Hickory – One of the central stories in THE COLOR PURPLE – THE MUSICAL, which is coming to the stage at the Hickory Community Theatre on January 21, is about the relationship between the main character Celie and her sister, Nettie. In the Hickory production, the role of Nettie is played by Kayla Ferguson.Popular Actor Returns To HCT

Ferguson first came to HCT in 2018, as Sarah in RAGTIME, for which she received a Kay award as Outstanding Supporting Actress. Three months later she returned as Deena Jones in DREAMGIRLS. Her last Hickory appearance was in 2019, when she played Dionne in HAIR. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Ferguson relocated to Charlotte in 2012. She has acted in several roles there, including Karla in THE INVISIBLE BOY and Cora in THE GHOST AT SPLINTER COVE at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. She kept busy while theatres were closed by appearing as a frequent performer in Theatre Charlotte’s “Quarantine Concerts.” Her other Charlotte theatre credits include Adele in DIE FLEDERMOUS with the Little Opera Company and Eponine in LES MISERABLÉS at Central Piedmont Community College.

When asked about making the commute to perform in Hickory she said, “Just like with RAGTIME, I wanted to perform in this show and I always enjoy the environment here. I love the people. Playing Nettie is an incredible honor.”

The subplot surrounding Celie and Nettie is at turns heartbreaking and inspiring all at once. The sisters become separated shortly after Celie marries Mister and Nettie is sent away. She tries to keep in touch with Celie by writing letters but Mister hides them and threatens to kill Celie if she goes near the mailbox. The story of how the sisters overcome these circumstances is one of the more emotional aspects of the story of THE COLOR PURPLE.

Performances of THE COLOR PURPLE will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, January 21 through February 5 at 7:30 pm; Sunday, January 30 at 2:30 pm and Thursday, February 3 at 7:30 pm. Opening night, January 21 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 phone at 828-328-2283. Weekday box office hours are 12-5, Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before any performance.

Due to the continued rate of Covid-19 cases in Catawba County, and in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, the Hickory Community strongly recommends that patrons wear a mask or other face covering while inside the building.

The Hickory Community’s 73rd season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and Sunbelt Xpress. THE COLOR PURPLE is produced by the United Arts Council of Catawba County, in association with Shurtape Technologies, LLC. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

PHOTO: Kayla Simone Ferguson plays Nettie in THE COLOR PURPLE, opening January 21. Photo by Allison Finch.