Periphery

April 11-13, 2022

The February 1960 sit-in by four young college freshmen at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States. In the process, ordinary citizens from both the black and white communities in Greensboro—and across America—were forced to grapple with their beliefs about race and justice. Periphery focuses on ordinary citizens—particularly two families, one black and one white —whose lives are touched by the changing world around them. The central stories in Periphery are not those of the courageous “Greensboro Four” but instead include those who stand witness to the historic events in this Southern city—those on the periphery of the sit-in demonstration—who must choose between continuing the injustices of the past or moving forward toward a more just America (excerpt from Dramatic Publishing website).

Directions

Hayworth Fine Arts Center, Pauline Theatre

833 Montlieu Ave
High Point, 27268

For Parking you can enter at any gatehouse. We recommend that you enter at Montlieu Ave/University Parkway or Montlieu Ave/N Centennial St. The friendly security officer will direct you on where to park. If you enter at one of the entrances listed above, you will be walking approximately 5 minutes from the designated parking lot to the Empty Space Theatre. There is handicapped access for this theatre – please call Campus Concierge at (336) 841-4636 if you have questions.

Bus Transportation: There are 2 bus routes currently offered through the Greensboro Transportation Office. Both routes are currently “fare free” for students of partner schools, but are also available to the public for $1.50 (Cash only). Partner schools – Bennett College for Women, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Guilford Technical Community College, North Carolina A&T State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. For more information, see the links below.

How to Ride: https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/transportation/greensboro-transit-agency-public-transportation-division/for-our-riders/how-to-ride-gta

Route 1 – (M-Sat.): https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/46284/637589309364730000

Route 2 – (Sat.-Sun.): https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/46282/637589308995200000

Director’s Note

In 2007, I was commissioned by the Community Theatre of Greensboro to write a play to be produced as part of Greensboro’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2008. I was given carte blanche to write about whatever I wished so long as the play dealt with the history and people of Greensboro.

So, I had a lot to choose from. However, the first thing that came to mind were the actions of the Greensboro Four on February 4, 1960. I was 10 years old at the time of the sit-ins and I had my own memories of the event. I grew up just outside of Winston-Salem in Lewisville and, later, lived in Greensboro during the 1970’s while attending Guilford College and, later, UNCG for my MFA in Acting and Directing. So, I was certainly aware of Greensboro’s history.

At the time I accepted the commission, I was teaching theatre at High Point University, surrounded by intelligent, eager, but sheltered and privileged young freshmen students who, when asked, had never heard of the actions of the four young men that galvanized the civil rights movement. I felt this was unforgiveable. The contrast between my students of 2007 and the powerful statement undertaken by college freshmen in 1960 was particularly intriguing – and, for me, was the reason for writing this play. I felt that, for my students – and for, hopefully, others – it was important to document the courage of the four young men and that of the young college students of A&T, Bennett, Guilford, and “Woman’s College” who followed their example and joined the movement. This was the genesis of Periphery.

As I began my research, I very quickly decided that I didn’t want to dramatically recreate the four young men themselves and their historic action. There were already some powerful documentary films and other dramatic reconstructions of the sit-ins – and I didn’t want to duplicate what had already been done better. I continued my research until I found a now famous photo that appeared in the Greensboro newspaper, showing the four young A&T freshmen sitting unserved at the counter. Standing behind the counter were two white waitresses and, at the edge of the photo, a black “busboy” doing his job, carrying a tray of dirty dishes.

As compelling as the dignity of the four young men was, I found myself wondering what the busboy thought about what was transpiring. Did he agree with their stand but was unable to say? Was he concerned about what comes next? That, I felt, was as compelling as the action of “The Four.” As I searched through subsequent photos of the sit-in, I found myself looking not at the focus of the picture but at the edge of the frame, the “periphery”, trying to interpret the emotions of both the participants and those witnessing the event. In most of the photos the quiet dignity and determination of “The Four” contrasted with the derisive, hatefilled crowd of onlookers. However, sprinkled in the crowds were some who were clearly supportive while still more seemed to be trying to decide just what they felt.

