The Lincoln Theatre Guild is currently preparing for its next production, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," to be performed in February and March.
While auditions are currently on hold, they are set to resume at the beginning of January.
The 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams tells the story of the broken marriage between wealthy Southern couple Brick and Maggie Pollitt and of the deception that ensues among family and friends as each attempts to become heir to the estate of Brick's dying father, "Big Daddy" Pollitt.
Since its establishment as a member of the Lincoln Arts Council in 1981, the guild presents five shows each year including a drama, summer musical, dinner theater and two performances by the improv group The Missing Lincs.
While most performances are held at the Lincoln Cultural Center, the yearly dinner theater is typically held at WoodMill Winery in Vale.
In addition, the Lincoln County Art Council offers the guild a grant each year to help fund a show at one area high school. The guild chooses a performance that most applies to school curriculum and performs for all appropriate grades linked to the relevant course material.
According to Becky Reavis, 36, president of the Lincoln Theatre Guild board of directors since July, the guild will perform for one lucky high school's senior class.
The Programming Committee, which consists of the president, vice president, president-elect, director-at-large and vice president of communications, meets each spring to discuss ideas for the following season's plays, which are ultimately voted on by the full 17-member board.
Past productions have included Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men" and H. Saville Clarke's musical "Alice in Wonderland."
While most who audition for shows are from Lincoln County, several guild actors are from surrounding areas such as Shelby, Gastonia and Hickory.
"We really try to create our season to reach as many types of people as possible," Reavis said.
This past September, The Missing Lincs performed its first standalone show, "The Second Annual About to be Cancelled Show."
Usually the opening act for a comedy or dinner theater, The Missing Lincs were founded in 2008 by former Lincs director and board member Ryan Gurganious, guild vice president of programs Cecil Smith and guild director-at-large for community outreach Richard Morgan. A diverse group of actors ranging in age from 12 to 60, the troupe requires no audition and invites anyone to join.
"We take anybody and try to teach them the art of improv," Gurganious, 24, says. "We want to make sure each age is getting a chance because it makes the community theater as a whole put on better work."
Gurganious also adds that while the show is not always funny, it's always a lot of fun, especially watching audience members' faces who can't believe the show is unrehearsed.
Gurganious also performed in the past guild production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in addition to overseeing lighting for several shows including "The Wizard of Oz." He directed the 2007 production of "Dearly Departed."
The guild invites people from all over the county to become members and aid in furthering the mission of the Lincoln Arts Council "to develop, promote and nurture all art as a creative endeavor throughout our community." Several membership packages are available for individuals, couples and families of four. Packages range in price range from $25 to $195 per season.
The Lincoln Theatre Guild is also a part of the Metrolina Theatre Association, whose annual awards cover theater in both Charlotte and the surrounding region.