The Roanoker - January/February 2017 - 20
ROANOKE HAS A NEW ACT to check
out, with Theatre 3 now open to the public. In regards to the unusual name, Creative
Director Ami Trowell says three has always
been a lucky number for her. When coming
up with the name of her theatre, she wanted
to express her connection between her family
and the larger Roanoke community. As a fulltime single mom of three daughters, Trowell
wanted to honor them in some way. Thus,
Theatre 3 was born.
Trowell's team will focus on connecting
communities, leadership and innovation.
While she's keeping an open mind about how
the theatre will be utilized, she sees many opportunities for it to be a "mechanism for connection and empowerment" through improvisation, spoken word, music and new works.
She hopes it will be a location where
both audience and players can be inspired,
find their voice and feel connected to their
While in college, Trowell met influential
people who taught her theatre is not just for
entertainment, but also has the ability to
teach and empower.
"That's when I really started forming my
current vision of theatre as a vehicle for social
change and social justice," she says. "With
comedy I think we have the opportunity to
approach difficult topics and present them in
a way that is palatable enough for people to
keep an open mind."
Trowell is also part of the improvisational
troupe Big Lick Conspiracy. She was also a
regular on the TV show "Tuned Out" and
has worked extensively on stage and behind
the scenes with Mill Mountain Theatre, Off
the Rails, VWCC theatre and the Roanoke
Improv workshops take place the first Saturday of every month and Trowell will continue teaching these classes. She's inspired by
improvisation and believes it's made her not
only a better and more creative performer, but
a more confident and open-minded person.
The Newest Act in Town
Trowell's Theatre 3 focuses on community, leadership and innovation.
"I believe sharing that creative expression is
good for the soul. I want to bring more good
into the world, more love, more compassion,
Theatre 3 is located in Roanoke's historic
Dumas Center for Artistic & Cultural Development. If you don't know your local history,
the Dumas was once a hotel and social hub
for black Roanoke during the days of segregation. Several jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole,
played at the Dumas.
"The Dumas provides the perfect geographic location for connecting all of Roanoke's communities," says Trowell. "I hope
that Theatre 3 will highlight some of Roanoke's under-resourced and under-represented communities. Our focus is on presenting
works that represent a diverse set of perspectives, highlighting the artistic expression of
frequently marginalized populations."
Interested in taking improv classes or want
to learn more about Theatre 3? Visit actnow3.