written by
Lynn Trenning

[Lynn Trenning]



A native Chicagoan with stints in Montana, Brooklyn and Vermont, Lynn Trenning writes, reads, raises kids, writes letters to politicians, travels, is a Deacon, serves as a board secretary, and is a former local Sierra Club executive committee member. She can run an office, wait a table, and bake a cheesecake. She is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association. She won a first place "2002 Green Eyeshade Award" for her commentaries on WFAE, awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists. She writes for public radio station, WFAE, The Charlotte Oberserver, and for ArtSavant.

Please check back to find out what Lynn's been up to lately.

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  • Cyrano de Bergerac
    March, 2004
    "Transforming a well-known man into a woman is dangerous, but it works. The show is neither farcical nor foolish, nor does it convey a whit of mockery. Indeed, it is a richly realized period piece of historic fiction."

  • All of the People, All the Time
    November, 2003
    "This magic show masquerading as a play will dazzle magic aficionados and poker players alike. Abraham Lincoln claimed that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. I’m not so sure... The show...tracks the magicians' discovery of magic, their digital alacrity, and the tenacity involved in perfecting their trade."

  • Blithe Spirit
    November, 2003
    "Director Lon Bumgarner discovered three ways to bring a fresh look to venerable playwright Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, now on stage at Theatre Charlotte. The first is a monochromatic production, dominated by Brian Ruggaber’s black and white set. The second is casting Laura Depta as the medium Madame Arcati. The third is sex appeal."

  • Phantazmagoria, a Halloween Dream
    October, 2003
    "In Phantazmagoria, fluorescent candy corn meanders in mid-air, ropes whip themselves into floating spirographs, and characters disappear in front of our eyes as a little girl’s Halloween adventure whisks her from bed to a fantastic dreamland."

  • Frankenstein: The Rock Opera
    October, 2003
    "Somewhere in the convoluted story of a scary monster, his haunted inventor, and a sea captain named Walton, there might be a successful musical. The world premiere of Frankenstein, The Rock Opera, at Davidson College is a first step toward that production."

  • Bridge to Terabithia
    October, 2003
    "The challenge of putting on a serious play for children is to entertain them without preaching to them. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte succeeds marvelously in their production of Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. Director Alan Poindexter’s subtle touch illuminates the glories and horrors of childhood in this tender tale of a friendship between two fifth graders."

  • Heartworm
    October, 2003
    "Thank heavens for Sheila Snow Proctor, who elevates the play in her role as Susie. Proctor sniffs, scratches, fetches and bites, depending on her mood. Her mauling of a steak bone in a restaurant, and her attack of the priest, played by Joe Copley, are the show’s shining moments."

  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
    October, 2003
    "References to popular culture are almost as numerous as the words of the Bard in the University of North Carolina Charlotte’s production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)... the play desperately strives to convince the audience that Shakespeare is relevant today."

  • A Grand Night for Singing
    October, 2003
    "A Grand Night for Singing is a trip down memory lane that... takes feel good and makes it feel even better."

  • Evita
    September, 2003
    "Senora Maria Eva Duarte de Peron was either a saint or a sinner, depending on who is telling the story... she is charming, manipulative, and perhaps sincere in her role as populist representative of the Argentine people. The diamonds and applause that accompanied the job didn’t hurt her motivation a bit."

  • Finer Noble Gases
    September, 2003
    "Playwright Adam Rapp’s Finer Noble Gases caused a stir at the 2002 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Nihilist in its rejection of society’s laws, existential in its lack of purpose; it presents six examples of whom you don’t want to be when you grow up."

  • The Commedia Cinderella
    September, 2003
    "Originally written by Parisian Charles Perrault, the fairy tale has been adapted by Lane Riosley and is performed in the16th century style of Commedia dell’arte. There are enough accents to challenge Meryl Streep, and enough colors to satisfy Liberace. The resulting chaos is alternately dizzying and comic."

  • The Underpants
    September, 2003
    "Steve Martin’s fresh adaptation of German playwright Carl Sternheim’s 1911 play retains a stiff German backbone while tickling the American funnybone... The Underpants has many farcical elements, yet displays unusual depth for this genre."