As I continued reading news reports, editorials, and personal narratives, I discovered that, in fact, the citizens of Greensboro – and, indeed, the entire nation – were, like those microcosms found in the news photos, trying to decide where they stood while witnessing the changes that were beginning to slowly but finally awaken in our country. And it was this struggle by those in the Greensboro community and our country who were “on the periphery” of history – who had to choose between hatred or change – that I decided to explore with my play Periphery.

Ed Simpson

Playwright of Periphery

Cast

Red; Newspaper 1/2Jackson Barnes (HPU)
Various Jalen Bynum (HPU)
Jenny; VariousJaclyn McGhee (HPU)
VariousCallie Marion (HPU)
May; DebbieSydney Gross (HPU)
Yvonne; VariousTyler “Nic” Francis (HPU)
Mike Barrett Odom (HPU)
JerryZach Archipley (HPU)
BillyMarcus Staley
EugeneXavier Henry (UNCG)
DeirdreJade Young (UNCG)
NateGarry Wadell
Phil; BroadcastersBrian Mullins
Young ManDJ Merritt
Hazel; Jerry’s Mother and Older WomenCandi Burrows (HPU)
Margaret; Dierdre’s MotherDandrielle Lewis (HPU)

Creative Team

PlaywrightEd Simpson
DirectorDoug Brown
DirectorKen Elston
Asst. DirectorEmmie D’Amico
Scenic DesignerCaitlyn Baldwin
Costume DesignerBailey Powell
Sound DesignerJason Irons
Asst. Sound DesignerOli Jefferson
Lighting DesignerCaitlyn Baldwin
Lighting DesignerDan McGee
Technical DirectorSteve Sawicki
Costume Shop ManagerGay Hensley
Light Board OpEllie Moyer
Sound Board OpOli Jefferson
Wardrobe CrewBecca Korn, Kathleen McBride, Elizabeth Malone
Poster DesignJanis Dougherty

Production Team

Stage ManagerHailey Turner
ASMIsabella Siegel
Production ManagerLani Skelley
Props SupervisorCaitlyn Baldwin
House ManagerLani Skelley
Publicity ManagerHolly Raulston
Publicity InternMadelyn Mudd
Costume Shop AssistantsJackson Barnes
Hannah Wells
StitchersSavannah Kaylor
Becca Korn
Emily Longwell
Kathleen McBride
Wigs and MakeupKani Brooks
Emmie D’Amico
Kayla Miller-Sissoko
Savannah Shockley
Julia Staffin
Scenic PaintersJalen Bynum
Mary Gomez
Julianne Kendrick
Master CarpenterJulianne Kendrick
Shop CarpentersJalen Bynum
Mary Gomez
Oliver Kelly
Fly CrewKani Brooks
Matteo Mah
Kayla-Miller Sissoko
Domenica Paccione
Savannah Shockley
Electrics ShopDomenica Paccione
Victoria Sanderson
Reanna Rosenthal
Hannah Wells

