Local theater group, art association team up on ‘Cats’

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Thalian youth theater presents Cats May 14-17. Image courtesy Thalian Association.
Thalian youth theater presents ‘Cats’ May 14-17. Image courtesy Thalian Association.

This year’s season of Thalian Association’s youth theater will end with a large-scale collaboration on a Broadway classic.

The local group will present “Cats,” the much-loved musical based on the poetry of T. S. Eliot, next month at the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, 120 S. Second St. in downtown Wilmington.

And for the first time in Thalian Association Community Theatre’s 227-year history, the organization is teaming up with the Wilmington Art Association to create a unique visual and performing arts experience during the production.

More than 20 artists from the association plan to paint the cast of “Cats” in the visually stunning and iconic makeup of the characters. The paintings will be on exhibit in the Hannah Block lobby during play’s one-weekend-only run.

Paintings will also be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Community Arts Center.

“Artists of the Wilmington Art Association (WAA) are excited to have an opportunity to be involved with ‘Cats’ and Thalian Association,” Gale Smith, co-president of the Wilmington Art Association, said. “WAA is supportive of all the arts, including theater, and looks forward to being among the young actors and capturing them in costume as they prepare for this musical theater production. What a creative way to bring the visual arts and the performing arts together. WAA is always seeking new opportunities to promote the arts with the youth in our community. ‘Cats’ is a perfect example of how we wish to be involved with our youth.”

The children’s theater will present “Cats” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 14 and 15, at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 16, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 17. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased here or by calling (910) 341-7860.