  • Drinking in America
    August, 2003
    "Carver Johns’ face might be made of clay, it is so marvelously malleable. He captures anger, sullenness, passivity and arrogance as he moves from one character to the next. Johns opens the play as a character reminiscing about his adventures with LSD when he was a teenager. It serves as Bogosian’s homage to experimentation with drugs, as one of the rights of passage of American youth. The LSD serves as both a metaphysical and literal eye-opener."

  • The Sound of Music
    August, 2003
    "Set in Austria in 1938, "The Sound of Music" is the story of Maria, played by Tony-nominated Marla Schaffel, an impetuous young woman who is training to be a nun... Schaffel, who recently performed in Charlotte Repertory Theatre’s production of Let Me Sing, sings like an angel. Her clear voice coordinates beautifully with the children’s. As Captain Georg von Trapp, Burke Moses is unconventionally handsome. His angst-imbued rendition of "Eidelweiss" was so touching it made me think I had personal memories of Austria."

  • Description Beggared, or The Allegory of Whiteness
    August, 2003
    "Among The Farm’s goals is to provide a safe space for young artists to hone their craft. Director Anthony Cerrato explores multiple components of theatre in Description Beggared. A proverbial theatrical chorus dressed in black doubles as musicians for the party. Like a Greek chorus, they sometimes speak in unison, and then break that mold by performing a litany of orchestrations, including ritualistic jungle dancing."

  • Brighton Beach Memoirs
    August, 2003
    "Family conversations and arguments seep through the walls like water through tissue. Eugene, an aspiring writer and/or baseball player, records it all through the filter of his own good humor. Simon’s dialogue resonates with veracity surrounding the jealousy, devotion and admiration that the luckiest members of families share."

  • Prelude to a Kiss
    August, 2003
    "Written by Craig Lucas, Prelude to a Kiss was performed on Broadway in 1990 and was nominated for two Tony Awards. The plot dances around many questions. What makes people fall in love? How do you really know a person? And how much do appearances matter?"

  • The Hotel Project
    August, 2003
    "I slipped the bartender a business card and he slyly exchanged it for a hotel key. Then I retired to the billiard room at Cutters Lounge and sipped my hotel priced sauvignon blanc before riding the elevator to the 19th floor. There, I was exposed to the fragile human heart, both as a victim of it’s own idiocy, and as the byproduct of the world’s brutality. Two fine new plays comprise the mystery event The Hotel Project, presented by Matt Olin and Anne Lambert."

  • (sic)
    July, 2003
    "Halfway through the hilarious play [sic], I wanted to see it again. It contains too many priceless lines to absorb in one sitting... Director Allison Modafferi’s version of Melissa James Gibson’s Obie Award winning comedy has the rhythm of an avant-garde jazz trio. The actors perform sparkling solos in their own apartments, and fuse together in their common hallway."

  • Open Season
    July, 2003
    "When a playwright chooses the theatre as his subject, there is a delicate balance between intelligent myopia and obsessive navel-gazing. Michael McKeever relies too much on our inherent fascination with theatre people, which in the case of Open Season, is unfounded... what the play boasts in execution, it lacks in freshness."

  • The Friar and the Nurse
    June, 2003
    "The action begins twelve years before Romeo and Juliet, during an awkward confessional meeting between the friar and the nurse, played by Depta. The first act is a gem, in which Depta and Peal reveal themselves in emotional bursts behind the anonymity of the confessional screen. Peal depicts them as two vulnerable middle-aged people who have found substitutes for romantic love. The nurse is dedicated to Juliet. The friar is dedicated to God."

  • Hediwg and the Angry Inch
    June, 2003
    "The most intriguing accomplishment of this production is how fully and deeply Ensley owns the character Hedwig. Not only is Hedwig believable, but a flurry of fans follow her from show to show. She personifies the mystery of show business in general, and rock and roll in particular."

  • Shuffletown
    June, 2003
    "This is also a story about the encroachment of urban and suburban ways upon rural communities. Shuffletown is like thousands of small American farming communities. It is about a time when neighbors knew each other’s business, what each other were cooking, and all about the teenaged pranks of the kids down the street."

  • The Musicman
    June, 2003
    "CPCC’s The Music Man, is a grand scale production, with an enormous cast, an extravagant set, and a 12-piece orchestra. The music is feisty. The leading lady trills like a piccolo. The villain is more huggable than hateable. And if that isn’t enough to justify the ticket price (I think it is), the sheer volume and originality of the costumes seals the deal."

