Utilizing two different casts to tell a story spanning four decades, Triad Stage and NewBridge Bank present the entire New Music trilogy by Reynolds Price, directed by Preston Lane, in a two part extended run-Part I, comprised of the plays, August Snow and Night Dance, and Part II, the final play in the series, Better Days-produced together for only the second time since they were written.
About the show: Enter a small town in eastern North Carolina and witness the lives of the Avery family and their friends. Part I begins in August 1937 with August Snow. One year into their troubled marriage, Taw Avery gives her husband, Neal, an ultimatum-he must put his past behind him or she will leave him forever. With less than a day to decide, they each make a journey of self discovery to find the meaning of commitment and sacrifice. Their story continues in Night Dance at the end of World War II. The battle may be over, but the loss of lives and dreams continues in its wake. Neal and Taw must carry on, searching for a way to keep hope and love at the heart of their family. In Part II: Better Days, friends and visitors gather to comfort Neal and Taw after the death of Neal's mother, Roma, thirty years after the events in Night Dance. Their son, on leave from Vietnam, seeks a destiny beyond his family's roots. When Roma's will reveals a startling surprise, conflicting desires threaten to leave everyone in a state of uncertainty, and they will need enormous courage to meet the future in a swiftly changing world. The two parts of New Music are performed in rotating repertory.
Part I: August Snow and Night Dance runs February 12 through March 17, 2012. Opening Night is Friday, February 17. Part II: Better Days runs February 21 through March 18, 2012. Opening Night for Part II is Saturday, February 25, 2012. The production is sponsored by NewBridge Bank.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Reynolds Price was born in the town of Macon, North Carolina in 1933 and spent much of his childhood moving from town to town as his family struggled financially. While attending Duke University as an undergraduate, he became a student of Eudora Welty, who introduced his writing to her agent. After graduating summa cum laude from Duke University in 1955, he attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar to study the works of John Milton, before returning to Duke, where he taught as a James B. Duke Professor of English for more than 50 years. During that time he received the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service, the university's highest honor, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. A professorship in creative writing was established in his name in 2008. The novel, set in his home of eastern North Carolina, was praised for its Southern voice and solidified Price's emergence as the best Southern writer of his generation. It also received the William Faulkner Award for notable first novel, one of numerous awards he earned for his more than 40 novels, plays and collections of short stories and poetry. His novel, Kate Vaiden, completed in 1986, won the National Book Critics Circle prize for the year's best work of fiction. His 1994 memoir, A Whole New Life, details his struggle with spinal cancer that had left him partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair since the mid 80s. Price passed away on January 20, 2011 from complications of a heart attack.
"ONE CITY, ONE AUTHOR"
New Music is a part of the Greensboro Public Library's "One City, One Author" program, Reynolds Price: The Writer, The Teacher and North Carolina Native Son, a four-month long celebration of over two dozen events honoring Price and his work. "Producing the New Music trilogy in its entirety is the largest project upon which Triad Stage has ever embarked and we are thrilled to partner with the Greensboro Public Library," states Managing Director, Richard Whittington. "It is the perfect combination of the arts and literacy," says Beth Sheffield, Programming and Readers Advisory Specialist at Greensboro Public Library. "We have a great slate of programming for the community." Lectures, art classes and book discussions centering on Price's Kate Vaiden and A Whole New Life are the focus of the Greensboro Public Library's free events. Triad Stage will host two of the events in its UpStage Cabaret, "Reynolds Price: The Writer" with FrEd Chappell, Daphne Athas, Dr. Hephzibah Roskelly, Michael Parker and friends on January 30; and a poetry reading, "Toasts for Reynolds" with Vic Strandberg on April 10.