Greensboro arts leader retires after 15 years as directing children’s theatre

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Greensboro theatre director is exiting the stage and heading into retirement. 

Rosina Whitfield has directed children’s theatre at the Greensboro Cultural Center in downtown for more than 15 years. This March, she’ll put on her last play. 

“Greensboro has a lot of talent that has meant a lot to me over the years,” said Whitfield, who is the drama specialist for Creative Greensboro formerly known as The Drama Center. 

Her work is to make words on a page come to life. 

“I love taking it from page to stage,” she said. 

She directed her first play when she was 15 years old. Since being in Greensboro, she’s directed many shows like “Charlotte’s Web” and “Alice in Wonderland.” She casts children of all ages in her productions. 

She hopes her impact on the young actors goes beyond the stage door. 

“Even if you don’t go into theatre professionally, I think doing theatre gives you self-expression,” Whitfield said. “It gives you confidence. It makes you articulate on stage or anywhere, in a job interview. I think there are life skills that you get from doing theatre.” 

Matt Adams was in the first play she directed in Greensboro called “Midnight Madness in Toyland.” It was the start of his new found dream to direct children’s theatre. 

“There are people really good at what they do and also really care about what they do, and that’s been her,” he said. “I watched how she got down on to kid’s levels and talked to them like they were little adults and not small children.” 

Sisters Laney and Harper Kaley found their love of acting in shows directed by Whitfield.

“She doesn’t treat us like a little kid,” Laney said. “She expects things from us that make us really proud.”

That includes finding an understanding of the classic Shakespeare plays. 

“She’s really good at breaking down it down and making Shakespeare make sense,” she said.  

As Whitfield starts casting her final play, which will open over Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic, she said she’ll always cherish the memories made on stage in Greensboro.

“It’ll always be a big part of my life no matter where I go from here.”  

Whitfield told FOX8 she’s considering moving to a beach along the Crystal Coast. She hopes to find a local theatre to help keep the art alive. 

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