WilmingtonBiz Talk

WilmingtonBiz Talk: Reconnecting With Live Audiences At The Wilson Center

By Cece Nunn, posted May 27, 2021
Cape Fear Community College's Wilson Center has been coming back to "real life" after its pandemic hiatus from performances in front of live audiences, welcoming theatergoers to the venue in April, a first time since the pandemic began last year.

The center has also announced some upcoming in-person events, including the Price is Right Live in September and Melissa Etheridge in November, with a full schedule available online.

On Thursday's WilmingtonBiz Talk, Shane Fernando, CFCC's vice president of advancement and the arts, talked about the Wilson Center's resurgence and its impact on the Wilmington area.

At the April performance, a reduced audience watched Opera House Theatre Company's production of Uptown at the Cotton Club. 

Audiences responded with tears of joy and it was a moving sight, Fernando said.

"There's just so much joy and happiness in that space and I think you're going to see more and more of those moments as our programming becomes more like it was, with the opening of the new amphitheater, when Thalian Hall starts doing their full capacity," he said. "People are excited and hungry for that."

While technology has been helpful providing a connection to livestreamed performances at the Wilson Center in the digital world, Fernando said, "being able to experience that as a community with a room of people – there's no other energy like that."

He said more announcements about upcoming shows are on the way.

View the entire interview below.

BizTalk is livestreamed on the Business Journal's Facebook page each week at noon Thursday. For notifications on upcoming topics, sign up for newsletters at and to submit topic or speaker ideas, email [email protected].
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