Hickory – For the first time ever the Hickory Community Theatre has a team of not one, not two but four directors working to stage the upcoming production of Dreamgirls. Tiffany Christian, Lynn G. Crawford, Betty Phillips and Natalya Williams are all collaborating to bring the soulful R&B musical to the stage.

This is Christian’s fourth production at HCT. Her previous experiences have been on stage, as member of the ensemble in The Wiz, as Sarah’s friend in Ragtime and as Sister Mary Hubert in Nunsense. She has an extensive and diverse educational background, attending college in three states. She studied English and French at the College of Charleston, Counselor Education at the University of Florida and Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill. Originally from Lancaster, SC, she has lived in Boone for the last 14 years, where she manages the Mast General Store. She says she enjoys HCT because, “I love the variety of shows offered and the opportunity to learn.”

Dreamgirls is Crawford’s third time out with the Theatre. Her last role was Michelle in Sister Act and before that she played Wanda in the acclaimed production of Crowns. Her previous experience has been in religious dramas like Oil of God and she is the head of the drama ministry for Resurrection Church. She’s originally from Belmont, NC and moved to Hickory 22 years ago when she met and married James Crawford, Jr. They have two teenage boys, James and Christopher. An interesting fact about her, she says, is that “I grew up running around in a convent at Sacred Heart College.”

Phillips’ experiences at HCT have all been behind the scenes, starting as a theatre mom when her son Marcus was cast as Pooh in Winnie the Pooh KIDS. She and her husband Richie began working backstage at that production and eventually she graduated to stage management for the productions of Crowns, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Ragtime. She’s kept busy the rest of her time being the mother of four boys, ages 10 to 18. Dreamgirls gives her the chance to work more closely with her son Marcus since he is the choreographer for the show. She’s also been very involved in her children’s education and she has received the Hickory Public Schools’ Volunteer of the Year Award four times.

Williams and her family moved to Charlotte a little over a year ago. “My family was looking for a change, a slower environment,” she says. “I have a 13 year old and a 14 year old and I felt the move would be great for them. Thus far it has proven true.” She chose to work on Dreamgirls because the show is a personal favorite and she enjoys working with the fabulous cast, crew and Pamela Livingstone, the Theatre’s Artistic Director. Her previous theatre projects include Ain’t No Devil in Hell and Amber, and she’s currently working on a new play, When God Calls.

Performances of Dreamgirls are on Fridays and Saturdays (Sep 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22) at 8:00pm, Thursdays (Sep 13 & 20) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Sep 16 & 23) at 2:30pm.

Tickets for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and youth 18 & under. Thursday night tickets for adults and seniors are $16, students and children are $10. Tickets are on sale online at hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Dreamgirls is produced by Shurtape.

PHOTO: (L-R) Natalya Williams, Tiffany Christian, Lynn Crawford and Betty Phillips are the directing team for “Dreamgirls” at the Hickory Community Theatre. The smash-hit R&B musical plays in the Jeffers Theatre September 7-23 at the Hickory Community Theatre. Visit www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information. Photo by John Koval.