The Wake Forest University Family Business Center – Triad, with a little help from Arthur Miller and William Shakespeare, is offering a unique and entertaining view of issues affecting family-owned businesses.
Using dramatic interpretations from classic and award-winning plays, such as “Death of a Salesman” and “King Lear,” Wake Forest students enrolled in the Acting II course will present the Family Business Center Theatre, which is 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in the Ring Theatre of the Scales Fine Art Center on campus. The performance is part of the Family Business Center quarterly forums.
Directing the performance is Sharon Andrews, an associate professor of directing/acting for the Department of Theatre and Dance. Andrews has directed for Wake Forest Theatre, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Theatre, Winston Salem Little Theatre, Theatre Alliance and the N.C. School of the Arts and most recently for the Paper Lantern Theatre.
Andrews, who has a strong interest in new play development, directs and produces for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education New Play Development Program and is a founding member of The Virtual Theatre Project, a company dedicated to the identification and promotion of new plays.
For the FBC Theatre, the Acting II class also plans to perform scenes from “All My Sons,” “Look Homeward Angel” and “Other People’s Money,” as well as a take on the acclaimed TV comedy series “Arrested Development,” which, says Andrews, will add some levity to the program.
Andrews directed similar work while teaching at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The acting students, she said, will receive class credit for their work at the FBC Theatre.
“The idea of using theater as way to inspire and create conversation is certainly not new to me,” says Andrews.
Part of the mission of the theatre department, she says, involves reaching out and collaborating with other departments and organizations at Wake Forest, and “it’s becoming more and more important. A lot of creativity is happening at the intersection of disciplines.”
By working to illuminate issues affecting family business, the acting students will become more aware of other parts of the campus, in addition to allowing them the chance to perform before a unique audience. Because of the makeup of the class, Andrews says, traditional casting models will be “scrambled.” For instance, a woman will fill the role of King Lear, which has been played by award-winning actors such as Laurence Olivier, James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer.
“It’s an interesting opportunity for them,” Andrews says.
Andrews and FBC Director Kathy Baker will facilitate a discussion of the material, followed by a networking reception.
Baker says, “This is a great example of cross-campus collaboration, and we are so fortunate to have such strong support from our wonderful and talented faculty members. We hope all of our members will take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Family Business Center forums are only open to Family Business Center members, sponsors and their guests. For information on FBC membership and guest policies, please contact Baker at (336) 758-3568, or visit www.business.wfu.edu/fbc. Member dues and corporate sponsors BB&T Wealth Management, RSM McGladrey and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice fund the Family Business Center — Triad.
The Family Business Center, established in 1999 under the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship in the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, addresses issues faced by closely held and family firms. The member-based organization uses the capabilities and educational resources at Wake Forest, in the community and beyond to provide closely held and family firms the assistance they need to grow and succeed from generation to generation.