Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective Inc. is a 501(c) 3 certified non-profit organization which purposes to increase and sustain opportunities for more diversity within the Western North Carolina performing arts community, by producing, and working with other performance artists or groups to present works which confront issues of social diversity in a provocative way; and by providing opportunities for audiences to explore visions of our diverse world.
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Different Strokes! News

We’re excited to announce that for our 2015 season, we’re continuing our partnership with the Be Be Theater on Commerce Street for all of our shows.

 

Upcoming Auditions

boys

September 20, 2015 to September 21, 2015

Visit our Facebook page to stay up to date on what is happening with Different Strokes!

Facebook Posts

Spotlight on "The Shape of Things" actor, Allen Law

Allen (Jamie) is proud to be working with such skilled artists in his first Different Strokes production. Some recent productions have included Amadeus (NC Stage with Asheville Community Theatre), Brief Encounters (The Magnetic Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life (Immediate Theatre Project), and Shunned (Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre). He holds a BFA in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory and thus would like to know if you are hiring.

Like the rest of his cast mates, this is Allen's first show with Different Strokes! and we are extremely hopeful that come back again, to play with us! We asked Allen for his take on "The Shape of Things". Read what he had to say, especially since he is playing a role written for a female:

"The playwright has been accused of misogyny in the past so it has been fun to explore a part that was originally written for a female. I've found Jamie to be a well-written character, regardless of the actors gender, having a fully formed story arch. Jamie starts out under the thumb of his overbearing fiancee but we see him begin to take a more active role in his own life. While Jamie appreciates Phyl for the stability she provides, he finds a kindred spirit in Adam. Both Jamie and Adam have a difficult time speaking up for themselves and it is when they are together that they truly feel like themselves. Jamie starts off defined by Phyl and ends up being his own person. It's been enlightening to be a part of this production, having the opportunity to see these characters be brought to life from different perspectives."

See Allen in "The Shape of Things" at the BEBE Theatre Sept.3-19. a 7:30 or 10:00. Please see our website for specific dates and times. http://www.differentstrokespac.org/wp_theatre_season/2015/
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Spotlight on "The Shape of Things" actor, Samantha Stewart

Sam (Evelyn) is a graduate of Warren Wilson College with a BFA in English with a concentration in Theatre and a minor in Creative Writing. Some of her favorite roles include Viola in Twelfth Night, Masha in The Seagull, Kristine Urich in A Chorus Line, Grumio in Taming of the Shrew, Marianne in Tartuffe, Ophelia in Hamlet, Catherine Sloper in The Heiress, and Annabella/The Professor/Pamela in The 39 Steps.

Like the rest of her cast mates, this is Sam's first show with Different Strokes! and we would love for it not to be her last! We asked Sam for her take on "The Shape of Things", and this is what she had to say:

This play is about subjectivity and perspective within relationships. As Evelyn, I am the agent of chaos that tests boundaries and social mores to the benefit or detriment, depending on your perspective, of those around her.

See Sam in "The Shape of Things" at the BEBE Theatre Sept.3-19. a 7:30 or 10:00. Please see our website for specific dates and times. http://www.differentstrokespac.org/wp_theatre_season/2015/
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Spotlight on "The Shape of Things" actor, Nathan Singer

Over the last three years, Nathan (Adam) has had the honor of collaborating as an actor and production team member with local companies such as Parkway Playhouse, NC Stage, Dark Horse Theatre, Attic Salt Theatre Company, and TheatreUNCA. He is a senior at UNC Asheville seeking a BA in Drama with a K-12 Theatre Arts Teaching License. Nathan holds DSPAC’s work in high regard, and is grateful for this awesome opportunity. He thanks you all for supporting Asheville’s theatre scene, and hopes you enjoy [the] production(s)!

Like the rest of his cast mates, this is Nathan's first show with Different Strokes! and we are extremely hopeful that it is not his last! We asked Nathan for his take on "The Shape of Things",and this is what he had to say:

DS: What do you feel the show is about?

Nathan: This show is about being open to differing perspectives. It's always easy to jump to conclusions when facing hard decisions and life-outcomes, but that's not the way we should be looking at the world. To become stronger and far more progressive people we have to be open to the idea that there are other ways of living and thinking out there in the world. Sometimes those other perspectives can hurt our own belief systems, but the way we address (and ultimately overcome) these conflicts is what will truly define who we are. We all have the ability to change and grow--for ourselves and for others.

DS: What is the importance of your character to the plot?

Nathan: Adam is the link of change between the other characters in this play. Yes, his change is central to the plot's development, but it's his presence among these three other people that really solidifies his importance. Adam is a chameleon-like character that adapts to whatever best fits the situation or person, so really his undefinable place in social groups allows him to infiltrate and inspire change in others easily. As those around him change, he does too as a way of subconsciously complimenting them. That's what this show is about. Evelyn doesn't inspire the change, Adam does. But is his change for the better? That's something that everyone has define for themselves personally, I think.

See Nathan in "The Shape of Things" at the BEBE Theatre Sept.3-19. a 7:30 or 10:00. Please see our website for specific dates and times. http://www.differentstrokespac.org/wp_theatre_season/2015/
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Spotlight on "The Shape of Things" actor, Devyn Ray

Devyn (Phyl) is originally from Austin, TX where she studied Theatre Performance and movement at St. Edward’s University. Her favorite Austin credits include, Desdemona in Othello, Ophelia in Hamlet, Rachael (Wrath) in Holier Than Thou, Sandy in the North American premier of The Schooling of Bento Bonchev, and Laura Vega in the film blacktino. In Asheville, she has been seen as Bianca Minola in Taming of the Shrew, Volcian Soldier/Lioness in Coriolanus, The Clown in The Winter’s Tale, Juliet in R&J, Stella Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Chloe in Arcadia and Lady Anne in Richard III.

