Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jeeves and Bertie return to NC Stage - Jan. 25 - Feb. 19

North Carolina Stage Company (NC Stage) is excited to present the next play by Margaret Raether of her P. G Wodehouse adaptations, Jeeves In Bloom.

Last year, Jeeves Intervenes proved a smash hit for NC Stage. After breaking every box office and attendance record in its 15-year history, the wonderful works of Wodehouse will once again take over their stage.

Actors Michael MacCauley and Scott Treadway will reprise their roles as the delightful duo of Jeeves, a proper valet, and Bertie Wooster, the “doltish” yet loveable English gentleman. Charlie Flynn-McIver, Callan White, and John Hall will all be returning actors in this new Wodehouse story but taking on new characters. The cast is rounded out by Trinity Smith and Strother Stingley, new to NC Stage’s Wodehouse productions but long-time alums of NC Stage. 

This production is directed by Angie Flynn-McIver, Founder and Producing Director at North Carolina Stage Company. She also directed last year’s Jeeves Intervenes. “As a director, it’s always a special treat to get to spend more time with characters you know so well. I can’t wait to see what this cast dreams up!”

Plot Summary:

The lovable Bertie and faithful valet, Jeeves return! The pair pay a visit to the English countryside where Bertie’s amphibian-loving school chum, Gussie, hatches a plan to win the heart of the fanciful Madeline Basset. Bertie’s plan for a peaceful getaway is dashed when Aunt Dahlia attempts to commit burglary, Gussie’s attempt to woo Madeline backfires, and a disgruntled French chef seeks revenge on Bertie. In the midst of such mayhem, there is only one man who can set everything straight: Jeeves!

Written and adapted by Margaret Raether, and based on the classic stories by novelist P.G. Wodehouse, this story is bound to capture the audience with its British drawing-room humor.

“…witty banter, convoluted schemes that go awry, misinterpreted intentions and physical shtick.” – Daily Herald


Where: North Carolina Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane in downtown Asheville

Dates: Jan. 25th – Feb. 19th, 2017

Times: Wednesday-Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM, and Select Saturdays at 2:00 PM

Ticket Prices: See website for current ticket prices.

Tickets are available by calling 828-239-0263 or visiting us online at

A real romantic comedy in "Almost Maine"

Reeni Lindblom Dowd, in association with Asheville Community Theatre is thrilled to bring Almost, Maine to Asheville's 35below Theatre this February, just in time for the loveliest holiday of all.

“On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above. Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal and the hearts mend – almost – in this delightful midwinter night's dream.” - The Dramatists Play Service

This production will star four of Asheville's local actors; Ellen Soderberg, Dylan Murray, Heather Nicole Bronson and John O'Neil. “I got the dream team of casts. They all have their own styles and strengths and having them all agree to take on this project with me was truly exciting” says director and producer Reeni Lindblom Dowd. “Coming from an Improvisation background out of Chicago's Second City, I knew I wanted to start with this play.”

Almost, Maine is a series of nine short scenes, “so the actors need to be very energized and able to switch to an entirely different character in a moment”, explains Dowd. For Dylan Murray, that was a huge draw to the production. “The chance to play multiple characters within the same show that are clearly defined from one another is a challenge as an actor that Almost, Maine offers. I am ecstatic to be given the opportunity to be a part of this production.” For others it was the material. “I've always been obsessed with love stories, but rarely encounter stories that are relatable or speak to me. So much of theatre is centered on big, flashy musicals and it is nice to encounter a play that is simple and sweet” says Bronson. “In a world fueled by hate, this show is a refreshing change of pace and reminds me that love is so powerful.” And for others, it was personal, “...after focusing on film for a long while, I knew it was exactly what I needed next. The smallest of theaters, the most real of dialogue, and the most honest of feelings.” says Soderberg.

With Valentine's Day approaching, it always brings up the question of love and where you are going to get it from? “Watching all of these couples fall in, struggle through and fall out of love throughout a single night is so entertaining and thought makes you laugh, cry and think about your own love in one sitting”, says O'Neil. What a better way to celebrate this romantic season than being surrounded by the idea of real love with this real romantic comedy.

