Hickory – There are always new actors coming to the Hickory Community Theatre and this holds true for their upcoming production of Dreamgirls, the opening production of the 70th season, which begins its 10 performance run on September 7th. Newcomer Dior Jarńae Scott is joined by two other actors, Kayla Harper and Tylan James who are familiar faces to local audiences. They shared the stage just a few months ago as members of the ensemble for Ragtime.

These actors play three characters whose lives intersect in different ways in the show. Scott plays Effie White, an original member of The Dreamettes who is asked to leave the group when the others decide she is too difficult to work with, and Harper plays her replacement Michelle Morris. The two have an awkward and confrontational first meeting when Effie arrives for a rehearsal and finds out that Michelle is taking her place in the group. James has the role of C.C. White, Effie’s brother, a songwriter for the group who also turns his back on her.

Scott is making her community theatre debut in the show. When asked why she came out for the show Scott replied, “I needed a new hobby.” A graduate of Hickory High, she has had one prior stage experience when she was in The Jungle Book at Fred T. Foard high school. A native of Philadelphia, Scott moved to this area four years ago to be near her family. She currently resides in Lenoir and works for Shuford Yarns in Hickory.

James is a native of Spartanburg, SC, who moved to Hickory to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he is currently majoring in Theatre and is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society. His previous roles at HCT include Chris in Manuscript and Franco in Superior Donuts.

Dreamgirls is Harper’s fourth show with HCT. Along with Ragtime, she’s had ensemble roles in Rent, The Wiz and Young Frankenstein. In all of these productions she has shared the stage with her brother, Donovan, who plays Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls. They both came to Hickory five years ago from Washington, DC. Harper is currently studying music at Mars Hill University.

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: Kayla Harper is Michelle Morris, Tylan James is C.C. White and Dior Jarńae Scott is Effie White in Dreamgirls. The Motown style 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.