Different Strokes for Different Folks
Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective Inc. is a 501(c) 3 certified non-profit organization which purposes to increase and sustain opportunities for more diversity within the Western North Carolina performing arts community, by producing, and working with other performance artists or groups to present works which confront issues of social diversity in a provocative way; and by providing opportunities for audiences to explore visions of our diverse world.
Steph Hickling Beckman, our co-founder, has been active in Asheville’s theatre scene for 13 years. She has worked with several local theatre companies as an actor, stage manager and director, and toured nationally as an actor. As the Managing Artistic Director for Different Strokes!, Steph is committed to directing and producing theatre that makes a difference. Steph serves on the board of directors for the Magnetic Theatre, and has previously sat on the boards of the Montford Park Players and the Black Mountain Arts Center, and the Western North Carolina AIDS Project.
A Message from Our Founder:
I’m Steph Hickling Beckman, co-founder and Managing Artistic Director of the non-profit, Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective, and we’d like to thank you for your interest in our Organization. We have a mission to diversify the performing arts community, by staging, producing and working with other performance artists, and local organizations, to present works, which confront issues of social diversity in a provocative way. We highlight the differences in our community that make us unique, and offer opportunities to dialogue, explore and better understand them. We support all areas of diversity, and difference, as reflected in our delightfully eclectic community.
Different Strokes! intentionally recruits performers from all aspects of our community, in our efforts to create a climate of trust and collaboration among Performing Artists of all ethnicities, cultures and life styles.. We believe that audiences look to the arts to see beyond themselves and their own boundaries. We believe the lack of diversity seen on the performance stages of Western North Carolina perpetuates the isolation of certain differences in our community. We believe that the arts (theater in particular) can be a valuable educational medium capable of bridging cultural gaps.
Our mission statement alone, sets us apart as a community driven catalyst for social change. For each show Different Strokes! donates a portion of our ticket sales to a local non-profit organization who shares our vision for a more culturally integrated, and cohesive community. Since our inception in 2010, we have proudly donated over $2,500.00 to community organizations, as named on our website. We look forward to working with other local non profits during our upcoming season, which will be presented in partnership with Asheville Community Theatre, as we take the stage in their delightful black box theatre, 35below. Our 2013 season will benefit Mountain Housing Opportunities, Four Seasons Hospice, WNCAP, and Blue Ridge Pride.
Whether you'd like to see our professional caliber productions, volunteer, audition, make a tax-deductible donation or give us a building...we hope you’ll support Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective in a way that makes the most positive difference in your life.
Steph Hickling Beckman, Managing Artistic Director
Different Strokes PAC
C.J. Breland, Chair
- C.J. Breland has appeared in NC Stage Company’s Catalyst Series shows A Perfect Ganesh, Birth, The American Dream and The Glass Menagerie. With The Magnetic Field Theatre she appeared in Ruth, and with SART she has acted in productions of To Kill a Mockingbird, Incorruptible and Steel Magnolias. C.J. recently appeared in DSPAC’s A Lesson Before Dying. C.J. directed Julius Caesar, A Christmas Carol and Comedy of Errors for Montford Park Players. Most of her time is devoted to the roles of Theatre Arts Director at Asheville High School and director of the NC Educational Theatre Association.
Jeremy Brett Carter, Vice-Chair
- Jeremy Brett Carter has been involved in theatre for 14 years. As co-producer for Teatro Latino de Asheville, his work includes budgeting, publicity, script selection, casting and writing proposals, and he has also helped take productions on the road to the University of Louisville (KY) and the University of Georgia. He also has extensive experience in stage managing and occasionally appears onstage. Jeremy holds a bachelor of arts degree with majors in mass communications and Spanish, and for the past 15 years he has worked in public relations, marketing and advertising in the non-profit and private sectors.
Trish Hickling Beckman, Secretary
- Trish Hickling Beckman is a nurse midwife and hospital administrator. In her professional capacity she is responsible for all clinical and financial operations of the women’s division of a non-profit community hospital. In her leisure time she enjoys theatre in Asheville and spends most of her free evenings with different local theatre companies. She has long wished for more socially provocative themes on stage and is thrilled to support Different Strokes! as a founding board member. Trish’s socially provocative credentials include being a member of the lesbian community, being in an interracial gay marriage and extensive travel to third-world countries. Trish is bilingual in English and Spanish.
- Scott Bean is thrilled to serve on DSPAC’s board of directors. He has been seen acting about town for the past 3 years with the Montford Park Players (The Importance of Being Earnest, Troilus and Cressida, The Real Inspector Hound, The Patient, Comedy of Errors, Double Falsehood, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet), Brevard Little Theatre (The Mousetrap) and the Magnetic Theatre (Brief Encounters). For DSPAC he has acted in Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Laramie Project, co-directed A Lesson Before Dying and is directing Romeo Loves Juliet: A Modern Love Story.
- Cyd grew up in the shadow of the Great White Way. Hailing from Long Island, New York, an appreciation for theater was meant to be. She spent some time acting as a child, but did not truly develop an appreciation for the art until her high school put on a production of "Gigi." A stint as Aunt Alicia, and she was hooked. Content to work behind the scenes, she has worked in a variety of capacities supporting local theater, including a role in DSPAC's production of Neighbors by Arkady Leokum.