Albemarle Neighbor: Phillips’ dedication to theater is no act

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

The Daily Advance

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As the curtains open and the actors take the stage, Lamar Phillips is working behind the scenes to make sure the production becomes a reality.

“We strive to deliver a high quality live theater experience that you may expect to see from professional theater companies,” said Phillips, president of the Encore Theatre Company.

Phillips and his wife, Phyllis, have been members of the Encore Theatre Company for five years, and he was elected president of the organization in June 2012. Phillips hopes to achieve the company’s long-range goal “to acquire and properly equip a sustainable facility that is large enough for a rehearsal space, build sets and storage of costumes.”

“It is my vision that inside this facility we can start training programs for directors, producers, set designs, sound and lighting techs and other theater crafts,” said Phillips.

Phillips said he and his wife have been involved in many aspects of the local theater productions. He’s been involved in everything from backstage to onstage.

 “I’ve done a little of everything,” said Phillips, whose first experience on stage as an actor occurred in the company’s production of “Harvey.” He also played a monk, the only male character, in “Nunsensational.”

“I had a great time,” said Phillips.

“Anyone who has been involved with an Encore show will tell you that it was a lot of work, but no one is likely to tell you that it was not worth every minute,” added Phillips.

Phillips said he is looking forward to a production in March, “Chase Down the Sun,” a musical written and directed by Peter Thomson.

In addition, auditions are being held on Jan. 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Jan. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the “The Dixie Swim Club,” a comedy set on the Outer Banks.

Phillips moved to Elizabeth City six years ago from Washington D.C. where he was a retired United States Army Information System Officer and United States Army Civilian Senior Project Manager. He earned the Army Legion of Merit Army Staff Medal and was Federal Employee of the Year, Outstanding Technician Nominee.

Phillips also co-owned and was treasurer of Garcia Mexican Foods, Inc.

Currently enjoying his retirement, Phillips savors fishing off his pier on the Pasquotank River and spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He is a member of the Weeksville Lions Club, Friends of the Pasquotank-Camden Library, Arts of the Albemarle and the Chowan Arts Council.

“This community is a great place to meet people who share your interest in live theater, and have a whole lot of fun at the same time,” said Phillips.

Anna Goodwin McCarthy is a correspondent for The Daily Advance.