CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte will hold its first production in its new home at Queens University, the gay-themed “The Luckiest People.”
The family drama centers around Richard and his elderly father, Oscar. Oscar (played by Dennis Delamar) wants to leave his assisted living facility and move in with Richard (Tim Ross), who is living with his partner David (Scott A. Miller). Unbeknownst to Oscar, the pair will also soon welcome an adopted son into their home.
Years of unspoken resentments bubble up to the surface, unleashing a feud that culminates in the father making a startling accusation against his son regarding Oscar’s growing suspicions over the circumstances of his wife’s death.
“The Luckiest People” is written by Meridith Friedman, and was commissioned by National New Play Network (NNPN). It will be directed by Sidney Horton.
The play premieres on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. It runs through Feb. 17. Dates and times can be found at atcharlotte.org.
All performances will be held at Queens University’s Hadley Theatre, 2211 Wellesley Ave, Charlotte.
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte relocates to Queens
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte signed a five-year lease, with an opportunity to extend. The company had been leading something of a nomadic existence since losing its permanent space of 12 years in 2016.
Two attempts at securing a new permanent space fell through, and the temporary spaces where they performed, like the Charlotte Ballet and the Mint Museum on Randolph, could not offer them what they need either.
Executive Director Chip Decker told The Charlotte Observer that Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte was “hemorrhaging money,” paying for a building on Freedom Dr. that was ultimately not a good fit due to insufficient parking.
“Things got pretty dark at times,” he said, noting that employees had to take furloughs and reduced pay, some of which is ongoing, in order to keep the company afloat.
The theater can seat between 150 to 200 depending on layout, matching its former home, but also offers higher ceilings. That opens up the types of sets that can be incorporated into performances.
“From an artistic standpoint, this space forces us to grow,” said Decker.
Speaking of growth, Queens is set to break ground this year on the $20 million Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts & Civic Engagement.
Importantly, for a company known for putting on what many call “edgy” performances, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte will have complete creative control.
“It’s explicit in the contract that Actor’s Theatre maintains complete artistic control,” Queens’ John Sisko, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences said. “We, in no way, will ask them to tone down anything they choose to produce.”