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Ensemble Stage Was Front and Center for Another Outstanding Performance in Banner Elk on May 9


(L-R) Lisa Lamont, Gary Smith, Paul O’Connell and Susie O’Connell. Paul and Susie O’Connell (right) presented Lisa Lamont and Gary Smith with a check for $10,000 in a show of ongoing support for Ensemble Stage.

Rather than a performance of one of his signature theatrical productions, Gary Smith directed the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce’s after hours/networking for a near capacity crowd.  Ensemble Stage, complete with props and a blinding spotlight, hosted the event with artistic flair. 

Community news, great food and scattered humor were all part of the fun of the evening.  A clear highlight for artistic director Smith, bringing tears to his eyes, was the presentation of a $10,000 contribution from Paul and Susie O’Connell.  Updates from chamber members were plentiful.  Bayou Smokehouse provided a buffet of fine food items and an ample beverage service.  The schedule of upcoming performances was detailed.

Smith proudly announced that the Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority underwrote the cost of a new air conditioning system for the Hahn Auditorium.  The system will be installed to add comfort and quietness for patrons’ experiences this summer.

The Ensemble Stage 2018 season kicks off on June 8, with the suspense thriller Deadly Murder.

Photos by Jim Swinkola

Gary Smith and Jo-Ann McMurray
Allen Bolick of the Historic Banner Elk School
Bayou Smokehouse provide superb foods and ample beverages