The North Carolina Theatre Conference recently awarded Bo Thorp of the Cape Fear Regional Theatre the Marian A. Smith Distinguished Career Award. Below is a except from the awards presentation.
Founded in 1970, The North Carolina Theatre Conference is a statewide organization whose mission is to improve and enhance the environment for quality theatre in North Carolina through service, leadership, and advocacy. NCTC is membership organization and each year, the Board of Directors of seeks nominations from the membership for the NCTC Excellence Awards. Upon a vote of the Board of Directors and Past Presidents, the awards are presented to companies, schools, and individuals that have exhibited leadership roles in their community, as well as artistic, professional, or educational excellence.
The Marian A. Smith Distinguished Career Award is named after one of the founders of NCTC and is one of the organization’s highest honors.
Bo Thorp is a treasured member of the North Carolina theatre community. Her career highlights are endless. Bo is an exceptional artist, director and performer, but more than that, she is a force of nature in the Fayetteville community. When Bo helped to form the Fayetteville Little Theatre in 1962, she was not only building an artistic home for herself and her friends, she was building a community. Nearly 50 years later, Cape Fear Regional Theatre has become one of the state’s most respected companies. Bo’s work has reached this community in profound ways. She programs shows that speak to social issues, she reaches diverse audiences, encourages meaningful conversations and turns out stellar performance after stellar performance. Bo is also an incredible teacher. She has an amazing talent when it comes to identifying young artists and many of her protégés have gone on to perform on Broadway and in regional theatres across the country. Bo has also served her field as a member of the NCTC board of directors and a leader to young arts managers.
Bo’s success reaches far beyond the stage, but starts at home. As many of you know, Bo and Herbert raised Clay and Holden to be successful businessmen, but they grew up here in the theatre and have shared their love of the arts with their own families and communities.
Committing oneself to an organization for almost 50 years is something that is rare in the theatre field. Theatre people are constantly moving and shaking, looking for the next opportunity. Theatre leaders across North Carolina admire the dedication that Bo has shown to her community and to her theatrical home. She built an organization of great value to state and a business that is truly invaluable to Fayetteville.