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Old 12-02-2016, 10:48 AM
293 posts, read 270,529 times
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Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
ECU receives development grant

Development grant validates ENC innovation efforts - Daily Reflector

Found this article in the opinion section. Not sure why there wasn't a bigger story on this?!? This seems pretty big to me.
So many moves, large and small, are happening in and around Greenville right now. Subtly (for some) coalescing into a potentially incredible transformation for the city and region. Grow baby grow!
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:19 AM
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Default Construction progress updates

Parker's BBQ at Bells Fork

Lidl Grocery Store near Firetower & Arlington

Publix (old K-Mart location)
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:24 AM
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Whiligig stage theater premiere shows this weekend.

Whirligig Stage - Daily Reflector

Greenville couple Elana Kepner and Jason Coale aren’t much for waiting around.
A year and a half after moving to Greenville, the two have already opened their own theater company with two shows premiering this coming week.

After meeting in graduate school pursuing theater degrees, the two married and moved around a bit searching for the perfect place to build a home together. By the time they arrived in Greenville last July when Coale got a position as a scenic design professor in East Carolina’s School of Theatre and Dance, they had figured out that there is no “perfect” place to call home, but there was potential to make Greenville fit that mold.

“We decided we really wanted to put our energy into creating what we wanted here,” said Kepner, who teaches theater at The Oakwood School and gives lessons in acting. “I don’t think it was a coincidence that Greenville was a place where there was room for that.”

They set out to build a professional theater company, of which there are none in Greenville, complete with classes in acting and a space they can rent out to other groups looking for a space to perform.

“We’ve lived in some larger cities and I’ve never had the impulse to want to start a theater company before because there’s millions of them and they’re all kind of doing the same thing. But here, I really feel like we were on the cusp of something. The arts seem to be a really important part (of Greenville). We really wanted to be a part of that. We feel like it’s the right size where our voices are important and can be heard and we can help other people have their voices heard. That’s a really important part of theater for us. It’s really a community venture.”

They secured a space on Pitt Street in the Uptown District that was formerly a cleaning-supply company and began to set up shop as Whirligig Stage. Coale is the company’s executive director while Kepner serves as the company’s artistic director. They were immediately embraced by the community, Kepner said.

“There are so many people who already just have our backs and want us to succeed,” Kepner said. “That’s really exciting. I kind of thought we would be struggling in the dark for a couple months and we would have to prove ourselves. That made me feel better about what we were doing, and that we had a place here. That we could really be a part of the community in a big way.”

The two designed the company’s schedule to have two shows that run concurrently each month. Main stage shows will take place at 7:30 p.m., and edgier late-night shows will start at 10 p.m. The couple hopes to be able to attract a more diverse crowd with the two distinct offerings.

“We really wanted to have stuff that appeals to the typical theater-going crowd, which is young professionals and older professionals and then something that would appeal to ECU students and to community college students who want something a little shorter and a little more edgy.”

“Snow Queen” will serve as Whirligig Stage’s first main-stage show, opening Wednesday, while “Santaland Diaries” will follow at 10 p.m. beginning on Thursday.

“Snow Queen,” a musical inspired by the classical tale by Hans Christian Anderson, follows one brave girl’s mystical journey through the snow-covered Blue Ridge Mountains to rescue her best friend from the clutches of the Snow Queen. The play, featuring bluegrass music, local professional and community actors and puppets, was originally created and produced by Triad Stage in Greensboro and directed by Dani Keil, who is directing Whirligig’s production and is a member of the company.

“We’re really about a lot of local projects and there’s not a lot of local playwrights, so even something from the other side of the state is exciting because people have roots in the mountains and they kind of get that style of storytelling,” Kepner said. “That was exciting to us that we could have sort of a local holiday story.”
Keil will produce most of the late-night productions for the company, while Kepner will direct the bulk of the main-stage shows.

“Santaland Diaries,” written by North Carolina native David Sedaris, tells the snarky story of Crumpet the Elf’s brief stint as an elf in Macy’s Santaland. That will be directed by Kepner.

Several members of the faculty in ECU’s School of Theatre and Dance have already signed on to act in some of Whirligig Stage’s plays, including Jill and John Carlson who are in “Snow Queen” and “Santaland Diaries,” respectively. Kepner and Coale hope Whirligig Stage will be able to build strong ties with ECU’s theater program and help to serve as a stepping stone for ECU theater graduates in their professional careers.

Some would think that starting off the season with one show might be a good starting point, but Kepner and Coale didn’t want to waste any time.

