UNCG Magazine

Steven Lloyd leads NC mountains’ most impactful theater complex

Steven Lloyd ’85 MFA arrived in Waynesville as a visiting artist at Haywood County Community College. That was 1988. He’d soon lead the town’s theater organization.

“In 1993, we moved out of an old theater downtown and we built a 250-seat facility,” he says. The rest is North Carolina theater history.

The Haywood Arts Regional Theater, with Lloyd as executive director, became a beacon for the arts in the high country between Asheville and Cherokee. One publication recently pegged its economic impact on Haywood County at around $3 million. To accommodate the demand (particularly from tourists0, they have three performance spaces now, ensuring at least production is available during the tourist seasons.

The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts shares the same property.

He and his husband, Daniel, have been together for 33 years, he tells us. “I now have seven grandchildren – a gay man who has many grandkids!”

Lloyd says, “I’m proud of all the lives I’ve changed.” Generations of actors have come through the ranks. (It was Lloyd who advised actor Adam Kampouris to enroll at UNCG.) And many have participated out of the spotlight, or taken classes, or become avid theater-goers. 

“We’ve changed the community. We’ve had cutting-edge drama.” 

And he’s fulfilled his dreams. “I’ve lived my bucket list. I’ve overseen more than 100 plays.”

He fulfilled another dream. In 1987, he wrote a two-actor play about Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, who were both actors. “The Actor and the Assassin” premiered in UNCG’s Curry Auditorium, and he and Jerry Sipp ’85 MFA toured the show nationally for 17 years.

He will retire at the end of the year, after 33 years leading HART. Even in retirement, he has one item on his calendar. “I’ll direct a mainstage show next year.”

By Mike Harris ’93 MA

More Where Are They Now Stories…

  • Anne Prince Cuddy: Trailblazer in SGA, IBM, and more

    Anne Prince Cuddy: Trailblazer in SGA, IBM, and more

    Anne Prince Cuddy ‘64 has been a trailblazer in her career and in retirement. In breaking norms, she got her start at Woman’s College.   As a freshman, “I was the nerdiest nerd,” she recalls. “I was tall and clumsy.” By the time she was a junior, she won the race for Student Government president, running […]

    Read more

  • Richard Vestal: From research on Glioblastoma to Zika virus

    While a UNCG doctoral student at JSNN, Richard Vestal ’10 MS, ’15 PhD focuses on identifying ways to target cancer cells, with the goal of reducing the pain and suffering associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments by improving the deliverability of cancer therapies. As he explained in a UNCG Magazine story, his father died as […]

    Read more

  • Notable Illustrator: Tristin Miller

    Notable Illustrator: Tristin Miller

    With a background in art and graphic design, Tristin Miller ’10 is flexing other muscles these days. After several years of organizing the Hand to Hand Market and myriad other artist-community groups around the Triad, she is now also a weightlifting coach, focusing on trauma-informed private sessions with people who might not feel safe in […]

    Read more

  • Kaira Wagoner, “all the buzz”

    Kaira Wagoner, “all the buzz”

    Kaira Wagoner ’15 PhD is 50% research scientist, 50% start-up founder, and all abuzz for bees.  After graduating from UNCG in 2015 she served as a postdoc researcher in UNCG’s Social Insect Lab, and became the research scientist for her own lab at UNCG in April of 2021.  “Bees contribute to one in every three […]

    Read more

  • UNCG hoops star Lucy Mason now an academic coach

    UNCG hoops star Lucy Mason now an academic coach

    Lucy Mason ’15/16 was featured in the spring 2016 issue for her then-record basketball points total and for her research on African-American figures on campus. Since then she has pursued sports further, and taken up leadership and guidance positions with a master’s in sports business. While studying for her masters, at Temple University, she also […]

    Read more

  • Notable Illustrator: Suzanne Cabrera

    Notable Illustrator: Suzanne Cabrera

    For Suzanne Cabrera ’07, her art consistently starts by hand, whether that is ensuring traces of her analog process come through in her Open Sketch Book project or in starting The Tiny Greenhouse as a place to share plants and well-designed objects with her community. She shares both projects with her husband, studio partner, and […]

    Read more

UNC Greensboro logo