The Old Theater In The News

The Old Theater's Actors Workshop

The Old Theater is proud to present our Actor’s Workshop. The workshops will be informal, creative and fun. The objective is to inspire participants to adapt roles and experiences into emotion and character. Each workshop will focus on developing different aspects of the actor’s trade, both individually and in groups on stage.

  • WHEN: Monday evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm; from September 12, thru December 12, 2022
  • WHERE: The Old Theater
  • WHAT: Monologues, Character Preparation, Scene and script study and coaching.

There is no cost for the workshop. However, donations and memberships are encouraged and are tax deductible. Our goal is to help develop the arts in Pamlico County and to grow The Old Theater.

Please enroll on or before September 12, 2022. Bring pens, notebooks and be prepared to have fun.

For more information, contact Pat Nocera at:

North Carolina Songwriters Series

Have you ever wondered about the inspiration behind a song or about the crafting that goes into songwriting? If so, join Oriental’s The Old Theater for Stories & Songs. This NC Songwriter Series is expected to be a unique and intimate musical experience.

The NC Songwriter Series will be a quarterly event inspiring and promoting the art and craft of songwriting for musicians and music lovers alike. Part of the proceeds from these events will go to supporting the continued growth of Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival.

The kickoff event of Stories and Songs will be held on Saturday October 1, 2022, from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm at The Old Theater in Oriental. The show will feature 1 hour of music with a 30-minute Q & A session. Tickets are $20.00 at the door. No advanced ticket sales so arrive at the theater early as the show will start promptly at 8:30.

Stories and Songs inaugural event will feature three talented NC songwriters performing in the round. Join Anya Henkle, John Bemis and TerryLynn Melody as they share the stories, inspiration and process behind their songs.

Songwriter John Bemis
John Bemis

John Bemis is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist who plays American roots music in the band Hooverville. Originally from Oriental, John now lives in Hillsborough. As well as being a talented musician he is the author of seven books and was chosen as North Carolina’s Piedmont Laureate for children’s literature. John will also be performing during the Ol’ Front Porch Musical Festival.

Songwriter Anya Hinkle
Anya Hinkle

Anya Hinkle’s music is steeped in the tones of folk and bluegrass learned while growing up in the Appalachian Mountains and seasoned by travels across the world. Her music incorporates vivid storytelling and vibrant musicianship. She won the 2019 Merlefest Chris Austin song contest and was runner-up in the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2022. She has been called a “burgeoning force behind the Appalachian roots revival.” Anya will also be performing during the Ol’ Front Porch Musical Festival.

Songwriter TerryLynn Melody
TerryLynn Melody

TerryLynn Melody started her musical journey performing in churches and theater productions in and around Eastern North Carolina, California and Florida. She has performed live concerts and has a major on-line fan support. TerryLynn has also produced both live music events and on-line concert series. In 2016 she released her debut album “Counting Daydreams”. The songs on this album have a raw, gritty soulful sound that have the sensibilities of modern American folk music.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience local songwriters in the round performances.

Announcing the 14th Annual Chili Cookoff

Announcing The 14th Annual Chili Cookoff

The Old Theater is delighted to announce the 14th Annual Chili Cookoff!

Saturday, October 22, 2022
Oriental Marina & Inn
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Admission is $10.00 on day of event

The 14th ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF is just around the corner, and we need YOU to select the next Dragon Chili Champ. Who will win the title as the Judge’s Choice? Who will win the title as the People’s Choice? Come to this year’s tasting and find out.

This year's cookoff takes place on Saturday, October 22nd, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Oriental Marina & Inn Courtyard. Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Spirit Award (best decorated table) will be presented immediately after the tasting ends.

Enjoy some GREAT chili while supporting The Old Theater! Funds raised by this annual event go to support The Old Theater—the building, its contents and equipment. Throughout the year, The Old Theater provides a venue for live performances, concerts, children’s programs and workshops, films and a variety of civic, business, and charity events. All these activities require stage, lights, sounds and the support of many people who volunteer on stage and behind the scenes - people like YOU - who appreciate how special it is for a town the size of Oriental to have a theater that brings such a variety of entertainment to its community. 

Dieters, beware! There will be a Bake Sale Table at this year’s event with tasty goods baked by local talent, each item(s) individually wrapped and selling for $1.00. To Go Orders can be purchased at the Headquarters Table, $5.00 for 16-ounces of left-over chili from the Chef of your choice.

The Old Theater is going GREEN again this year in support of our environment and our children’s future. Tasters’ cups, utensils, trash bags, and other items are disposable and biodegradable. We need your help to make the 14th ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF a fun and successful community event in support of The Old Theater. For more information or if you would like to participate as Baker, Volunteer, or Sponsor, please contact The Old Theater: 252-249-0477  or

Hope to see you there!

The Old Theater Needs You!

The Old Theater is a vibrant and meaningful part of Oriental’s history and future as a cultural center in our community. It takes many volunteers to bring those words in a script to life — volunteers who are very active long before the first actor takes the stage.

If you have skills with accounting, project management, grant writing, or websites, or a keen willingness to learn, we especially need your help as we begin our new season. Specifically, we have openings on our Board of Directors for the position of:

Front of House Manager

If any of these sound intriguing to you, we ask you to please let us know by contacting any Board member, writing us at, or by contacting me personally at 206-406-1621 for more information.