Like the rest of her cast mates, this is Devyn's first show with Different Strokes! and we are desperately trying to impress her enough to stay! We asked Devyn for her take on "The Shape of Things",and this is what she had to say:

DS: Devyn what's your perspective on the play?

Devyn "The Shape of Things" is about the struggle of finding humanity beyond the bounds of the planet Earth. When a pair of unlikely friends meet and form a lasting friendship in spite of overwhelming odds, it radiates kindness to everyone around them. This is a bittersweet comedy about coming of age, littered with dressing in drag, revivification, Reese's Pieces and the human spirit. It begs the question what is it really to phone home. Elliot and E.T. really are..

DS: (...blank stare...)

Devyn: Oh no, hold up, that's E.T. the extra terrestrial. Sorry. "The "Shape of Things is about the way we bend and shape(see what I did there?) ourselves to make relationships easier, to make other people happier. It tests the boundaries of relationships. It highlights the corollary between desirability, confidence and moral integrity. My character, Phyllomena Kennedy (Phyll) Schottenstein III, acts as a catalyst and a reminder of the way things used to be. Also, she's funny as hell, and super humble, just like me.

See Devyn in "The Shape of Things" at the BEBE Theatre Sept.3-19. a 7:30 or 10:00. Please see our website for specific dates and times. http://www.differentstrokespac.org/wp_theatre_season/2015/
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Spotlight on "The Shape of Things" actor, Maximillian Koger

Maximilian Koger (Phil) is thrilled and grateful to be joining Different Strokes! for the first time. You may have just seen him in the past year as Gregory in Miss Nelson Is Missing with Asheville Creative Arts and as a performer with Crest Mountain. A warm thank you goes to the indomitable support system of his friends, family, cast, crew, and the audience. To have a system of individuals support you and encourage you to go after everything you have always dreamed of is a more valuable and awe-inspiring gift than anything of monetary value.

Like the rest of his cast mates, this is Max's first show with Different Strokes! and we are extremely hopeful that is is not his last! We asked Max for his take on "The Shape of Things",and this is what he had to say:

DS: Describe what this show is about, from your perspective.

Max: I believe this show is about individual evolution. So many relationships can become destructive as opposed to supportive. I think it's an eye-opening story about people's constant pursuit of what they deem the perfect match. The strongest relationships I've seen are two people loving each other exactly as they are and challenging each other to be the best version of themselves. Two completely different puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. This show is about that challenge and how gradually it can become emotionally manipulative sculpting into someone beyond recognition.

DS: What is the importance of your character to this play?

Max: Phil, in my opinion, is a poster child for confidence in exactly who he is, or what he allows people to see. Phil has been Adam's best friend since high school and is one of the strongest reference points for Adam's evolution beyond the physical changes. Even though he has questionable ways of showing it, Phil cares very deeply for Adam because he sees the same confidence in who he is and isn't. So when these seemingly coerced changes start to occur to his best friend, Phil is always there to remind him of who Adam is, at the core.

See Max in "The Shape of Things" at the BEBE Theatre Sept.3-19. a 7:30 or 10:00. Please see our website for specific dates and times. http://www.differentstrokespac.org/wp_theatre_season/2015/
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 Up Next

by Neil Labute

Directed by Steph Hickling Beckman

Produced by Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective

The Beneficiary of This Production is Reclaiming Beauty

Two (2) casts give varying perspectives on Love and betrayal; Art and obligation; Sex and seduction; Beauty and body image.

In 2012 we produced A Lesson Before Dying with two cross-over casts in order to provide the audience with varying perspectives on the same issue, in regard to race and class.   In this production of The Shape of Things, we are using two entirely different casts, as we explore gender bias and sexuality in regard to relationship intimacy and sacrifice. Evelyn and Adam embark on an intense relationship that causes shy and principled Adam to go to extraordinary lengths to maintain a relationship with his new found love. In the process, Evelyn's subtle coaching results in Adam's complete transformation. The Shape of Things is an intense  study of human relationships interestingly coupled with the ethics involved in the relationship of art and life.

See one or both shows on Friday and Saturday nights, running back to back, at 7:30 and 10:00 or have the opportunity to see just one, on Thursday nights. 

Starring: Nathan Singer, Desmond Zampella (Adam); Meg Hale Brunton, Sam Stewart (Evelyn);. With: Maximillian Koger, Devyn Ray (Phil/Phyll); and Emily Crock, Allen Law (Jenny /Jamie) 

Meet The Actors

September 3-19, 2015 (Thurs. 7:30pm Fri-Sat 7:30pm and 10:00pm ) The Be Be Theatre 20 Commerce St.

Purchase Tickets Here

Coming Soon!

The Boys Next Door

The Boys Next Door

by Tom Griffin

The Boys Next Door is a touching and humorous look into the lives and relationships between four male roommates with special needs, living under the watchful eye of a compassionate, but "burned-out," caretaker. Mingled with scenes from the daily lives of these four, where “little things” sometimes become momentous (and often very funny), are moments of great poignancy when, with touching effectiveness, we are reminded that the handicapped, like the rest of us, want only to love and laugh and find some meaning and purpose in their lives.

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