“I think the impetus (to start with two shows at once) was that we wanted to appeal to both these markets and we didn’t want to spend a whole month doing a show that people under 18 wouldn’t want to come to or that parents didn’t feel like they could bring their kids to that,” Kepner said.

When Kepner and Coale learned that the construction on the building was going to take longer than they had anticipated, they adjusted their plans, deciding to stage their shows in a tent set up in their parking lot until construction has been completed. They set up some heaters inside the tent for cold evenings.

“Jason always has big ideas, and I think that’s what has gotten us this far,” Kepner said. “I don’t think I ever would have had the vision to be like, ‘Let’s perform in a tent outside.’ But that’s what we’re doing and now I’m really excited about it. We didn’t want to wait. We didn’t want to put it on hold, and we’re used to working with what we have.”

Kepner said staging the company’s first few performances in the tent in the parking lot of their future home will allow them to stay on schedule and even has an added benefit for one of the company’s first plays.

“As it turns out, the lighting design for ‘Snow Queen’ is really hinged on creating this kind of snow globe inside this white tent, and it wouldn’t have worked the same on the inside (of the building),” Kepner said. “It’s really about creating something with what’s in front of you in that moment. That’s just sort of my rule for theater.”


What: “Snow Queen” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday Dec. 7-23 and “Santaland Diaries” at 10 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 9-11, 14-17 and 21-23.
Where: 628 S. Pitt St.
Cost: “Snow Queen” tickets are $20; $18 for students and members
“Santaland Diaries” tickets are $16; $14 for students and members

Last edited by michealbond; 12-02-2016 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:42 AM
1,019 posts, read 1,002,816 times
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beanie babies,

Thanks for the pics! I didn't realize Lidl was that far along. Parkers is looking really nice. I wonder if they will ever renovate their older restaurants?
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:55 AM
Location: Greenville, NC
1,070 posts, read 983,453 times
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I would rather see them renovate their barbecue and sell something edible
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:56 PM
Location: The Windy City
5,300 posts, read 3,302,710 times
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Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
beanie babies,

Thanks for the pics! I didn't realize Lidl was that far along. Parkers is looking really nice. I wonder if they will ever renovate their older restaurants?
Good BBQ should never be served in a renovated place. Good BBQ comes from a place like B's.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:13 PM
181 posts, read 185,062 times
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Originally Posted by GarnetAndBlack View Post
I would rather see them renovate their barbecue and sell something edible

I do enjoy Parkers but it's for the sides, chicken, and family style -- not the BBQ.

Although I will say getting a BBQ sandwich meal from that new Drive Thru on 10th St. is mighty nice.
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:48 AM
Location: Danville, VA
4,622 posts, read 3,032,686 times
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I just found a (somewhat) interesting tidbit. Before I-87's corridor between Raleigh and Norfolk was created, apparently the original plan for US-264 was to designate it as I-595 between Wilson and Greenville.

Reference to I-595 made by the Upper Coastal Plain RPO is found on page 17:


I'm glad the plans changed and I-587 and it's routing were chosen instead. It makes better sense for an interstate to run the entire freeway length to Zebulon and is better suited as an I-87 spur than an I-95 spur. An interstate running just from Wilson to Greenville, lacking the connection to Raleigh, would've been incredibly half-assed IMO.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:53 AM
137 posts, read 140,793 times
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I've been browsing the Horizons 2026 document. Pretty interesting stuff. The city of Greenville is definitely on the right track going forward. Very progressive and forward thinking.

An example of this is the proposed special planning areas that are featured in the appendices. One, in particular, is the redevelopment of Memorial Drive between Dickinson Avenue and Arlington Boulevard. Another proposed node in the Horizons 2026 document is the Medical District. When Greenville starts developing these kinds of areas throughout the city instead of continuing to allow urban sprawl, then Greenville really will have grown up and become a small city. This is very exciting.

Below are a couple of graphics, one of the concept plan for the Memorial Drive section between Dickinson and Arlington and the other with more detail of that area. Check out the appendices for the Horizon 2026 plan for more detail about the special planning nodes, including the Southwest Bypass planning area and photos of the kind of development envisioned for these areas. You can access the entire Horizons 2026 document here.

Greenville Area Developments-screen-shot-2016-12-03-9.10.16

Greenville Area Developments-screen-shot-2016-12-03-9.20.56
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:01 AM
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So they want to tear down all the homes and businesses in that area to make this happen. I'm all for gentrification but not at the expense this proposed development will do.
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