About Us

OUR STORY

In 1962, no one would have imagined that a small group of local actors would one day evolve into one of the finest theatres in the state. It all began with a two-show season starting with the classic Dicken’s A Christmas Carol performed at Alexander Graham Junior High and the courtroom drama The Night of January 16th performed at the Fayetteville Courthouse. Everything from props to lights was borrowed.

This small group of enthusiasts, under the leadership of former LTNC Playmaker Bo Thorp, formed the Fayetteville Little Theatre. With the community’s support, funds were raised to renovate the building incorporate two adjacent buildings. On the advice of State Senators Tony Rand, Lura Tally, and others, the theatre changed its name to Cape Fear Regional Theatre.

CFRT features a three-story complex with a 309-seat main stage and contracts actors, writers, and designers from throughout the country. CFRT’s six-show main stage season and robust education and outreach programs serve over 42,000 audience members a year from all ages and varying socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds including nearly 7,000 students from around the region. CFRT is grateful for the community support from which it was born and still blooms.

Mary Kate Burke

Artistic Director

Burke, a Connecticut native, is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  She joins CFRT after nearly 20 years of experience as a Director, Dramaturge, Assistant Director, and Artistic Director. She got her start as an Assistant Director to film legend Arthur Penn (director of Bonnie & Clyde and The Miracle Worker). She worked with Penn on the two-time TONY-Award-winning Broadway production of Fortune’s Fool.  She also assistant directed for Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin VinnyClue, and The Whole Nine Yards) on the off-Broadway production of A Mother. A Daughter. And A Gun. starring Olympia Dukakis.

She comes to CFRT from Dede Harris Productions, a six-time, TONY Award-winning commercial producing office.  In addition to working in the field of commercial theatre, Burke has extensive experience working at not-for-profits.  She served as the Director of Programming for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), the largest musical theatre festival in the United States.  NYMF was the launching pad for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal and the Broadway productions of Title of Show, In Transit, and Chaplin.

Burke spearheaded the effort to create autism friendly performances for the children’s series at NYMF, and raised foundation funding to underwrite these performances. Before that Burke was Producing Artistic Director for three seasons at Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania.  As a director, her work has taken her across the country to Texas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon and New York.

“I am particularly passionate about expanding the educational programming and introducing children to theatre.  The tools children learn in the arts–from navigating group dynamics, to making creative choices, to problem solving–are all invaluable skills.” Burke said. “The best regional theatre is a driver of the economy and tourism, nurtures and develops local talent, exposes the community to national talent, and tells great stories. Theatre reminds us to have empathy and listen while being entertained and inspired. The next season at CFRT will continue to build on 55 years of excellence!”

Bo Thorp

Founding Artistic Director

“Your vision, when few dared to dream;
your passion, when few had the energy to persevere;
and your skill, when few had the talent to manage,
have helped transform this community’s image into
a vibrant cultural arts center in this region of the nation.”
Representative Rick Glazier on the occasion of
the presentation of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine to Bo Thorp (2003)

Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director Olga “Bo” Thorp first stepped onto a stage in an elementary school play in Columbia, South Carolina and hasn’t left it since. Since graduating from Carolina Playmakers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bo has starred, directed, choreographed, produced, painted sets and, by the sheer force of will and personality, grown a community theatre, a wonderful marriage and two sons of incredible heart, intelligence and compassion.

Bo and her husband, Herbert, arrived in Fayetteville in 1960 and joined others in the community to create the Fayetteville Little Theatre. In 1962, on not much more than a wing and a prayer, FLT produced its first play, The Night of January 16th. In 1981, FLT hired Bo as its Artistic Director, the sole paid staff position, on a total budget of under $50,000. Today, after 2 extraordinarily successful capital campaigns, the regional theatre has a full-time staff of ten, a budget of over $1 million, a Board of Directors of 26, and produces plays of stunning national quality.
In addition, Bo has taught theatre classes for children since the 1960s. Bo Thorp has developed a unique system of teaming professional artists and technicians with amateurs from our community. As a result, CFRT has become a training ground, and many amateurs have gone on to theatre careers regionally and beyond, including award-winning children’s author Mary Pope Osborne, Broadway performers Suzanne Ishee, Grady Bowman, Natasha Williams, and producer Suzanne Evans.

