The UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) and Triad Stage have announced plans to create a formal partnership that will capitalize on the capabilities, connections and histories of both organizations.

The partnership will provide new curricular opportunities, enhance SMTD recruitment efforts and build a bridge to the profession for students, while providing top talent for Triad Stage to draw upon for its artistic productions.

“We look forward to working with Triad Stage to create a new national model for synergistic relationships between educational and professional entities,” said UNCG SMTD Dean Peter Alexander. “This is going to be a wonderful opportunity not just for our students, but for the Greensboro community as a whole.”

As the largest professional theater in the region, Triad Stage has been an important partner of UNCG since the theater’s inception. The new, formalized partnership is built on a history of collaboration between the two organizations, which dates back to Triad Stage’s 2002 inaugural production of “Suddenly Last Summer” featuring a UNCG graduate student and a UNCG alumna.

Over the course of the next year, Triad Stage Founding Artistic Director Preston Lane and Founding Managing Director Richard Whittington will serve as SMTD’s artists in residence. The two will teach courses and will open the doors of Triad Stage to UNCG students in formal and informal ways. This semester, Whittington is working to develop a theater management course that will be part of SMTD’s new arts administration major.

“Part of what originally attracted Rich and I to choose Greensboro as the artistic home for our professional theater was the presence of so many quality institutions for higher education,” Lane said. “We are so fortunate to have UNCG and its MFA programs in acting, directing and design from which to draw talent.”

Throughout its 15-season history, Triad Stage has provided professional opportunities to more than 250 UNCG students and has been an artistic home for UNCG alumni to come back to and share their talents. The theater is also a major employer of UNCG alumni, including current Triad Stage Resident Stage Manager Emily Mails ’06, Company Manager Ramon Perez ’12 and Costume Shop Manager Jennifer Stanley ’00, among others.

“Triad Stage provides our students and faculty with opportunities to put our training into practice,” said UNCG Theatre Interim Chair Ken White. “At the same time, UNCG Theatre provides Triad Stage amazing talent and a laboratory for exploring new opportunities.”

Throughout 2016, UNCG and Triad Stage will participate in ongoing discussions about possibilities for the expanded partnership, including professional training opportunities, case studies, expanded educational theater opportunities and cross-institutional collaborations.

While both institutions recognize the other as their primary educational/professional partner, the developing relationship does not prevent UNCG Theatre or Triad Stage from working with other institutions.

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