  • Copenhagen
    May, 2003
    "If you are intrigued by particles, waves, relativity, or fission, you will be enthralled by Copenhagen, which makes its regional premiere at Davidson College’s Duke Family Performance Hall. For the scientifically disinclined, history, mystery, and academic competition are just a few of the subjects explored in Michael Frayn’s Tony Award winning play."

  • Don't Dress for Dinner
    May, 2003
    "This play is particularly clever due to Chandler McIntyre’s wonderful performance in the role of Suzette.... as the action builds so does her hilarity, and it is contagious, regardless of what role she is playing. Mark Scarboro is exceptional as Robert, who has been asked to play an adulterous role he can neither abide nor defend. He masters the art of flustered expression. He and Bernard, played by Brian Lafontaine, regularly partake in well-executed bouts of rapid-fire repartee."

  • Man of La Mancha
    May, 2003
    "... Man of La Mancha illustrates how willing we are to believe in men who live the conviction of their dreams. It also challenges us to step outside the definitions randomly assigned by life. Mitch Leigh’s music and Joe Darion’s lyrics treat delusion as a rare gift that allows the afflicted to see beauty amidst squalor. In theory Don Quixote can appear ridiculous. But Man of La Mancha elevates Quixote to represent man’s aspiration to be better, and achieves this with humor and bearable sentimentality."

  • Jesus Christ Superstar
    April, 2003
    "If Jesus and Judas were anything like Eric Kunze and Carl Anderson, it’s no wonder the Christian religion has mesmerized billions of people for two millennium. In Jesus Christ Superstar, the story of Jesus’ betrayal by a kiss, and death by a cross, has the power to convert a new generation of theatregoers."

  • Othello
    April, 2003
    "Actor’s Gym Founder Tony Wright put some thought into how to make Othello accessible to a 21st century audience. Othello and his soldiers wear modern day khaki military uniforms. Their maroon berets are reminiscent of those seen in photographs of Saddam Hussein. They brandish big metal swords that bring the threat of war close to the audience in the intimate SouthEnd Performing Arts Center. The play even has sex appeal, provided by the beautiful Casey Gogolin as Desdemona."

  • The Miracle Worker
    March, 2003
    "The play opens with a lone cradle under a spotlight on center stage. Into the silence descends a roar, reminiscent of a tornado. When it subsides, Helen emerges blind, deaf and dumb. It is a dramatically fitting opening, for Helen’s illness has the impact of a natural disaster on her family. Almost every relationship in the play is filled with tension and conflict even before Annie Sullivan arrives..."

  • Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage
    March, 2003
    "As Shedevil, Johanna Jowett steals the audience’s eye with a nonstop series of twitches, tics and spasms... Wearing a belt buckle the size of a coaster, and spouting his favorite line "Darn and Doodle," actor Nathaniel Gaw lends more corn than Kansas to his roll as a potential big-hearted hero. As big-chested Shirl, Polly Adkins supplements the comedy with a hearty dose of common sense and warped humor."

  • Charlotte Squawks
    March, 2003
    'There are lots of mischievous insider jokes, including the one about how they couldn’t find any New Yorkers to insult Charlotte because they were all down the street working on stage at Charlotte Rep. In "Hello Trolley," the Citizens for Effective Government declare, "You’re not much use to us, you’re just one mile long."'

  • The Wisdom of Eve
    March, 2003
    "The world of theatre is depicted as a place of catty conversations and thinly veiled relationships. Friendships are based on ambition, and sex is used as a weapon. Insider jokes about drunken theatre crowds, union demands, and whether or not to stick to the text of a script, solicited laughter from the crowd."

  • Eleemosynary
    March, 2003
    "This lovely play is full of dialogue that has a reason to be spoken, and actions that make sense within the context of the characters. Scenic artist Sandra Gray has created a beautiful replica of a Marc Chagall goddess/angel on the stage floor, upon which the characters repose at various interludes. Queens University student Corin Beam composed original music for the production, which she plays behind the curtain on a guitar and piano."