Bo’s work has been seen in several hundred plays in Fayetteville, Ft. Bragg, Chapel Hill, and the Southeastern United States, and she has been honored with these prestigious awards: The Order of the Long Leaf Pine (2003), Methodist University’s Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Awards (2008), Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame Inductee (2009), Fayetteville Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce Realtor Cup (2009), and The North Carolina Award (2009): the highest civilian honor awarded by the state. At the beginning of Bo’s 50th Season at CFRT, Bo reflected on her life as an artist in an interview with Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The State of Things.

During the 2011 – 2012 celebration of Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season, we sat down with Bo and a copy of the FLT/CFRT production history. While we were not surprised, we continue to be amazed at the sheer number of productions that carry the Bo Thorp stamp as actor, director and/or producer. You will note that her illustrious career began before she stepped through the doors at CFRT.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OFFICERS 2019-2020
President: Cheryl Y. Burns
Vice-President: Jerome Scott
Treasurer: Steve Terry
Associate Treasurer: Laurie Cherry
Secretary: Juelle McDonald
Immediate Past President: Jason Poole

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lauren Allred, Al Aycock, Reshma Patel Beal, Jerome Bell, Carol Briggs, Gwen Brown, Judy Chavis, Jan Cobb, Jennifer G. Crumpler, SarahMarie Daughtry, Carolyn Dawson, John Dunigan, Tim Edwards, Ellie Fleishman, Kaia Collins Frye, Carole Goforth, Shirley Konneker, Lynn Legatski, Eric Lindstrom, Sherry Miller, LaJuan Mills, Kelly Myers, Jason Poole, Wendy Quesnel, Judy Rochman, Joyce Sorenson

Advisory Council: John Buie, Jenny deViere, Keith Gardiner, Marie Runkle, Nanette Walsh

PAST PRODUCTIONS

(* World Premier **Special Event Production)

2018-2019
*Music City
Peter & the Starcatcher
**Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Annie
Trumbo: Red, White, & Blacklisted
The Cake
Memphis
**17th Annual Blues-n-Brews
**Lumbees: Women of Dark Water

2017-2018
Dreamgirls
Wait Until Dark
**Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Seussical
Disgraced
Sense & Sensibility
Crowns
**16th Annual Blues-n-Brews

2016-2017
Million Dollar Quartet
Henry V
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
**Love Letters
Intimate Apparel
Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
Caroline, or Change
**15th Annual Blues-n-Brews

2015-2016
Man of La Mancha
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Wiz
*Downrange: Voices from the Homefront
Arsenic & Old Lace
Ring of Fire
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
**13th Annual Blues n’ Brews

2014-2015
Monty Python’s Spamalot
The Bluest Eye
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**SantaLand Diaries
The Three Musketeers
**Amadeus
Ain’t Misbehavin’
The Trip to Bountiful
Avenue Q
**12th Annual Blues n’ Brews

2013-14
The Little Prince
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**SantaLand Diaries
Fiddler on the Roof
The Piano Lesson
The 39 Steps
**Return to the Forbidden Planet
**11th Annual Blues ‘n Brews

2012-13
Jesus Christ Superstar
Around the World in 80 Days
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Legally Blonde: The Musical
**A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Parchman Hour
Pride and Prejudice
**Cotton Patch Gospel
**10th Annual Blues ‘n Brews

2011-12
**Night of January 16th
Boeing-Boeing
Miss Saigon
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Encore! Fifty Fabulous Years
**The Golden Gala
**Othello
The Spitfire Grill
On Golden Pond
**A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline
An Evening With Bo
**9th Annual Blues ‘n Brews

2010-11
**Fayetteville Has Talent
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
A View From the Bridge
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Hairspray
Rumors
**Our Town
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
**Hank Williams: Lost Highway
**8th Annual Blues ‘n Brews

2009-10
**Fayetteville Has Talent
The Full Monty
White Christmas
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Peter Pan
**Les Miserables: School Edition
The Member of the Wedding
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
**Hair
**7th Annual Blues ‘n Brews

2008-09
Barnum
**Oktoberfest
Lend Me A Tenor
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
West Side Story
The Odd Couple
**River Show: Encore
Driving Miss Daisy
**6th Annual Blues ‘n Brews
Disney’s High School Musical 2

2007-08
Oliver!
Twelve Angry Men
**Oktoberfest
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Singin’ in the Rain
**Porgy & Bess
Good Ol’ Girls
**Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
**5th Annual Blues ‘n Brews
Company

