A stage of its own: Theatre of Dare finds home in former Paparazzi space

Published 12:15 pm Thursday, February 17, 2022

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Theatre of Dare (TOD), community theater for the Outer Banks, will introduce its new home at the former Paparazzi OBX in Kitty Hawk with the opening of Arsenic and Old Lace on Friday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m.

“For over four years, we have wandered Dare County, and I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally found a place to settle,” said Stuart Parks II, TOD president. “It’s really gratifying to see TOD moving things to the next level after thirty years of performing for the community.”

In addition to quality theatrical productions for which the group has become known, the new TOD home is intended to be a place where all performing arts can be shared and celebrated. Plans include musical acts, classes in performing arts, summer camps and much more. While casts and crews have been busy producing the first three shows of this 31st season, the board and other volunteers have been diligently working to successfully move into and remodel the new location.

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“I think it’s safe to say that it’s been a labor of love for all involved,” said Kelsey Thompson, TOD business director.  “It’s taken a lot of elbow grease and support from the community to help us get where we are now. I for one am enthusiastic about how we’ll reimagine this new space – how we can make it a welcoming spot for everyone in Dare County and the surrounding areas.”

In order to support the expenses involved in preparing the theater for use, TOD is launching a fundraising campaign to help defray the costs of technical equipment, particularly a much-needed theatrical lighting system, sound system upgrades, as well as chairs for the audience and building maintenance requirements.

“Our goal for our Welcome Home Fundraiser is to raise $20,000, all of which will go to cover the cost of items we need to pull off successful productions in our new home,” said Thompson. “Plus, there will be incentive perks as a ‘thank you’ at each level of giving. While there are plenty of items on our wish list, our first priority is having the equipment necessary to maintain our reputation for theatrical excellence.”

“Now that we’re opening a new theater, I anticipate new faces, people ready to get involved both onstage and off,” continued Parks. “We’ve always been eager to welcome anyone and everyone – having a home base should help us amplify our outreach.”

The new location at 3848 N. Croatan Highway began as Kitty Hawk Twin Cinema when Kitty Hawk Plaza was built in 1984. Eventually the space hosted events, primarily musical, as Outer Banks Jubilee Theater and then Paparazzi OBX. The new TOD home will accommodate an audience of 200, with capacity for selling tickets and serving refreshments in the lobby as well as spacious restrooms, a sizable stage and areas for both an office and storage.

“Formed in 1990 by the board of the Outer Banks Forum, TOD was intended to expand the group’s mission of bringing all forms of lively arts to the Outer Banks. The community theater has had to perform in a variety of venues, staging their first production at a local restaurant. For a number of years, their home base was the auditorium in the old College of The Albemarle building in Manteo, which was condemned in 2017,” stated a TOD press release. “Since then, the vagabond group has produced nearly twenty shows at locations that include Dare County Arts Council, Lost Colony soundstage, and Roanoke Island Festival Park – including three virtual performances during the pandemic.”

For information on donating to the Welcome Home fundraiser, updates on progress at the new location, tickets for Arsenic and Old Lace and information on how to volunteer and become involved with TOD, visit www.TheatreofDareOBX.com.