers in Raleigh and Wilson.

“What we want to do from our end is try to also get the word out that Barton is a great place to come if you want to study,” said Campbell.

To learn how you can become part of the theatre program at Barton College, contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-345-4973 or email enroll@barton.edu.

If you would like to contribute toward the theatre campaign, contact Carolyn H. Brown, vice president for institutional advancement, about seat-naming and other giving opportunities by calling 1-800-422-4699 or 252-399-6598 locally. Email may be addressed to chbrown@barton.edu.

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Questions? Please contact Ken Dozier, web services manager at Barton College, at 252.399.6596 or email at kdozier@barton.edu.