Not ready for a full time Board position commitment? That’s okay! We still need you! Many of our departments including Front of the House (greeters and ticket takers), publicity distribution, chili cookoff volunteers, and sponsorship solicitations also need your help on an occasional or rotating basis. Brother (or sister!) can you spare some time?

Oh, and did I mention that we also need those actors and actresses, musicians, set designers, directors, and wardrobe folks? They are the characters that make us laugh and make us cry, and remind us of just why we need this cultural hub. You can be one! We can teach you through one of our many new workshops we will be conducting.

Still not ready to take that step? You can still be a part of the magic at the Old Theater! After all these other volunteers do their part, we will ask you to do your part by being those “cheeks in the seats” that make it all worthwhile for those who have worked so hard to bring these performances to you! Attend a performance… or two… or ten! Consider a membership in the Old Theater to ensure our ability to continue to bring great programming to you for years to come.

Maybe you are beginning to see that there is a role for everyone at The Old Theater! How might YOU become involved?


Carla Fisher
President, The Old Theater Corporation

Announcing New Leadership at The Old Theater

The Board of Directors of the Old Theater Corp. are happy to announce we have selected new officers, Carla Fisher as President and Teresa Conrads as Vice President. With the resignation of Izzy Keppner, who did an outstanding job as President for the past three years, our search for her replacement resulted in enthusiasm and excitement as we learned that these two accomplished women were interested in serving on the Board. Here is an introduction to these outstanding community volunteers:

Carla Fisher, OTC President
Carla Fisher, OTC President

Carla Fisher has a love for the arts, a keen business acumen, and a holistic approach and vision necessary for effective leadership of The Old Theater. She is the successful business owner/founder of ArtWorks Oriental, the studio for working artists in our local community. She is an award-winning artist (Fiber Art, Big Metal Sculpture, and Glassblowing) who worked as resident artist at the Cherry Street Pier in Philadelphia, PA. One such award was the prestigious international DaVinci Award presented to her in Florence, Italy for her innovation, professionalism, and contributions to the art community. Carla is involved in local community affairs and serves on the Tourism Board in Oriental and the Board of Directors for the Pamlico County Arts Council. Her background in business began at Columbia University and University of Missouri where she earned a degree in finance with minors in accounting and business law. Her 25-year career with Merrill Lynch started in Germany where she worked as a stockbroker, branch manager, and district sales manager. Carla brings to the theater a distinctive set of skills that combine her love of the arts with successful business management, both valuable assets to The Old Theater. She has experience in theater as well serving on the Board of Directors of the Community Theater in Williamsport, PA. Her vision for the Old Theater includes adding more live performances and exploring strategic alliances with schools, organizations, and businesses as well as other theater groups, to publicly promote The Old Theater’s reach and awareness throughout the region.

Teresa Conrads, OTC Vice President
Teresa Conrads, OTC Vice President

Teresa Conrads is a musician, songwriter, and performer with a love for performing arts and a desire to volunteer her time and talent to the Old Theater. Teresa grew up in Eastern, NC the daughter of a US Marine stationed at Havelock. She came by her love of the theater through her mother, a graduate of NY High School of Performing Arts. Thanks to her mother's active participation in productions in Havelock and New Bern, she began her journey into community theater at 6 years old. Teresa was an active member of New Bern Civic Theater and New Bern's Footlight Theater through much of the early 80's, both behind the scenes as well as on stage. Teresa enjoyed a distinguished military sprint in the US Navy for five years. The discipline she acquired in the military helped her become the talented musician she is today. After serving in the Navy in San Diego, Teresa moved up to Los Angeles with her former husband and pursued a music career. She has been performing at festivals and small venues under the pseudonym TerryLynn Melody for over 10 years now. In 2016, Teresa’s Facebook fans voted her into first place in an online contest netting her $10,000 to complete her album. This Americana, singer-songwriter recorded her debut album “Counting Daydreams” which she wrote, arranged, and produced shortly before returning to NC. Teresa loves Pamlico County and is a member of the Pamlico Chorale as well as the Pamlico Band. Teresa’s participation in the Old Theater’s Got Talent virtual talent show in 2020 opened the door to new possibilities with local theater. She highly values the arts and finds artistic expression the perfect way to explore and better understand life.

Two additional volunteers have recently joined the Board, Patrick Nocera as Creative Director and Olga Herman as House/Box Office Manager. The Board is currently accepting applicants for soon-to-be open positions of Theater-Sponsored Events Manager, Treasurer, and Grant Writing. The Old Theater thanks its current members for their ongoing support and welcomes new members. Volunteers are the life blood of the theater and new opportunities to perform on stage or work behind the scenes will be announced soon.

For more information about membership, volunteer opportunities, or open Board positions, please contact Carla Fisher at 206-406-1621 or

The Old Theatre Takes Your Safety Seriously

The Old Theater continues to follow the state and local guidance regarding the Covid-19 virus.

Shows are subject to change and cancellation, based on Covid-19 guidance. The safety and health of our community are paramount and we thank you for your understanding.

Through collaboration with Pamlico Musical Society and grant funding we have installed commercial air purifiers in The Old Theater for the comfort and safety of our patrons. Please direct any questions about other events to the organization hosting that event.

The Old Theater

609 Broad Street

Oriental, NC 28571

(252) 249 – 0477

Designed & developed in North Carolina by Steven Loe