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Front Porch Theatre announces new artistic director

STAFF REPORTS

Matt Lutz is the new artistic director of the Front Porch Theatre, the Black Mountain Center for the Arts has announced.

“Matt’s involvement will help us to choose creative future seasons,” Gale Jackson, the art center's executive director, said. "His long-term connections to the region will help with outreach in the community. He brings with him an extensive background and experience in theater, along with incredible talent. We are excited to have him working with us.”

Lutz has worked professionally as an actor and singer in film, television and theater since he was a child.  Among his many credits are the films "A Walk to Remember" and "Bringing Down the House." He also appeared in the Hallmark Channel's "McBride" series and on Broadway in the original cast of "Bonnie & Clyde."

Matt Lutz has worked professionally as an actor and singer in film, television, and in theater since he was a child.

Now in its fifth season, the Front Porch Theatre has offered the community a wide range of offerings including "Greater Tuna," "Steel Magnolias," "Art" and "Turn of the Screw."

Lutz and his family moved to the Swannanoa Valley when he was 13. A graduate of Owen High School, he attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington and graduated with a degree in theater.  After living and working in Los Angeles and New York City for 14 years, he recently made Western North Carolina his home again.

“I am delighted,” said Connie Hurst, an actor who performed in the Front Porch Theatre's "The Dixie Swim Club" and "The Queen of Bingo." “This is a sign of exciting times to come. Matt can help us to the next level.”

Lutz is in the final planning stages of the first show of the season, which will be announced in a few weeks. He will create a season that includes a drama for the fall show in October, a holiday show in December and a comedy for the spring. The organization hopes to create a large-scale musical for summer, to be produced on an alternate stage.

"For years, I've had great admiration for the art that the Black Mountain Center for the Arts brings to the people of Western North Carolina,” Lutz said. “BMCA's Front Porch Theatre has been a big part of that. I'm thrilled to lead the theater into its fifth season and excited to see what we're able to accomplish with the support and participation of the Swannanoa Valley.

"This is an incredible part of the world, filled with art, artists, patrons and great audiences. A well-supported community theater that produces the highest quality plays and musicals is a tremendous gift to a region. It exists here, and it will continue to exist. And to thrive. We need you."

To become involved in the theatre, contact the Black Mountain Center for the Arts at 669-0930 or email Matt at FPT@blackmountainarts.org.