2006-07
**The Last Five Years
Thoroughly Modern Millie
**2nd Annual Cross Creek Music Festival
**How to Eat Like A Child
**Closer Than Ever
Tuesdays with Morrie
Cinderella
The Foreigner
**Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming
**4th Annual Blues ‘n Brews Festival
Disney’s High School Musical

2005-06
Children of Eden
**Cross Creek Music Festival
**Top of the Bottom Half
**Sacred Cows
Steel Magnolias
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Disney’s Beauty and The Beast
Lunch at the Piccadilly
**A Raisin in the Sun
**Wildwood Flowers
**3rd Annual Blues ‘n Brews Festival
Fame

2004-05
The Wizard of Oz
Morning’s At Seven
Ragtime
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Idols of the King
**Cross Creek Music Fesitval II
**The Top of The Bottom Half
**Paying the Price
**The Fayetteville Idol II
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Conversations
**A Pocketful of Rhymes
The Good Times Revue
**2nd Annual Blues ‘n Brews Festival

2003-04
Kiss Me Kate
The Woman in Black
Big River
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Grand Night For Singing
**The First Annual Cross Creek Music Festival
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**Let’s Get Happy, New Year’s Eve Revue
**Wendy Sounds Off!
Annabelle Broom, The Unhappy Witch
**Pumpboys and Dinettes
**1st Annual Blues ‘n Brews Festival
**The Fayetteville Idol
**The Good Times Revue

2002-03
Chicago
Hamlet
Annie Get Your Gun
Proof
My Way, A Tribute to Frank Sinatra
**Traveling Notes
**Footloose
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**Let’s Get Happy, New Year’s Eve Revue
Cinderella
*Let ‘er Fly

2001-02
Smokey Joe’s Café
Angel Street
The Music Man
Picnic
Over the River and Through The Woods
Godspell
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Honk!
The Good Times Revue VII
Nashville Bound
**Footloose

2000-01
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Twelfth Night
South Pacific
Art
The World Goes Round
The Good Times Revue VI
**A Holiday Cabaret with Lisa Layne
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
King Mackeral and The Blues Are Running
Snow White Goes West

1999-00
1776
The Old Settler
My Fair Lady
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change
**Grease
**O, Joy Too
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Arthur
The Good Times Revue V
*Polyester and More

1998-99
State Fair
Sylvia
The King & I
Romeo & Juliet
The Last Night of Ballyhoo
**O, Joy
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**The Stars Are Out
The Good Times Revue IV
**Phantom of the Country Opera

1997-98
The Most Happy Fella
The Gin Game
The Sound of Music
The Floatplane Notebooks
Sophisticated Ladies
Beehive
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**A Tuna Christmas
The Good Times Revue III
Bravo Broadway III
**Family Reunion
*Polyester: The 70’s Musical

1996-97
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Luv
The Secret Garden
One Flew Over the Cukcoo’s Nest
**A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline
**All I Want For Christmas Is…
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Good Times Revue II
Bravo Broadway II
**Bubba And Betty Sue Get Married
Dream, Dream, Dream

1995-96
Carousel
Of Mice and Men
Crazy for You
The Sisters Rosensweig
Forever Plaid
**A Tuna Christmas
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**The Good Times Review
**CFRT’s Evening with the Fayetteville Symphony
**The Marsha Norman Event
**The Annual River Show

1994-95
A Thousand Clowns
Phantom
**Radio Gals
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**The Good Times are Killing Me
Same Time, Next Year
Dear Ms. Dare (at Peace College)
She Loves Me
Inherit the Wind
Five Guys Named Moe
**Woody Guthrie’s American Song

1993-94
**Don’t Count Your Chickens
Guys and Dolls
**Shirley Valentine
A Few Good Men
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
**Tar Heel Voices
Mame
Rumors
Nunsense II
**Pumpboys and Dinettes
**Free to Be You and Me

1992-93
My One and Only
See How They Run
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Oklahoma!
**Love Letters
**Once on this Island
Lost in Yonkers
Baby
**The River Show with the Shady Grove Band and the Swamp Cats
**Dirty Work at the CrossRoads
Don’t Count Your Chickens
**Until They Cry Wolf
**One World
**New Orleans New Year

1991-92
42nd Street
**Dracula
Lend Me A Tenor
**A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine
**The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Dear Ms. Dare (NC Writer’s Conference)
Dreamgirls
Other People’s Money
Nunsense
**Henry the 8th at the Grand Ol’ Opry

