July 9, 2012. ACT Readers Theatre continues its series of “Meeting of Minds” productions with show 6 scheduled for July 17, 19 and 20. The show will present a fresh new group of great minds from history including Susan B. Anthony, Sir Francis Bacon, Emiliano Zapata and Socrates. Produced and directed by Dudley Carpenter, “Meeting of Minds, Show 6,” is scheduled for July 17 at the River Country Estates, 139 Pear Tree Lane, Piney Creek, July 19 at the Alleghany Senior Center, 85 East Whitehead Street in Sparta, and July 20 at the Alleghany Public Library, 122 N. Main Street, Sparta. All performances are at 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Kirk Fogarty returns to ACT Readers Theatre after a long hiatus. She played Cat in “The Scarlett O’Hara Complex” several years ago. Fogarty grew up in Elkin and summered with her family in Alleghany County. After attending college in New Orleans, she remained there until, some years ago, she decided to spend half her year back in Alleghany County. Her character, Susan B. Anthony was instrumental in the Women’s Suffrage movement. She was also co-founder of the first Women’s Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Jim Williams will portray Sir Francis Bacon. Williams is no stranger to this type of role. In a previous “Meeting of Minds” program, he played a contemporary of Bacon, Sir Thomas More, who had also been Chancellor of England. Jim has been with ACT since 2007. He got his theatre start as a child actor in “Camelot” and later helped manage a theater group at an Air Force base in England. He has had roles in “Streetcar Named Desire,” “Harvey,” “Plaza Suite,” “The Odd Couple,” “Butterflies Are Free,” and “The Glass Menagerie.” He has performed in many ACT Readers Theatre shows including “Dairy Queen Days,” “Inherit the Wind,” “Ann of Green Gables” and “The Spoon River Anthology.” In the past months he has lent his talents to the Ashe Little Theatre where he directed “Harvey” and played Mr. Sowerberry in “Oliver.”
An exciting newcomer to Alleghany Community Theatre is Dr. Joe Arocha. Arocha will portray Emiliano Zapata, the Mexican revolutionary. This will be Arocha’s first dramatic role and he is very excited about playing such an important figure in Mexican history. Zapata formed and commanded an important revolutionary force, the Liberation Army of the South, during the Mexican Revolution. Followers of Zapata were known as Zapatistas.
Brad Jenkins will play Socrates. Jenkins previously directed the ACT production of “Steel Magnolias” and played Joe Keller in “All My Sons.” More recently he played Karl Marx in another ACT Readers Theatre, “Meeting of Minds” show. Other stage credits include: Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Matthew Brady” in Inherit the Wind and professional roles with the Broach Theatre and the NC Shakespeare Festival. Jenkins now splits his time between Alleghany County and a winter home in Florida. This past winter he produced and played Karl Marx in “Meeting of Minds” in Florida. Jenkins is also on the Play Selection Committee at Lemon Bay Theater in Englewood, Florida. The Greek philosopher, Socrates, is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is also noted for the “Socratic Method” of teaching: teaching by asking questions.
The “Meeting of Minds” series is based on Steve Allen’s PBS series, which won a Peabody Award, an Emmy, three Emmy nominations, a TV Critics Circle Award, the Encyclopedia Britannica Award and the Film Advisory Board Award. “Meeting of Minds” uses a typical talk-show format, but features guests who played important roles in history. One critic called it “the ultimate talk show.”
Director Dudley Carpenter has been an Alleghany County resident for 11 years after a 30-year career in Washington, DC as a video writer, producer, director and voice talent. He has been a member of The Highland Camerata and the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale. He has also been active with the Alleghany Community Theatre doing producing, directing, and acting as well as a board member. He has degrees in theatre as well as radio and TV.
ACT Readers Theatre is a staged, dramatic reading of a play. There are sometimes music, sound effects, a few props, and simple movement, often with a narrator describing action or location information necessary to understand what is going on.
Anyone wanting further information on “Meeting of Minds, Show 6” should contact producer Dudley Carpenter at 336-372-7901. There is also information on ACT’s Facebook page and website, www.alleghanycommunitytheatre.com.
Photo: From left to right, Joe Arocha as Emiliano Zapata, Kirk Fogarty as Susan B. Anthony, Dudley Carpenter, host, Jim Williams as Sir Francis Bacon, and Brad Jenkins as Socrates.