  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    March, 2003
    "Bob Croghan’s scenic and costume design are the dominant mood setters in Children’s Theatre’s whimsical production of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Judy Blume’s classic 1972 story about fourth grader Peter Hatcher and his annoying brother Fudge, takes place in a fanciful rendition of New York City. Cutout skyscrapers and three-dimensional bushes provide a pop-up book backdrop to the Hatcher’s Technicolor apartment."

  • Madea's Class Reunion
    March, 2003
    'You may not know Tyler Perry yet, but you will soon... His trademark role is Madea, who totes a pistol full of blanks, smokes her glaucoma medicine, and can’t imagine how her daughter "got saved growing up in my house." Perry’s hybrid format mixes hilarious street comedy with spiritual messages and exuberant gospel songs. It’s a winning combination.'

  • Greater Tuna
    February, 2003
    "Greater Tuna is the first of the trilogy, which includes A Tuna Christmas, and a work in progress titled Red, White and Tuna. It recently toured in Charlotte, starring veteran Joe Sears, and newcomer Martin Burke... The person the audience loves most is Sear’s Bertha Bumiller, mother of three children and wife to a no-good louse... Bertha is both hardheaded and vulnerable, as women who have been hurt, yet still know how to love, become. Sears makes a venerable contribution to the long and hilarious tradition of stocky men playing buxom woman. He is fabulous in this role."

  • Let Me Sing - a musical evolution
    January, 2003
    "Let Me Sing is a musical gift to the world of music. It is absolutely terrific. Created by Charlotte Rep’s own Michael Bush, with the help of his friends Michael Aman and Joel Silberman, it is both a piece of history and a work of art that traces the journey of the American musical comedy from 1900 to World War II... Though music forms the core of the show, racial tensions, economic realities, and cultural trends are reflected in the choice of songs."

  • Brawdville, Girls! Girls! Girls!
    January, 2003
    "Girls! Girls! Girls! is feminist flavored fun. So call your girlfriends and any boyfriends who have a sense of humor, because the Brawds are in town... with the energy of a dance party and the language of a platoon... the Brawds attack subjects particular to women in a manner that is not overly derogatory toward men."

  • Shakespeare's R & J
    December, 2002
    "The all-woman theatre group pours equal parts of passion and precision into Joe Calarco’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic love story. It is a perfect match between script and troupe."

  • The Illusion
    November, 2002
    "...the type of play a college professor would require his students to analyze. It is a comedy written in 1636 by Pierre Corneille, who is considered one of France’s greatest tragic dramatists. It has been loosely adapted by Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning writer of Angels in America."

  • Much Ado About Nothing
    November, 2002
    "Peal is terrific. While trading verbal lances with Beatrice, he is alternately bombastic and endearing. His disdain for love is full of good humor. And he is surprisingly nimble as he hops over and crawls under the wooden fence... Likewise, Depta’s performance is sharp as broken glass. She conveys intelligence and humor, along with a subtle vulnerability that makes her a sympathetic character."

  • M. Butterfly
    November, 2002
    "There is east versus west. There is inferior versus superior. There is man versus woman. There is the question of how much someone will give up for another person. There is the elusiveness of happiness. The diametrically opposed subjects get interwoven and unavoidably entangled, creating ironies that become profound lessons."

  • Dracula
    October, 2002
    "Off-Tryon’s Artistic Director Glenn Griffin has written a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale of horror... Griffin claims that his script is truer than any previous movie or stage adaptation ever written."

  • The Diary of Anne Frank
    October, 2002
    "The play also emphasizes the difficulty of people living atop one another with little privacy or food. Imagine a 13 year old, trying to work through adolescent issues, with her mom in her face every day for two years."

  • The Canterville Ghost
    October, 2002
    "I must write about the set... It has as many trick passageways as the Bat Cave. It is as duplicitous as an Escher painting... The nuances of a color-free world have never been so vibrant. It is a stunning accomplishment."

  • A Lie of the Mind
    October, 2002
    "In A Lie of the Mind people will not see what they don’t want to see. Blame from obvious sources is seamlessly transferred to the innocent. Every character has mastered the art of self-deception."

