Performing Arts

Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective Residency at the Wortham Center

Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective Residency at the Wortham Center

From Ashes to Angel’s Dust. Different Strokes! Photo by Rodney Smith

The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is excited to host a new company in residence, Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective. The local nonprofit theatre company will begin its residency in September, kicking off its 2019/2020 season at the Tina McGuire Theatre, the Wortham Center’s new black-box venue for 80-100 people.

“Different Strokes! is a thriving company with an important mission,” says Wortham Center managing director Rae Geoffrey. “The opening of the Tina McGuire Theatre came at a perfect time for us to be a part of their growth and we are thrilled to welcome them to their new home.”

Since its inception in 2010, Different Strokes! has established a reputation for producing provocative and entertaining theatre that confronts issues of social diversity. For the past eight seasons, the company has primarily performed at The BeBe Theatre on Commerce Street, but in recent years growing popularity prompted its need for a larger space.

“Our partnership with the Wortham Center allows us to tackle new projects and expanded programming, including Underdevelopment, our local Playwright’s resource program, and children’s theatre classes Just Kids: Theatre for Socially Conscious Youth,” says Different Strokes! managing artistic director Stephanie Hickling Beckman. “Having a physical home and stable address enables us to better nurture and grow our audience base and more fully realize the next phases of our strategic plan, which include determining how we can become a more visible part of, and better serve, our community.”

The partnership was made possible by the expansion of Diana Wortham Theatre from a single-stage entity to a three-venue performing arts complex. The Wortham Center will comprise the existing Diana Wortham Theatre, the new Tina McGuire Theatre and the new Henry LaBrun Studio. Upon opening in September, all three spaces will be available to rent for community events including music and theater performances, workshops and conferences. The venues come performance-ready, equipped with professional lighting, seating and sound infrastructure, along with full use of the Wortham Center box office. The two new spaces are available at an attainable price, with discounted rates available to nonprofit organizations. “We are committed to providing a venue and related support to help local companies create and present art,” says Geoffrey. “Wortham Center will be a continually active space where the performing arts are making our community better through performances, classes, discussions, workshops, camps and education.”

The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts opens in September at 18 Biltmore Avenue. To obtain more information or to purchase tickets for upcoming shows and events, visit To inquire about booking any portion of the theatre for a future event, contact Operations Manager Tiffany Santiago at 828.210.9850 or at

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