Asheville's Different Strokes Theater Strikes a Moment in Time - Then and Now

Aug 28, 2017

Stephanie Hickling-Beckman

Different Strokes is an Asheville theater company with a mission to "change the world one play at a time." Still, Stephanie Hickling-Beckman, the founding director of Different Strokes, couldn't have known the company's production of "Best of Enemies" would come on the vapors of the racially charged events of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The play recounts the struggles of school integration in Durham 40 years ago and the remarkable relationship between two school board members -- Ann Atwater, who was black, and CP Ellis, a card-carrying member of the KKK.

In this report, we meet Hickling-Beckman, drop into a performance of "Best of Enemies" and learn what distinguishes Different Strokes in the landscape of Asheville theater.

"Best of Enemies" closes with performances at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at Asheville High School's theater.