For tickets or information about Asheville Community Theatre, please visit

Jacqueline Medland, PhD, RN, named President/CNO of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Jacqueline Medland, PhD, RN, will be joining Mission Health on March 1 as President/Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.

Jackie has enjoyed a career as a health care leader for over 30 years, including positions in direct patient care, advanced practice nursing, nursing management and hospital administration. Based in the Chicago-metro area for most of her career, Jackie has served at the University of Chicago Hospitals, Hinsdale Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and most recently, at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center and Presence St. Mary’s Hospital as the Chief Nurse Executive. 

“We are absolutely delighted to add Jackie to our regional executive team,” said Kathleen Culhane Guyette MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and President of Regional Member Hospitals. “Her exceptional leadership skills and diverse background in healthcare will help advance our system-wide strategies to provide the safest, highest-quality, care where and how consumers desire it, achieve long-term financial stability, and effectively grow, and manage, the number of people we serve.  She is the perfect person to explore new and innovative approaches to care in this important community”

In addition to her extensive background in hospital operations, Jackie owned and operated a healthcare consulting practice, and served as Clinical Faculty at the University of Illinois, College of Nursing. Throughout her leadership tenure, Jackie has demonstrated consistent success in the areas of workforce engagement and clinical program growth.

Jackie received her MSN from the University of Illinois, College of Nursing, and her PhD in Organization Development from Benedictine University. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Organization of Nurses Executives, the Illinois Organization of Nursing Leaders and Sigma Theta Tau.  Jackie’s unique leadership and mentorship was recognized by the University of Illinois, College of Nursing with the Sage Award.

Mars Hill University president to retire in 2018

Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford announced today that he will retire next year from the position he's held for 15 years. The exact timing of his retirement will depend on the completion of a successful search for a new university president, but Lunsford said it will be in the first half of 2018.

Lunsford became president on an interim basis in January 2002, following the resignation of the late Max Lennon. The board of trustees of what was then Mars Hill College made the position permanent in May 2003. 

In announcing his retirement plans, Lunsford thanked the students, staff, and faculty for their efforts over his tenure as president. He also thanked the trustee board, which he described as "incredibly supportive." Lunsford said his promise to the board, when he accepted the position, was that, "whenever I finished my tenure, that Mars Hill would be stronger than when I began. I believe that we have achieved that promise." He promised that in his remaining months in the presidency he "will remain as active and engaged in the life of the institution as I have been from 'Day One.'" 

Wayne Higgins, current chair of the trustee board and a member of that board when Lunsford became president, said Lunsford's "passion for and dedication to Mars Hill is widely recognized by the entire campus and greater community." Higgins called him "truly a visionary and academic leader," adding, "Dr. Lunsford will be tremendously missed at Mars Hill University but we know he will continue to be very supportive and engaged with the university."

Lunsford’s tenure at Mars Hill University has been marked by growth in many areas, fitting the theme of his presidency: Preserving the Past, Assuring the Future. Under Lunsford the school transitioned from a college to a university in 2013; completed its first comprehensive capital campaign (and is in the final stages of its second); saw the largest building boom in campus facilities since the 1970s (with the addition of three new residence halls and three new classroom and laboratory buildings, as well as the building and renovation of several athletic facilities); established the Asheville Center for Adult and Graduate Studies in south Asheville; added a large portion of the campus to the National Register of Historic Places; strengthened and added academic programs (including an Honors Program, master’s degrees in elementary education and in management, and a nursing school); and increased funding for scholarships and other financial aid for students. 

Lunsford is a 1969 graduate of Mars Hill College, earned his graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and participated in postdoctoral study at Vanderbilt University and the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Government. He began his career as a 6th grade teacher in Durham, N.C.; was a principal, director of instruction, associate superintendent, and assistant superintendent for Orange County Schools before serving that district as superintendent from 1983-1990; and was superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools from 1990-1998. He began his employment at Mars Hill in 1998 as dean of the School of Education and Leadership.

Dr. Lunsford maintains strong involvement in community and professional organizations, including the South Atlantic Conference, Appalachian College Association, and NC Independent Colleges and Universities. He and his wife, Beverly, are active in the life of the university and the town of Mars Hill.