“Neck of the Woods” returns to Renaissance Centre July 20

The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts welcomes the return of “Neck of the Woods” on Friday, July 20, at 7 p.m.

Presented and sponsored by Wake Forest ARTS, Neck of the Woods is a variety performance series featuring emerging local artists. Each show is different and may consist of several performing arts acts, including actors, dancers, musicians, comedians, writers and spoken word artists.

The July 20 Neck of the Woods will feature teenage singer/songwriter Jessica Lang; vocalist and acoustic guitarist Pat Tyler; actors Gilly Conklin and Jeffrey Nugent performing the one-act play, “A Blooming of Ivy;” and Wake Forest Storyteller Drew Bridges.

Jessica Lang, age 16 is a talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose passion for music excellence is undeniable. She has won multiple guitar, vocal and ensemble performance awards at competitions throughout North Carolina and Virginia. She also plays mandolin and is a member of the elite International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Kids on Bluegrass program, performing at various IBMA stages throughout the annual festival in Raleigh.

Jessica also sings and plays lead guitar for the Carolina PineCones, plays jazz guitar with her high school band, and performs contemporary Christian music.

 Vocalist and acoustic guitarist Pat Tyler lives in Wake Forest and has been performing for many years. Originally from Suffolk, Virginia, she has entertained for various private and civic groups and at several festivals.

Pat currently entertains at many local venues in the Raleigh and Wake Forest areas, including Wake Forest ArtWalk in downtown Wake Forest. She brings a strong collection of acoustic soft rock, folk and country for listeners, performing a variety of 70's, 80's and today's hits.

Performed by Gilly Conklin and Jeffrey Nugent, "A Blooming of Ivy'' is a sweet story about two widowed neighbors who find happiness and love, when they least expect it.

This year marks Nugent’s twentieth year in theater in many diverse roles, including actor, carpenter, designer, costumes, props, singer, dancer and even assistant director.

Conklin has been performing for close to 50 years, and she says she plans to keep doing it “until I get it right!” She has acted in drama, comedy and musical theatre and has also performed her one-woman show in the Washington, D.C. area. She has also appeared in Forest Moon's productions of "Helium" and "Agnes of God" and more recently in "Dixie Swim Club" with the Towne Players in Garner.

Drew Bridges will tell two stories during the July 20 Neck of the Woods. The first is a new "Jack Tale" told directly to Drew by Jack, himself, who is still alive and lives in several countries, including the North Carolina mountains and multiple places in Europe. The second story is a tale of why Drew sold the bookstore he once ran in Wake Forest. Spoiler alert: Yoda, Harry Potter and King Arthur are partly responsible for the sale. 

Area residents are invited to come out, enjoy a truly unique and entertaining community event and show your support for our local artists. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including a variety of beer and wine.

Tickets are $5 (plus tax) and may be purchased online at www.wakeforestrencen.org/event/neck-woods or at the Renaissance Centre Box Office, 405 S. Brooks St.

For more information, visit www.wakeforestrencen.org/event/neck-woods or call The Renaissance Centre Box Office at 919-435-9458.