  • Snap Shot
    October, 2002
    "The main floor theatre seats fourteen comfortably, but that’s not a problem, because the audience of Snapshot is on the move. After being ushered through the door by a Park Ranger, we were treated to a short documentary about Mount Rushmore. From there we were ushered to and fro through the three stories of this funky gallery, where we viewed over a dozen scenes."

  • The Fantasticks
    October, 2002
    "How it established itself as the longest running musical, from a small Greenwich Village theatre in New York, is a mystery. Perhaps it was due to a constant influx of theatre-going tourists, and a small house in a hip neighborhood."

  • The Glass Menagerie
    September, 2002
    "... director Joseph Hardy has gleaned every possible twinkle of humor from the magnificent dialogue. In fact, there are several moments when the audience is flummoxed regarding appropriate response. We want to laugh, even while tragedy is bleeding slowly from the heart of the play. Such is the magic of theatre."

  • Showboat
    September, 2002
    "The famous ballad "Ol’ Man River" shimmers through the production like a thread of gold. This haunting song descends upon the audience like a weight each time Kevin Harris sings it."

  • Shirley Valentine
    August, 2002
    "The eponymous Shirley Valentine is to the stage what Danielle Steele is to the beach. It is sweet summer fare, with a glimmer of romance and a hint of redemption. This one-woman show is both funny and wistful, in a way that allows the audience to laugh wryly at shared disappointments."

  • The Maids and An Experiment for the Theatre: Strindberg’s Miss Julie
    August, 2002
    "The material is intellectually confounding, the acting is superb, and the challenge these young actors have accepted is daunting."

  • Crimes of the Heart
    August, 2002
    "... a charming and insightful script, and four excellent female roles that were performed too cautiously by The Davidson Community Players. I sensed a reluctance to slip into southern stereotype, that resulted in a lack of grit and gumption."

  • The Collected Shorts of Anton Chekov
    July, 2002
    "... it’s tough enough to wade through the current onslaught of books, movies and theatre offerings. Who has time for the classics? Well, make time, because Chekov is worth it. No one provides more astute observations about the intricacies of human beings."

  • TThe Perch Sketch Comedy
    July, 2002
    "Sketches at The Perch draw from an unsavory reading of current events, excessive drunkenness that leads to unpredictable actions, severe drug addiction, and sex. Basically, all the things you’re not supposed to talk about among polite society. This, of course, is what makes it so much fun."

  • Always, Patsy Cline
    July, 2002
    "... a hybrid show that works best when Patsy is on-stage, and not at all when she isn’t. It’s part concert, part drama and 100 percent hokey. If you have an old-fashioned great grandma who loves country music, this is the show you want to bring her to."

  • Annie, Jr.
    July, 2002
    "Annie is played by Emily Johnson, a rising sixth grader at Trinity Episcopal School, and, boy, can she sing. She is precocious, remembers all of her lines, and works gracefully with a dog determined to show its derriere to the audience."

  • Jekyll and Hyde
    June, 2002
    "Who could predict that Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which has mutated from a novella to dramatic film to an action/adventure video game, could be at its most engaging as a musical? Not me, until I was riveted to my seat by a terrific score, a live orchestra, and a CPCC Summer Theatre cast exploding with spirit and talent."

  • Twelfth Night
    June, 2002
    "These women cheerfully go about playing men who play women who play men, arbitrarily falling in and out of love at first sight with the ease of dealing a deck of cards. Gender barely matters, though every sexual opportunity is greedily seized."

  • Art
    June, 2002
    "Friendship and art are the fodder for questionable comedy and semi-amusing debate in the French play Art... Written by Yasmina Reza, Art was translated into English by Christopher Hampton, and won the Tony in 1998. I fear something was lost in the translation."

  • Fuddy Meers
    May, 2002
    "A reformed criminal, a disillusioned teenager and a mentally unstable man with a puppet are just three of the reasons I laughed myself to tears... In their last offering of the season, Actor’s Theatre proves beyond a doubt, that you should never judge a good play by its bad name."

  • Shadowlands
    May, 2002
    "...the engaging love story of the late in life romance between Irish writer C.S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman. Though Lewis marries her as an act of kindness, their friendship blossoms into a love deeper than he knew he could feel. Set in Oxford in 1953, this portrayal of quiet academic life is so quaint and sheltered it seems to take place in a different century."

