History

The HART of performance in Waynesville

History

 

Welcome to one of the treasures of Western North Carolina. Nestled in the shadow of Cold Mountain in Waynesville, North Carolina, The HART Theatre, founded in 1984, is a semi-professional community theatre showcasing the talents of the people of the region and beyond.

The Performing Arts Center opened in 1997, funded by the support of people throughout the community. HART’s home is a stunning facility constructed in the style of the traditional Summer Stock playhouses of the 1920’s.  In the fall of 2016 HART completed its next major expansion, the Fangmeyer Theater, a flexible space that includes John & Susie Harmons’ Den. Architect Joe Sam Queen and builder Pat Burgin used native materials to create facilities that are both grand and informal. The Performing Arts Center on the Shelton Campus now contains the Steve Lloyd Stage, named after HART’s longtime Executive Director, located inside the James Auditorium, a 255-seat traditional proscenium space named in honor of longtime supporters Phil and Loraine James, the Daniel and Belle Fangmeyer Theater, a 140 seat flexible performance space, and the 75-seat Feichter Studio Theatre, named in honor of HART founder’s Rex and Elisabeth Feichter.

The facility sits on an eight acre National Historic site owned by the Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts. The 19th Century structures are open to the public and contain a vast treasure of work by artists from the region and beyond.

In addition to its own productions, HART has played host to events by Folkmoot USA, the Smoky Mountain Brass Band, Voices in the Laurel, and Haywood County Arts Council events. HART also operates the Rodwell Visual Arts Gallery and has an Internship program for young aspiring professional actors. 

HART’s activities have helped spur economic development in the region and introduce a generation of young people to the magic of theatre, many of whom are pursuing theatrical degrees thanks to HART’s encouragement and training. All of HART’s activities and the maintenance of the Performing Arts Center are made possible thanks to the generous support of people like you.

Mission Statement

 

To provide diverse, quality theater experiences that challenge and inspire both performers and audiences, while nurturing talent and fostering artistic expression in our community.

North Carolina Community Theatre of the Year

Three-Time Winner: N.C. Theatre Festival AACT/Fest

Two-Time Winner: S.E. Theatre Festival AACT/Fest

Acting and Technical Winner: National AACT/Fest Theatre Festival

Participant: Edinburgh Scotland International Theatre Fringe Festival