Bios

Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson

Candice Burrows

Candice Burrows

Jackson Barnes

Jackson Barnes

Emmie D’Amico

Emmie D’Amico

Tyler “Nic” Francis

Tyler “Nic” Francis

Sydney	Gross

Sydney Gross

Callie Rose Marion

Callie Rose Marion

Jaclyn McGhee

Jaclyn McGhee

David Merritt Jr

David Merritt Jr

Brian Mullins

Brian Mullins

Isabella Siegel

Isabella Siegel

Marcus	Staley

Marcus Staley

Hailey Turner

Hailey Turner

Garry Wadell

Garry Wadell

Dandrielle Lewis

Dandrielle Lewis

Doug Brown

Doug Brown serves on the Amplify Black Voices Festival of Greater Greensboro Committee and was selected to direct Periphery. Brown is Department Chair and Associate Professor for the Department of Theater & Dance at High Point University. Doug received his received his BFA from Rockford College and his MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. He is a member of Actor’s Equity Association and has received certification in teaching the Meisner Method of Actor Training from Larry Silverberg’s True Acting Institute. A professor ofperformance at High Point University since 2004, Brown has directed over 20 productions in the Triad area including: These Shining Lives, Little Women-The Musical, The Amish Project, Mary Stuart, The Great God Pan, The Diary of Anne Frank, Medea, Peter Pan, The Diviners, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Robber Bridegroom, Steel Magnolias, The Dining Room, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Crimes of the Heart, and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson is the playwright of Periphery which is being staged at High Point University. Now retired, Simpson served as the chair and professor of theatre performance at High Point University. He came to HPU in 2008 after a distinguished career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As an actor, director and playwright, he provided impactful mentorship to students inside and outside of the classroom. Under Simpson’s direction, the theatre program at HPU garnered attention as one of the best undergraduate programs in the country.Artist statement, Ed Simpson, Playwright of PeripheryIn 2007, I was commissioned by the Community Theatre of Greensboro to write a play to be produced as part of Greensboro’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2008. I was given carte blanche to write about whatever I wished so long as the play dealt with the history and people of Greensboro.So, I had a lot to choose from. However, the first thing that came to mind were the actions of the Greensboro Four on February 4, 1960. I was 10 years old at the time of the sit-ins and I had my own memories of the event. I grew up just outside of Winston-Salem in Lewisville and, later, lived in Greensboro during the 1970’s while attending Guilford College and, later, UNCG for my MFA in Acting and Directing. So, I was certainly aware of Greensboro’s history.At the time I accepted the commission, I was teaching theatre at High Point University, surrounded by intelligent, eager, but sheltered and privileged young freshmen students who, when asked, had never heard of the actions of the four young men that galvanized the civil rights movement. I felt this was unforgiveable. The contrast between my students of 2007 and the powerful statement undertaken by college freshmen in 1960 was particularly intriguing – and, for me, was the reason for writing this play. I felt that, for my students – and for, hopefully, others – it was important to document the courage of the four young men and that of the young college students of A&T, Bennett, Guilford, and “Woman’s College” who followed their example and joined the movement. This was the genesis of Periphery.As I began my research, I very quickly decided that I didn’t want to dramatically recreate the four young men themselves and their historic action. There were already some powerful documentary films and other dramatic reconstructions of the sit-ins - and I didn’t want to duplicate what had already been done better. I continued my research until I found a now famous photo that appeared in the Greensboro newspaper, showing the four young A&T freshmen sitting unserved at the counter. Standing behind the counter were two white waitresses and, at the edge of the photo, a black “busboy” doing his job, carrying a tray of dirty dishes.As compelling as the dignity of the four young men was, I found myself wondering what the busboy thought about what was transpiring. Did he agree with their stand but was unable to say? Was he concerned about what comes next? That, I felt, was as compelling as the action of “The Four.” As I searched through subsequent photos of the sit-in, I found myself looking not at the focus of the picture but at the edge of the frame, the “periphery”, trying to interpret the emotions of both the participants and those witnessing the event. In most of the photos the quiet dignity and determination of “The Four” contrasted with the derisive, hatefilled crowd of onlookers. However, sprinkled in the crowds were some who were clearly supportive while still more seemed to be trying to decide just what they felt.As I continued reading news reports, editorials, and personal narratives, I discovered that, in fact, the citizens of Greensboro - and, indeed, the entire nation – were, like those microcosms found in the news photos, trying to decide where they stood while witnessing the changes that were beginning to slowly but finally awaken in our country. And it was this struggle by those in the Greensboro community and our country who were “on the periphery” of history – who had to choose between hatred or change - that I decided to explore with my play Periphery.

Candice Burrows

After an active career as a professional mezzo-soprano (opera and concert artist), Burrows has been co-chair of the Vocal Area in the Music Department at HPU since 2011. Her singing career includes touring Russia, and Europe with Leonard Bernstein, as well as solo performances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein Orchestra, and many others. She has sung under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, John Williams, Seiji Ozawa. She conducted the HPU musical, Working (S.Schwartz) this past November and will be doing the same for HPU’s musical, Fall 2022. She is a proud native Oregonian.