  • Proof
    April, 2002
    "Written by 24 year old David Auburn, Proof avoids the didactic pitfalls so dreaded by those of us who are frightened of numbers. Instead, it presents a humanitarian interpretation of math by centering upon the relationships between those who are captivated by its possibilities."

  • Terra Nova
    March, 2002
    "An ambitious attempt to dramatize one of the 20th century’s most exciting expeditions... Terra Nova recounts the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic attempt to conquer the South Pole. Accompanied by 32 men and the enthusiasm of his nation, Scott sailed for Antarctica in 1910. But as he approached the icy continent, he received word that Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer was en route to beat him. And the race was on."

  • Jungalbook
    March, 2002
    "This play would have amused me even if it had no words. The striking set and textured lighting transformed the stage into a shadowy jungle. Playing on the theme of humanimals, director April Jones celebrated the similarities between beast and man with upright animals in costumes designed by Janet Gray and held together by innuendo."
  • The Merchant of Venice
    Febuary, 2002
    "There is nothing more troubling than anti-Semitism as entertainment. This is the difficulty with The Merchant of Venice, a play riddled with religious intolerance, and at the same time strikingly juxtaposed with rollicking comedy and ridiculous quests for love... While I question the choice of material, the Royal Shakespeare Company proves its mettle with this straight forward touring production of a difficult play."
  • Desdemona - a play about a handkerchief

    January, 2002
    "Welcome to Charlotte's self-proclaimed Off-Broadway theatre, where you can hear ten women read Othello, and then watch a play that flips that drama on its head. This double feature is performed on Saturday, in a collaboration between Barebones Theatre Group and Chickspeare, Charlotte's own all-female Shakespearean Troupe. Desdemona, a Play About a Handkerchief, is a topsy-turvy rendition of how the tragedy Othello would differ if, indeed, Desdemona was a strumpet."
  • The Last Night of Ballyhoo
    November, 2001
    "Although Hitler is invading Czechoslovakia, and Jews are being disenfranchised throughout Europe, the Freitag and Levy families are preoccupied with the premiere of Gone With the Wind, and decorating the house for the holidays... In their journey to assimilate into Atlanta society, their lives have been compromised."
  • You Can't Take It With You
    October, 2001
    "... a montage of misfits who write plays, collect snakes, and mess around with fireworks in the basement instead of holding conventional jobs. Only the lovely Alice works outside of the home, and she has fallen in love with her boss's son, the very conventional Tony Kirby. You can almost guess the rest."
  • Corpus Christi
    October, 2001
    "How do you tell the story of the New Testament in a way that captures the attention of people who haven't been listening? One way is to set the story in Corpus Christi, Texas, alienate Jesus from his parents, and make Judas and Jesus lovers."
  • Huck Finn's Story
    September, 2001
    "Many parents spend hours agonizing over how to introduce their kids to difficult subjects. In one hour, Children's Theatre exposed a full house of families to the concept of slavery, the value of friendship, and the awareness that the law of the land can be interpreted arbitrarily."
  • American Buffalo
    September, 2001
    " 'The only way to treat these people is to kill them,' is a typical Teach response to a mild infraction. And if eyes could burn holes, Bobby's head would be leaking after Teach stares at the back of his head. McNeff plays the easily frustrated Don with a touch of compassion and bewilderment that makes him oddly sympathetic."
  • Uproar in the House
    July, 2001
    "As the repartee proceeds, it becomes apparent that everyone has something to hide, and leads the play to succeed as a lampoon of moral hypocrisy."
  • The Dumb Waiter
    July, 2001
    "There is a raw, jangling edge to the production, exacerbated by the juxtaposition of silence to explosions of movement and sound."
  • The Perch Sketch Comedy
    June, 2001
    "...the cast was so amused at itself that it lacked the discipline to successfully deliver what was often quite clever, albeit irreverent material."
  • Electra/Orestes
    May, 2001
    "...A new generation... definition of morality, guided by the Greek mythological hierarchy of power, beauty, war, insanity and... well, more power."
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    May, 2001
    "This is a play that encourages you to laugh at doddering eunuchs, women as property, and slaves whose idea of achievement is to be named head slave."
  • Anton in Show Business
    April, 2001
    "Anton... celebrates and challenges the importance of theatre as an art form."
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You and Lone Star
    February, 2001
    "The ambitious Off-Tryon Theatre Company takes on religion and small town ennui in two one act plays that make up its 5th and 6th productions."
  • Fefu and her Friends
    January, 2001
    "...a dance of words, exploring peripheral relationships, past bonds of love and pain, feminine strength, and the ways women can love and sabotage each other."
  • the movie Cast Away
    January, 2001
    "...The journey from a civilized life to bestial survival is swift, yet Tom Hanks maintains a convincing calm as his corporate intuition gives way to mammalian instinct."
  • Vanities
    August, 2000
    "...The three act play... slowly skewers its highly flawed characters on their ten year journey from adolescence to adulthood."


