Hickory – The Hickory Community Theatre is welcoming three new actors for its upcoming production of CADILLAC CREW, a new drama by Boston based playwright and screenwriter Tori Sampson. Performances will run February 17 through March 4 in the Firemen’s Kitchen.

The play opens on the day of a much anticipated speech by Rosa Parks during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, where four activists working in a Virginia civil rights office wonder whether the proclamation of equality amongst mankind includes women. Three of the actors in the play will be appearing on the HCT stage for the first time.HCT Welcomes New Actors

Rachel Kersenbrock, who plays Sarah, originally hails from Hawthorne, New Jersey initially relocated to North Carolina for college and now resides in Connelly Springs. She holds two degrees, a Bachelor’s in Arts Administration from UNC Greensboro and an MBA from Western Governors University. Kersenbrock says she chose to come out for CADILLAC CREW because, “Women’s rights and civil rights are things that most people take for granted. It’s important to remember our history so it doesn’t repeat.”

Nasha Shandri, who plays Rachel, is a Health Educator for Cabarrus Health Alliance who lives in Charlotte. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Science degree from Maryland University of Integrative Health. As to why she chose CADILLAC CREW, Shandri says, “This story is not told in history classes and is a major part of American History. I love Rachel’s ambition and drive.”

Lillie Oden, who plays Dee, currently lives in Concord, NC. She came to North Carolina several years ago when her family moved to Statesville. Her most recent stage experience was playing Beatrice in FOUR OLD BROADS at Lee St. Theatre in Salisbury. Oden is excited to be coming to HCT for the very first time and being in CADILLAC CREW. “It tells a wonderful story,” she says, “about the civil rights era. Dee is a true believer and a fighter for the cause.”

Performances of CADILLAC CREW are February 17 through March 4 in the Firemen’s Kitchen. Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, Sunbelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. CADILLAC CREW is being produced by The Corning Incorporated Foundation.

PHOTO: Nasha Shandri, Lillie Oden and Rachel Kersenbrock will be making their Hickory Community Theatre debut in CADILLAC CREW. The play runs February 17 through March 4 in the Firemen’s Kitchen. Photos by Eric Seale.