‘Unique amenity’ Virginia Somerville Sutton Theatre
hosts full slate of arts, education steps from your Well-Spring door
“I always say, ‘When you’ve seen one continuing care retirement community, you’ve seen one continuing care retirement community,’” said Steve Fleming, Well-Spring’s president and CEO. “While in general we all deliver the same overall service, we each carve out our own niche in how and what we offer older adults wanting a robust, well-rounded and active lifestyle in their later years.”
To this end, nearly a decade ago Well-Spring made the strategic decision to become a hub for arts, culture and education by deciding to construct its Resident Activities Center. Today, this facility features art studios, a woodworking and hobby shop, an art gallery and rehearsal space – all housed adjacent to its crown jewel, the 350-seat Virginia Somerville Sutton Theatre.
“This has been a game-changer for Well-Spring,” Fleming said. “This theatre can host performances by an entire symphony orchestra, regional theatre groups, talks by noted speakers, movies, concerts and so much more. Our residents love it. This is, truly, a unique amenity. Where else can you have this type of in-person entertainment and learning – just steps from your own front door? Many of our residents plan a whole evening around a program in the theatre, often inviting friends or family to join them beforehand for dinner in one our dining rooms. The theatre is not only entertaining but also a great way to entertain.”
Well-Spring partnered with many of the region’s best arts and education organizations, including UNCG, the North Carolina Chamber Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony, Triad Stage, Community Theatre of Greensboro, Triad Pride Performing Arts, the Jewish Film Festival and more. “For the second consecutive year,” Fleming pointed out, “Well-Spring will host Our State magazine’s virtual lecture series featuring Dr. Elliot Engel on our stage – a perfect use of the space during the pandemic.”
In addition, Well-Spring has joined forces with UNCG Musical Theatre for the collaborative series “Broadway to Greensboro,” which consists of three engagements with Broadway artists each year. Each artist gives a master class for Musical Theatre students at UNCG, as well as a concert at Well•Spring. A fourth concert each year flips the concept and is called “Greensboro to Broadway,” featuring students in UNCG’s program. Ticket proceeds from that event go directly to scholarship funds in the Musical Theatre program. So far, the series has welcomed Drew Gehling, who starred in “Waitress,” and Jessica Vosk, who performed the lead role of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in “Wicked.”