Boone theater company takes show to N.Y. festival

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Article Published: Jun. 21, 2012 | Modified: Jun. 21, 2012

A local theater group is taking its first show from Boone to Broadway – off-off-Broadway, that is.

The newly formed In/Visible Theatre, run by Derek Davidson and Karen Sabo, is preparing to produce Davidson’s latest script, “Bumbershoot,” for the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival.
“We hadn’t really planned on this,” Davidson said. “An actor friend from New York urged us to apply to the festival, so we agreed, knowing it was a long shot. We were thrilled to get in.”

Now in its 16th year, this largest multi-arts festival in America accepts only one out of every four projects submitted, so Sabo and Davidson didn’t start to assemble their cast and crew until they were notified in mid-May that their project had been accepted. FringeNYC showcases independent theater projects produced outside of traditional theatre institutions.

Davidson, a published playwright who teaches theater at Appalachian State University, described “Bumbershoot” as a “neo-noir melotrauma,” based on the film noir movement of the 1940s and ’50s. This dark drama rife with humor explores mistaken identity, surprising character revelations, murder and a twisted plot, as well as references to many film noir classics.

Half of the cast members are formerly from the Barter Theatre, where Davidson and Sabo worked as actors, directors and administrators. Another actor lives in San Francisco, and two others have local connections. ASU sophomore Molly Winsted plays 11-year-old Margo, and local actor and dancer Shauna Godwin Hamby plays Nicole, Margo’s mother.

“I’m so excited to be in the world premiere of Bumbershoot,” Hamby said. “And it will be great to get back to New York, where I studied acting, with a show from Boone.”

Sabo, producing artistic director of In/Visible Theatre, said that part of their mission is proving to metropolitan audiences that great theater can emanate from rural areas.

“A lot of people think good art is only found in big cities,” she said. “But we know that exciting theater can come from rural areas, too, and we’d love to show New York audiences what an artistically dynamic place Western North Carolina is.”

While the cast of “Bumbershoot” will be rehearsing in Boone in late July, cast members are forbidden by the actors’ union to perform before their FringeNYC shows in August. However, In/Visible Theatre will invite North Carolina donors to attend their final dress rehearsal in Boone on Aug. 1.

Sabo and Davidson ask local theater fans to support this project by visiting their fundraising campaign on Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website that allows donors all over the country to pledge to artistic projects, which are only funded if the financial goal is reached in a limited amount of time.

“Our Kickstarter deadline is July 15, and we need support,” Sabo said. “We’re stretching our budget as much as possible, and all the artists, designers and technicians are donating their time, but we still have to cover materials, everyone’s travel costs and meals, and promotion. And New York is an expensive city.”

In addition to their Kickstarter campaign, In/Visible theatre is hosting a spirit night fundraiser at Come Back Shack on Tuesday, June 26, and a “Fitnessthon,” organized by Hamby.

Supporters can learn more by visiting and searching for “Bumbershoot.”

In/Visible Theatre can be reached by emailing ( or visiting Information about the New York International Fringe Festival is available at

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