Jackson Barnes

Jackson Barnes is a creative artist based in the Piedmont Triad. He is a Senior at High Point University where he is studying to obtain his BA in Theatre Performance with a Minor a Musical Theatre. Previous Credits include: Jesus in Godspell, Jimmy Ray in Bright Star, and Delivery+Millwork Soloist in Working. In addition to attending college, Jackson is a student at The Broadway Collective, a musical theatre academy where he trains with award-winning Broadway performers. Jackson was the proud recipient of HPU’s Extraordinary Leader award, as well as the Excellence in Performance award. He currently serves as the President of Alpha Psi Omega, HPU’s Theatre Honors Society. Much love to family and friends! @jacksonvbarnes

Emmie D’Amico

Emmie, a senior collaborative theatre and English double major at High Point University, is proud to be serving as assistant director on HPU’s contribution to the festival: Ed Simpson’s Periphery.

Tyler “Nic” Francis

Tyler “Nic” Francis is a High Point University student majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Spanish. Periphery is her first college production.

Sydney Gross

Sydney is a senior psychology major at High Point University. Through her time at HPU she has had the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of shows including, Photograph 51 (Gosling), Copenhagen (Niels Bohr), Oedipus (Terriesias), and On the Exhale. She is thrilled to be apart of such an amazing opportunity and with such a wonderful cast.

Callie Rose Marion

Callie Rose is a freshman at HPU. Periphery is her first collegiate show she has acted in. In fall of 2021, she was the assistant stage manager for Working! The Musical. 

Jaclyn McGhee

Jaclyn is a junior theatre performance major at High Point University. Previous HPU credits include Oedipus, Godspell, Time, This Random World, On the Exhale, and Something Wicked this Way Comes.

David Merritt Jr

David Merritt Jr first started acting in 2017 during a Guilford Technical Community College production of Romeo and Juliet. Playing the role of Romeo was where he found his love for acting. He has worked in a few Shakespearian plays with Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company including As You like It, Twelfth Night, and the Merry Wives of Windsor. He has also worked in a few shows with GTCC including Unnecessary Farce, and The Flick.

Brian Mullins

Dracula-Triad Stage,The Grapes of Wrath-High Point University, Gruesome Playground Injuries-Paper Lantern Theatre, Lipstick Traces-Burning Coal Theatre, Leading Ladies-Broach Theatre, Uh-Oh Here Comes Christmas-Barn Dinner Theatre, Merry Wives of Windsor-North Carolina Shakespeare Festival. Film-Laura Gets A CarBrian has an MFA in Acting from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Isabella Siegel

Freshman Theater Performance Major, Isabella Siegel, is honored to be the Assistant Stage Manager in Periphery. Her past/current performances at High Point University include Something Wicked this Way Comes, Time Like Water, and Enigma. She Congratulates the cast and crew for creating this empowering performance that deserves to be seen.

Marcus Staley

Marcus Staley is a first time actor, and is so excited about being in the production as he graduated with an engineering degree from A & T.

Hailey Turner

Hailey Turner is a senior Technical Theatre and English double major at High Point University and is the Stage Manager for Periphery. After graduation, Hailey plans to work as a freelance stage/production manager in the Southeast, starting in Brevard Music Center this May. Over the past four years, Hailey has had the wonderful opportunity to work on over fifteen productions, including Driving Miss Daisy, Bright Star, Working!, Time, and Men on Boats. Hailey would like to thank her wonderful cast and crew for making her last collegiate production so special!

Garry Wadell

Garry has been working for approximately four years. Garry has worked as a performer in many theaters in and outside of the Piedmont Triad area. Garry has participate and performed in community and regional productions. Garry is a recipient of the Andy Griffith Playhouse Opie Award for best actor in play for his performance as Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy. Garry recently performed in an off broadway production of One Suit in New York, New York. 

Dandrielle Lewis

Dandrielle Lewis is Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department at High Point University. She was previously an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Liberal Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she served for 8 years. She received her BS from Winston Salem State University in 2001, her MS from the University of Iowa in 2006, and her Ph.D. From SUNY Binghamton in 2011. Dandrielle is an advocate for broadening the participation of women and minorities in STEM. She has research interests in Finite Group Theory, Diversity and Inclusion for Women in STEM, and Interdisciplinary research.