A candid conversation about the Raleigh Little Theatre production of CINDERELLA with Artistic Director, Patrick Torres, Executive Director Heather Strickland, and LGTQIA+ Advocate Candis Cox.
About the Guests
Heather J. Strickland started as the Executive Director of Raleigh Little Theatre in June 2020. Prior to joining RLT, Heather was the Communications and Development Director for the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), the organization that leads the Smart Start network across the state. In this role, she has led a network-wide rebranding effort and created and implemented fund development strategies for the organization. Prior to joining NCPC in 2013, Heather was the Director of Communications for the NC Department of State Treasurer where she oversaw all communications, branding, and marketing strategies for the agency, including the North Carolina Retirement Systems, the State Health Plan, and the Local Government Commission. Heather also served as the Marketing Director for Carolina Ballet, one of the largest performing arts organizations in the state. Heather has over 15 years of extensive experience and success in developing organizational strategy and branding, fundraising, and cultivating engagement for nonprofit and public service organizations. She has been involved with RLT since 2005, starting as a volunteer and stepping into the roles of director, teaching artist, and board member over time. Heather has also worked as a director, actor, and dance/fight choreographer. She is a member of ArtEquity’s first cohort of National Board Leaders and has a degree in Theatre Arts and Communications from Flagler College.
Patrick Torres is RLT’s Artistic Director and has more than a decade of experience as a professional director and theatre educator. His work as a freelance director has been seen at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Southwest Shakespeare Festival, Round House Theatre, The Source Festival, and the Hangar Theatre among others. In 2003, he was selected as a Drama League Directing Fellow and in 2005 was named a Young Leader of Color by the Theatre Communications Group. He has an MFA in Directing from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Candis Cox is a Gender and Sexuality educator, lecturer, and advocate for the LGBTQ community in Raleigh NC, where she lives with her husband, and throughout the country. Originally from Syracuse NY, she relocated to Raleigh to attend NC State University where she obtained a BA in Sociology. Originally scheduled to attend Campbell law school, she instead chose to focus on becoming her authentic self, completing her gender transition in 2003. Candis serves on the Board of Directors for EqualityNC, works with HRC (Human Rights Campaign), and works by speaking at events, businesses, schools, and other organizations to educate on Gender and Sexuality. Candis has been featured in a number of news specials, has been interviewed by news networks across the globe, and is, to date, the only transgender person to have met with the current Governor Pat McCrory to discuss his anti-LGBT “bathroom bill” H.B.2.