New American Theatre Wing documentary features Fayetteville, TheatreSquared

Fayetteville is the star of a new short documentary recently released by American Theatre Wing.

The roughly 22-minute video, posted on YouTube last week (and embedded above), focuses primarily on local theatre company, TheatreSquared, but the city itself also shines through in the film.

TheatreSquared managing director Martin Miller said American Theatre Wing was looking to feature a professional theatre company outside the hotspots in New York and Chicago, and reached out to T2 about creating a piece on their annual New Play Festival.

American Theatre Wing has been around since 1917 as an organization that “invests in brave work, supports creative growth, and celebrates excellence to bring diverse stories to our national culture through theatre.” The organization awarded a grant to TheatreSquard for their work back in 2011.

Joanna Sheehan Bell / Courtesy

The film features some nice footage from around town, including visits to T2’s New Play festival, the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, and the annual Pride Parade on Dickson Street.

T2 was also breaking ground on their new $34 million theatre facility at the corner of Spring Street and West Avenue that weekend, which created a nice visual for the film.

The documentary crew interviewed Steven Marzolf, an actor who came to Fayetteville to perform in a T2 show. Marzolf fell in love with the city and moved to town. In the film, he refers to Fayetteville as “the Holy Grail of the United States.”

T2 patron Susan Hall, UA professor Lissette Lopez, and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan also make appearances in the film.

Jordan was quoted primarily on the subject of the the city’s relationship with the arts during his tenure as mayor.

“In the last nine years since I’ve been in office, the arts have really been one of the driving forces in this city,” Jordan said.

A shortened version of the film was posted to American Theatre Wing’s Facebook page last week, and has since been viewed more than 11,000 times.

The film has already paid dividends for TheatreSquared. Former director of programs for American Theatre Wing Joanna Bell was so impressed by Fayetteville and T2 when she saw a rough cut of the film, she applied for a job with T2, and was just hired as the company’s new director of marketing and communications.

“It the best unintentional recruitment effort that we’ve ever done,” Miller said.