all pieces previously aired on WFAE and National Public Radio

  • War - throw the bums out or send them back to work
    October, 2002
    "The list of what I am willing to give up is long. It includes cheap foreign goods made by cheap foreign labor, as well as cheap gas. What we gain from cheap imported goods, we lose in U.S. employment. What we gain from cheap foreign oil, we lose in political involvement in the Middle East, and immersion in a petroleum drenched environment. It just is not worth it any more."
  • Elections - throw the bums out or send them back to work
    September, 2002
    "I’m distressingly aware that voter participation is an unpopular subject, and that people would rather not discuss it. But with freedom comes responsibility. I’m incredulous that people equate posting a magnetic sticker of a flag on their car with patriotism. Waving a flag without exercising your right to vote is like making the team and not showing up for practice."
  • September 11 - have you noticed they don't like us?
    August, 2002
    "As we reach the anniversary of our national horror, talk about the United States attacking Iraq has provided the catalyst for an outpouring of anti-American sentiment. It is impossible that this dislike, which apparently runs true and deep, is brand new. It is very possible that we’ve been blissfully immune to it, as we are a people that pays selective attention to world affairs."
  • The Pledge - what makes America great
    July, 2002
    "And I thought, this guy is a quintessential example of what makes America the best country in the world. And it has nothing to do with whether the words "under God" are in our pledge. Democracy, free speech, and power at the polls is what makes our country great. Dogged beliefs, audacious opinions, and the right to say them out loud are what make our country great."
  • Sprawl - do these people live in Charlotte?
    March, 2002
    "It seems a conceit of new southern cities that the right of the individual supercedes the right of the collective population. While protecting the rights of everyone but those of the public, Mecklenburg County has given the growth pattern of sprawl its blessing. The governing bodies of Mecklenburg County have rarely responded to our community’s discussion over how to grow into a big city. The debate about I-485 has been raging for years, led by neighborhood activists and environmental groups. And as their words were echoing, bulldozers crushed trees, and backhoes gored the earth. Farmhouses disappeared, replaced by fast food franchises and strip malls plunked down in a sea of asphalt."
  • Porn - not in the "city of churches".
    February, 2002
    "Charlotte joins Utah and Oklahoma in not airing the documentary entitled "American Porn." As far as I can tell, it’s not because we don’t like pornography here. We have plenty of access to it. X-rated video stores line the streets from the airport to downtown. Topless bars advertise $5 dances on billboards. Last week I was stuck in traffic in the center city on Morehead Street. It was just before noon on a weekday, and a group of men stood in line at the front door of the Uptown Cabaret. They ranged in age from 20s to 60s, and most wore suits. I don’t think they were there for the lunch buffet."
  • Noise - big audio onslaught.
    January, 2002
    "Dinner on my screen porch is interrupted weekly by the thump thump thump of either medical helicopters zooming to an accident, or news helicopters eager to report the weather directly above my house. There seems to be no public etiquette for lawn work."
  • Football - trendy entertainment versus die hard fans.
    January, 2002
    "What a lusterless event. More than the fans were missing. In the third quarter the concession stands were out of hot dogs, peanuts and pretzels. My kid happily settled for some rock hard M&Ms and a cold Coke, but gee whiz, no hot dogs?"
  • Attack on America - what we lost on September 11th, and what we have still.
    September, 2001
    "I honestly do not know what to fear or expect today or next week, and I see this sentiment reflected in Charlotte every day. As a generous community, Charlotteans are exhibiting the frustration of not knowing what to give, and to whom to give it. This is evidenced by an overabundance of people willing to give blood. The Observer reports that children who set up a lemonade stand fundraiser for the Red Cross raised $1000 in a day. I think a lot of us would write a blank check if it could buy back what we lost on September 11th."
  • Soda Story - Another world a mile away.
    July, 2001
    "She lives about a mile from the store, in a public housing project. It's a hot, blue day, a Thursday. I've been conned before. I've been conned recently. I drove another stranger around town, listened to his story, gave him money, gave him my card so he could pay me back. I have reason to think twice about this."
  • City Improvement - Virtually all recent development in Charlotte is built for people in cars.
    May, 2001
    "...Lack of political will and a reluctance to tackle difficult issues... let the agenda of a few undermine the quality of all of our lives."
  • Yankees - the one in the family who puts sugar in her grits and doesn't care for coleslaw talks about regional stereotyping.
    March, 2001
    "By my definition, Yankee was... the name of an American League baseball team, and an old history book war term, until it became my own personal label when I moved south. A good many folks who grew up north of the Mason Dixon line have no idea they are Yankees until they spend some time south of the Mason Dixon line."
  • The Value of Diversity - color, and money, and the lack of money are both personal and institutional.
    March, 2001
    "I'd hoped her exposure to cultural diversity would seep into my own life, but it hasn't been the case... Diversity doesn't extend beyond the classroom."
  • School Advertising - Is the school system selling our children's minds to the highest sponsor?
    January, 2001
    "In our capitalistic marketplace, the faster we can turn our children into consumers, the better."
  • Discerning Consumer - Lynn's views on how to share the wealth.
    August, 2000
    "As the saying goes, you are what you buy."
  • Bad Neighborhood - Riding the bus to the poor side of town...
    April, 2000
    "Who deserves to be at a location so rife with poverty, so forlorn... that the word hope is a mockery of what humans can expect?."
  • Flying the Flag - For whom does that banner yet wave?
    March, 2000
    "Today homeowners are more prone to own a decorative banner sporting Winnie the Pooh than the Stars and Stripes."


