Just off the exit that leads to Carowinds sits a small building with a purpose much larger than the building itself.
The building houses NarroWay Productions, a theater company founded in 1996 that makes its professional stage available to provide local home-schooled students with the same opportunity as their peers who attend public or private school — a chance to perform in a play with people their own age.
It’s a secondary mission of NarroWay, but one its founders Rebecca Martin and Yvonne Clark might argue is more important, is the faith aspect of the theater group.
NarroWay’s mission statement says it aims to provide “world class Christian entertainment” to “people of all ages.” The year-around theater, which maintains a menagerie that includes a camel, has a top, five-star rating from TripAdvisor.com.
Throughout the recent production of “Billy Loves Bobby Sue,” NarroWay fulfilled its promise. The characters learn God has a plan for everything, and wants people to be kind to everyone — whether they are a Christian or not.
The play was written and directed by Martin, and its main plot centers around a young man named Billy who is forced to ask a girl, Bobby Sue, to prom when he would rather go with someone else. By the end of the play, Billy realizes he loves her.
Lindsey Phillips, the theater group’s executive assistant, talked about why NarroWay was eager to work with the homeschool students.
“Our directors and our writers have a heart for young people, for teenagers,” she said.
Parents and children alike gush about the production company.
Tammy Carrol said that her son Jacob Carroll, who played a friend of Billy’s named Nelson, loves theater and through NarroWay, has met new friends. He also gained confidence, she said.
“He was shy and (the play has) really brought him out of his shell,” she said. “He jumps up out of his bed to come here.”
Donna and James Berry, whose granddaughter Alivia Grace Talley played Bobby Sue, said her people skills have improved. Alivia’s mother, Michelle Talley, said her daughter’s self confidence has risen thanks to her participation in the play.
Talley, a 15 year-old freshman, said she “found out a lot about my relationship with the Lord and His sacrifice.”
The actor playing Billy,15 year-old freshman Corban Jones, said that he learned valuable lessons about projecting and how to enunciate properly.
For more about NarroWay, including show times and opportunities to get involved, go to narroway.net.