Neil Shepherd in Lexington’s Edward C. Smith Civic Center where Lexington Live performs its productions.
Neil Shepherd in Lexington’s Edward C. Smith Civic Center where Lexington Live performs its productions.

“The quality of faculty, staff, and resources that CVPA offers a student, no matter what area they’re in, is exceptional. The opportunity for students to augment what they’re learning with real-world experiences is phenomenal. To be able to learn and do so at the same time is invaluable. It is most essential in arts education. You learn it faster by doing it, and Greensboro is a place where you’re going to find those opportunities.”

Neil Shepherd says sometimes he feels like a father figure for the Triad theater community. He’s been involved in productions at UNCG and just about every community theater organization in the area, since coming to the University as the Business Services Coordinator for what was then the Theatre Department in 2002. 

He’s even started his own theater company, Lexington Live Community Theatre, which after a pandemic shutdown, just had its second full season:

“I felt like Lexington was sort of an arts desert. There was all this theater going on in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Burlington, then over to Salisbury and Concord, but nothing at all in Davidson County.”

Now as Business Services Coordinator for the School of Music, Shepherd says he makes it a point to cast and hire as many UNCG students as possible at Lexington Live because he wants to give back. And he points out that he’s not the only one:

“Every show you see around here is full of UNCG students and alumni. This is a great place to be involved in the arts scene as a volunteer or even on paid gigs. This area is incredibly rich with opportunities. Technicians, sound designers, carpenters, electricians, costume designers, musicians, artists painting the sets—whatever your contribution to the arts world, there is ample opportunity.”

Shepherd says the Triad is also a great place to be an audience member:

“I love to do theater and to see theater. I’ve gotten more interested in attending music and dance programs, too. There are so many things to experience. And lots of those are within a half mile of campus. The biggest problem might be that you just have too many things from which to choose!”

Learn more about the School of Theatre.

Learn more about the Arts in Greensboro. 

Story by Terri W. Relos

Photo provided by Neil Shepherd