Asides: News of Triangle arts, in brief

March 22, 2014 

Theatre names director

Raleigh Little Theatre has a new artistic director, capping a nationwide search for a successor for Haskell Fitz-Simons, who died last May after 30 years with RLT.

Patrick Torres, 37, comes from Austin, Texas, where he spent the last three years as program director of Creative Action, a nonprofit. His prior work includes stints as directing fellow and teaching artist at Shakespeare Theatre Company and associate artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theatre, both in Washington, D.C. His work has won numerous accolades from local, regional and national groups. Torres holds degrees from Texas State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Charles Phaneuf, executive director of RLT, hailed Torres’ “creative leadership, proven commitment to theater education and community outreach and (his) experience working with both adults and young people.”

Torres is RLT’s 14th artistic director and the first person of color in the role, Phaneuf said. Raleigh Little Theatre is one of the nation’s oldest community theaters, founded in 1936.

Reception for painters

An opening reception is planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday for two painters who will be showing their works at Village Art Circle Gallery in Cary through April 25.

Deborah Younglao is showing hand-painted silk scarves, a collection she calls “Wearing the Color Wheel.” Each scarf is painted in a shade of gray with a contrasting focus on one of the six colors of an artist’s color wheel. In honor of her Chinese heritage, each bears Chinese symbols corresponding to its color.

Deborah Sanks’ show is called “Colorful Expressions in Oil,” which includes a new series of paintings of Abaco in the Bahamas and France, two places linked by unusual light and color.

The gallery is at 200 S. Academy St., Suite 130. It is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Info: 919-614-1890 or

Call for artists

Early April deadlines loom for artists to apply for opportunities at Artspace, a nonprofit visual art center in downtown Raleigh.

Applications for membership in the Artspace Artists Association are due April 1. Members are eligible to take part in exhibits at the center and to sell at the Artspace gift shop. Applications must be submitted through and the fee is $30.

April 7 is the deadline to apply to the center’s six-month Regional Emerging Artist Residency. Two artists will be chosen for the residency, which begins in July, includes a rent-free studio and culminates in an exhibit at Artspace. Send materials to Shana Dumont Garr at Artspace, 201 E. Davie St., or digitally at

Info: 919-821-2787 or

Jazz, world concerts

Jazz and world music concerts are coming up in Durham as part of Duke Performances for the spring:

Thursday at 8 p.m.: Zakir Hussain and the Masters or Percussion. Hussain is a virtuoso classical tabla player considered Ravi Shankar’s successor as the world’s top ambassador of Indian music. He will appear with a group of 10 of India’s top musicians and his wife, Kathak dancer Antonia Minnecola, at Durham Performing Arts Center.

Friday and Saturdayat 9 p.m.: Gerald Clayton Trio. Pianist Clayton and his jazz trio perform at Motorco Music Hall.

April 4-5 at 9 p.m.: Brian Carpenter Ghost Train Orchestra. Motorco will be configured with both seating and a dance floor for these performances by trumpeter Carpenter’s 10-piece jazz orchestra.

Info: 919-660-3356 or


Catherine Russell, who began a solo career in jazz and blues at age 50 after a career singing backup to such artists as Steely Dan, David Bowie, Paul Simon and Roseanne Cash, performs at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday at Titmus Theatre, 2241 Dunn Ave., Raleigh. Her appearances are a presentation of NCSU Center Stage. All seats are reserved and tickets are $23-$28. Info: 919-515-1100 or ... The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. April 3 at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill as part of a 14-city U.S. tour. Tickets are $39 to $149. Info: 919-843-3333 or ... Ambassadors Orchestra, a 19-piece group from Chapel Hill that performs swing-era tunes, will be featured at Thursday’s Cavalcade of Triangle Big Bands dance at Five Points Center for Active Adults, 2000 Noble Road, Raleigh. Admission is $10 per person at the door. The dance is from 7 9:30 p.m. Info: 919-830-7357 or ... Raleigh artist Dan Nelson will give away an original oil painting during Friday’s open house at Waverly Artists Group Studio & Gallery, 302 Colonades Way, Suite 209, Cary. The open house is from 6-9 p.m.; refreshments will be served. Info:

Museum of Art gets grant

The N.C. Museum of Art has received a $25,000 grant from the John William Pope Foundation to provide funding for needy schools to transport students to the museum. Each year about 1,000 children from about nine schools visit the Raleigh museum with support from the School Bus Scholarship Fund. ... Tim Wells has been named children’s program planner for Hillsborough Art Council’s Last Fridays. Prospective vendors can learn more about Last Fridays, which begin in April, at 6:30 p.m. April 1 at a meeting of the Hillsborough Arts Council. The council is at 102 N. Churton St.

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