Hickory – Local actor Jennifer Leigh of Statesville will portray Laura, a woman coping with tragedy and transformation amid family revelations in the world-premiere of Caitlyn Waltermire’s new play BY THE BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL SEA. Leigh recently made her HCT debut in PUFFS earlier in the season. A graduate in Theatre Arts from Brigham Young University, she has lived in Statesville for about 6 months, relocating with her husband for his job. She is originally from Helena, AL. Her previous roles include PRINCESS ACADEMY and THE NIGHTINGALE with BYU Young Company, and OUR TOWN at South City Theatre in Alabama.

Waltermire’s exciting play follows Laura in the days after her sister’s funeral, when mysterious scales begin to appear on her legs. Memories of their father’s book “Captain Peabody’s Fabulous Logbook of Nautical Creatures” lead her to suspect that she and her sister may not exactly be human.

“I loved working on PUFFS and was excited to get back to HCT,” said Leigh. “I’ve found so many friends here and this role is not like anything I’ve done before.”

The premiere of BY THE BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL SEA will be held Fridays and Saturdays, February 18 through March 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 27 at 2:30 p.m.; and Thursday March 3 at 7:30 p.m. Opening night, February 18, features reduced-price tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for youth & students. Tickets for all other performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students.

Tickets are available online at hickorytheatre.org or by calling the box office at 828-328-2283. Weekday box office hours are 12-5, Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before any performance.

Due to the increasing rate of Covid-19 cases in Catawba County, the Hickory Community requires that all patrons wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.

The HCT’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

PHOTO: Jennifer Leigh is Laura in the world premiere play, BY THE BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL SEA, opening Friday, February 18. Photo by Eric Seale.