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Work together to create someting beautiful

Work together to create someting beautiful

The current Kernersville Little Theatre (KLT) season is titled, Welcome to the Family. For anyone who has never dabbled in theatre, there’s a sentiment amongst thespians and theatre enthusiasts that once you start, you’ll be stuck for life. It is quite addicting for most and for some, that addiction spreads to others in their families.
Jeff and Melissa Mericle are new to KLT, working off-stage for the theatre’s annual Bring-A-Book-To-Life production, Seussical the Musical. Melissa is directing the show, and Jeff is handling the lighting effects. The Mericles have been married for 32 years, and theatre has played a pivotal role in their relationship.
“We met in 1989 as volunteers for Raleigh Little Theatre. Jeff had been volunteering for a couple of years when I joined. We started dating after a light hang for Cinderella,” Melissa shared, adding, “We have done theatre together for almost all of our 32 years together.”
The couple has two adult daughters – Megan and Mandy – who are also involved with theatre.
While both Jeff and Melissa are theatre aficionados, neither of them acts on stage.
“We either direct, stage manage or do tech,” Melissa noted.
When asked how many shows they have been a part of, Melissa said, “We stopped counting long ago how many shows we’ve done. We probably do at least four shows a year.”
Seussical gives both Melissa and Jeff their favorite roles in theatre as Melissa conveyed that her favorite role to play in theatre is director, with stage manager “a very close second,” while Jeff’s favorite is lighting designer.
With participating so much in the theatre, the Mericles get to spend a lot of time together. “The pros are working together on our passion and spending a lot of time together,” Melissa shared, adding, “The cons are that our house is usually messy and we have become quite adept at saying, ‘We can’t, we have rehearsal.’ Theatre is mine and (Jeff’s) all-consuming hobby.”
Theatre can teach participants many skills, including multi-tasking, working as a team and taking constructive criticism. For the Mericles, theatre has taught them how to tell the story, even being off-stage.
“Remembering to tell the story above all else. Lights, costumes, sound…none of that matters if you don’t tell the story,” Melissa noted.
Melissa encourages everyone to give community theatre a try, especially families.
“Theatre has something for everyone – from being on stage, to musicians, to production team members, backstage, designers – it is truly something where every member of a family can find their passion and all members can work together to create something beautiful. I am thrilled that my partner in life is part of my production team,” she expressed.
Seussical the Musical will open February 24 and runs Friday-Sunday until March 5. Showtimes are 7:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are available online at or at the door the day of the show. Online tickets are slightly discounted. For more information, visit

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