1990-91
Me And My Girl
**Yours, Anne
By Lerner, By Lowe
**Walking Across Egypt
The Boys Next Door
Oil City Symphony
Driving Miss Daisy
Smoke on the Mountain
**Raney
**The Gift of the Magi

1989-90
Big River
*Cool Spring
Something’s Afoot
Fences
Our Town
A Christmas Carol
Raney
**Hot Time on the River Tonight

1988-89
Steel Magnolias
The Immigrant
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Anything Goes
Social Security
**Pumpboys and Dinettes
*Peace, Love & Rock ‘N Roll

1987-88
Little Shop of Horrors
**Listen to My Song
One for Me, One for You
**Greater Tuna
A…My Name is Alice
**Private Contentment
**As Is
One Mo’ Time

1986-87
Brighton Beach Memoirs
Quilters
The 1940’s Radio Hour
The Foreigner
Jerry’s Girls
Diamond Studs
**River Renaissance IV

1985-86
**Razzle, Dazzle
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Greater Tuna
They’re Playing our Song
**A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking
On Golden Pond
King Mackeral & The Blues are Running
**River Renaissance III

1984-85
**Razzle, Dazzle
** Pumpboys and Dinettes (NCTC Competition)
Peter Pan
**Tally’s Folly
Amadeus
Gypsy
Foxfire
**River Renaissance II
Cotton Patch Gospel

1983-84
**Razzle, Dazzle
Annie
**Amahl and the Night Visitors
Children of a Lesser God
Crimes of the Heart
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
**River Renaissance I
**Pumpboys and Dinettes (1st Play at the River)

1982-83
**The Importance of Being Earnest
Encore
Babes in Toyland
*One for Me, One for You
Deathtrap
*Vive, Lafayette
The Robber Bridegroom

1981-82
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
I Love My Wife
**A Christmas Carol
The Women
Death of a Salesman
The Wiz
**Snow White Goes West

1980-81
Hello, Dolly!
A Christmas Carol
Member of the Wedding
Chapter II
Grease

1979-80
Man of La Mancha
The Corn is Green
Norman, is that You?
Becket
The Great White Hope

1978-79
The Sound of Music
The Last Meeting of the Nights of the White Magnolia
Born Yesterday
Indians
Raisin
**Cinderella (FBPH)

1977-78
The King & I
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Come Blow Your Horn
The Male Animal
**Jack and The Beanstalk (FBPH)
I Do, I Do
**Sweet Charity

1976-77
Li’l Abner
Harvey
**Snow White (FBPH)
Sleuth
The Miracle Worker
Jesus Christ Superstar

1975-76
The Prisoner of Second Avenue
When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder
**Cinderella
Forty Carats
The Highland Call
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

1974-75
Godspell
Hatful of Rain
6 Rms Riv Vu
Happy Birthday, Wanda Jane
Camelot

1973-74
Peter Pan
The Owl and The Pussycat
The Effects of Gamma Rays on the Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
The Andersonville Trial
Cabaret

1972-73
The Fantasticks
Butterflies are Free
Stop the World I Want to Get Off
Look Homeward Angel
Cabaret
Applause

1971-72
Black Comedy
I Never Sang for My Father
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Child’s Play
Fiddler on the Roof

1970-71
Bye Bye Birdie
Dracula
Snow White
Cactus Flower
Dark of the Moon
Man of La  Mancha

1969-70
Sweet Bird of Youth
You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running
Christmas Snow (A Christmas Carol & Snow White)
The Rainmaker
Mame
The Lion in Winter

1968-69
Barefoot in the Park
Tobacco Road
A Christmas Carol
A Thousand Clowns
South Pacific
Dylan

1967-68
Desire Under the Elms
You Can’t Take it With You
Alice in Wonderland
Carnival
Summer and Smoke
The Lady’s Not for Burning

1966-67
A Streetcar Named Desire
Never Too Late
Picnic
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Three One-Act Plays

1965-66
Teahouse of the August Moon
Private Lives
Cinderella
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Damn Yankees
The Crucible

1964-65
The Girls in 509
Harvey
A Christmas Carol
The Wizard of Oz
Guys and Dolls
J.B.
H.M.S. Pinafore

1963-64
Blithe Spirit
A Christmas Carol
Solid Gold Cadillac
An Evening with Shakespeare

1962-63
A Christmas Carol
The Night of January 16th