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Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance Receives $400,000 Bequest

071301sinkler_dl.jpgBOONE — The Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University will build a theatre and dance center to augment Valborg Theatre in Chapell Wilson Hall thanks to a $400,000 gift from the late Lorraine Sinkler.

In her bequest, Sinkler stipulated that her gift be used to create two performance studios and a studio theatre. The center will be called the Valor Center for Theatre and Dance.

Valborg Theatre is named for Sinkler’s sister, the late Valborg Sinkler Crossland, who also left a bequest to the department. The two sisters were active in An Appalachian Summer and Elder Hostel activities on campus for many summers. They divided their time between Blowing Rock and Florida.

According to Dr. Susan S. Cole, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, the gift is about one fourth of the amount needed to build a studio wing onto the present Valborg Theatre.

Private funds will be sought to fully fund the project. The performance studios and the small “black box” theatre will provide a flexible theatre space for student work in both theatre and dance.

She emphasized that there are naming opportunities available for both the theatre and the studios.

A newly formed Theatre Advisory Council will assist the department on fundraising matters as well as curriculum development and professional theatre relationships.

The council includes David Matthews, an Appalachian theatre alumnus and president of Aaron Enterprises in Hendersonville; Mark Woods, director of the Playwrights’ Project in Ashe County; Keith Martin, former managing director of Charlotte Repertory Theatre; Stephen Fischer, professional playwright, film writer and producer; David Thomas, an Appalachian theatre alumnus and artistic director of A.R.T. Station in Stone Mountain, Ga.; Susan Barber, co-owner of Charleston Forge in Boone; musician and arts advocate Kay Borkowski of Boone; and Ed Pilkington, emeritus professor of theatre from Appalachian.

For more information about the Valor Center, call Cole at (828) 262-3028 or development officer Suzette Mauney at (828) 262-6689.