  • Jim Wann reprises his role in Pump Boys and Dinettes
    September, 2003
    'Composer, actor, guitar player and singer Jim Wann was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill. “You were expected to be a leader,” Wann remembers. “I did it in an offbeat way. I tried not to get into too much trouble, and do something on the literary end.” He’s done a little more than “something.” Wann’s credits include three CDs and four musical theatre shows in addition to Pump Boys and Dinettes, now celebrating its 20th year with a production at Charlotte Repertory Theatre.'
  • Robert Inman's new play, Crossroads
    June, 2003
    Novelist and former television broadcaster Bob Inman claims new territory with the world premiere of Crossroads, a musical comedy to which he wrote the script, lyrics and music. The catalyst for the play is an unlikely incident in North Carolina history, when a train transporting Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show derailed outside of Salisbury around 1912-14.
  • Penny Fuller stars in The Glass Menagerie
    August, 2002
    Penny Fuller, a native of Durham and a colleague of Rep's new Producing Artistic Director, comes to Charlotte to open to 2002-2003 season in Tennessee Williams' first great play.
  • Michael Bush comes to Charlotte Rep
    May, 2002
    Michael Bush comes to the Rep as Producing Artistic Director after 23 years at the Manhattan Theatre Club. He talks about his exciting plans for theater in Charlotte.
  • Ann Walker talks to Lynn from Dallas
    July, 2001
    Ann Walker plays Odette Annette Barnett in Del Shores' Southern Baptist Sissies, which opened with a bang in Dallas last week. She talks about this role, the messages of the play, and the reception in Dallas.
  • Michael Bigelow Dixon talks about going to the Guthrie
    April, 2001
    Longtime Literary Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville Michael Bigelow Dixon leaves for the Guthrie at the end of this year's Humana Festival. He tells Lynn about the move.
  • Maria Irene Fornés talks about her life and her accomplishments in modern American theatre.
    January, 2001
    Playwright Maria Irene Fornés is a leading figure of the contemporary theater scene. Playwright Lanford Wilson says, "She's one of the very, very best.... Her work has no precedents, it isn't derived from anything. She's the most original of us all."
  • A chat with J. Samuel Decker
    October, 2000
    Fred 45 author talks to Lynn Trenning

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