By Michael Simmons
Last month marked a milestone for NoDa with the return of CAST (Carolina Actors Studio Theatre) to the place of its birth. CAST, the brainchild of Los Angles acting coach Ed Gilweit was founded in 1993 and operated from his studio on Cullman Avenue. Ed’s specialty was bringing talented actors up to the professional level.
In 1995 Gilweit joined forces with Michael R. Simmons who owned Victory Pictures, an independent film and theatrical company, and in 2000 they co-produced STEAMBATH, first at the Neighborhood Theatre then, after reconfiguring the Cullman Avenue space to accept 90 theatre seats, moved the production lock, stock, and barrel to CAST. Thus began the history of the combined CAST Acting School and Theatre Company.
Gilweit passed away only a short time later and since then CAST has grown, moved away from NoDa, and renovated several other theatre spaces. After a long hiatus CAST has returned to NoDa at 28th Street (same building as Amelie’s). Winner of many regional Theatre Awards including Theatre of the Year twice, CAST opened its first production, NEON PSALMS at 2424 North Davidson on June 16th!