Although still developing a formal mission statement for her Warehouse Performing Arts Center in Cornelius, Marla Brown is nevertheless quite clear about what she hopes to accomplish with the 50-seat black-box theater that opened about two years ago.
“It’s not so much about entertainment as it is about thought- and soul-provoking art. At this point, I see our mission as allowing people to explore themselves and the community through art,” explains Brown, who has a doctorate in performing arts from the University of Texas at Austin. The upcoming production of Frozen (Jan. 28 – Feb. 13) exemplifies what Brown and her board are trying to bring to the area. They are in the process of applying for nonprofit 501(c)(3) status.
“It’s a non-sensational way to look at things that are painful,” Brown explains. “It allows us to explore places we really don’t want to go and lets us explore in safe ways feelings we don’t usually allow ourselves to feel.”
Written by Bryony Lavery and nominated for a 2004 Tony Award, Frozen tells the story of a a 10-year-old girl’s disappearance. We follow her mother (played by Anne Lambert); her killer (John Cunningham) and Dr. Agnetha (Annette Saunders), who studies crime. Drawn together by horrible circumstances, they embark upon a long, difficult journey that finally curves upward into the light. It is directed by Warehouse PAC board member Divina Cook, whose idea it was to bring the production to the area.
Brown says Lambert’s portrayal of dead girl’s mother is an integral part of the play’s power. “Her part is not about sensational wailing—it’s full of quiet, mundane monologues that draw you in. The play is ultimately cathartic and uplifting.”
The Warehouse PAC also uses other art forms to explore the darker side of our humanity, including concerts and poetry readings. It recently completed its first comedy invitational, and there are several writing workshops planned for the rest of the winter and into the spring. Another two or three theater productions are planned for the rest of the year. Previous production have include ‘Night, Mother, Women Who Steal and Road to Mecca.
Frozen by Bryony Lavery.
Jan, 28 - Feb. 13: Thursdays- Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays (Feb. 6 and 13) 2 p.m. General Admission: $20
The Warehouse Performing Arts Center
9216-A Westmoreland Rd., Cornelius; 704.619.0429