Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists will share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.
Chelsey Lee Gaddy is the senior artistic director at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. She also serves as the director of the Mars Hill University musical theater program and has performed in productions at SART, Asheville Community Theatre and on other area stages.
Xpress: Is there an upcoming theater production in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Gaddy: There are many holiday shows to check out in Western North Carolina. I’ll be working on a new Christmas musical [A Southern Appalachian Christmas] opening at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, so I’ll miss out on seeing A Christmas Story at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre. Director Erin McCarson might just be the most unsung artist in our area. I’m hoping folks have time to check out both HART’s and SART’s holiday shows, as both theaters are about a half-hour away from Asheville and definitely worth the drive.
Outside of theater, is there an upcoming local arts happening that you’re looking forward to?
The Asheville Plays entertainment group is presenting the Winter Wonder Walk over at the Adventure Center of Asheville [Dec. 9-11 and 15-18]. They just completed their Haunted Trail event, and my son [Cyrus] and I had the best time experiencing some lightly spooky fall fun. This year, they sponsored a sensory-friendly night with Camp Lakey Gap, a local nonprofit that specializes in programs for autistic folks, like my sweet son. We usually need special accommodations to make events like this a successful adventure for our family, and they did such a wonderful job.
What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?
We just announced SART’s 49th season, and I’m especially excited about my friend Amanda Ladd’s one-woman show, The Azure Sky in Oz. This play by William Leavengood really speaks to my heart. As a mother of an exceptional child, who is also an artist, I have an interesting balancing act in life that most don’t fully understand. It’s very important to shed some light on the lives of caregivers and educators. This play does exactly that.