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Lights, Camera, Action... Greg Wilson

Local Actor Helps Live Theater Thrive In Sumner County

“Without wonder and insight, acting is just a business. With it, it becomes creation.”

Bette Davis

Acting is one of the oldest and most challenging of the creative arts. From school performances to community theater to blockbuster motion pictures, gifted actors are able to both entertain and inspire their audiences.

Dramas, comedies, musicals – they touch our souls in ways that few other art forms can achieve. Skillfully scored, scripted and delivered, performance pieces can challenge our convictions and teach us new insights into our world.

One of the hallmarks of great communities is the presence of a thriving arts scene. From portrait galleries to concert venues, performing arts enhance livability by expanding local culture.

Fortunately, Hendersonville is blessed with multiple arts outlets, including its own professional theater troupe – Actors Point Theater Company. 40-year veteran actor, director and coach Greg Wilson founded Actors Point in 2008 in recognition of his desire to bring top quality professional productions to the City by the Lake.

“In 2008, when the economy got tough, I started investigating the top cities across America that did not experience major downturns,” says Greg. “To my surprise, I noticed that the top 25 cities that still had growth during the recession had one thing in common – they all had professional theater companies. As a result of this discovery, I resolved to start Actors Point so that Hendersonville and Sumner County residents could enjoy live productions without having the inconvenience and expense of having to drive to Nashville.”

Greg began acting in high school when a friend talked him into playing an extra in a performance of “Flash Gordon.” As soon as the production ended, he realized that he was hooked, and that he had contracted an incurable strain of the acting bug.

“Prior to my first play, I was having a lot of success as an athlete, particularly in baseball, football and wrestling,” says Greg. “However, after that play, I gave up all of the sports to concentrate on the theatrical arts. From that point on, I decided that theater, both on and off stage, was going to be my life.”

After high school, Greg attended the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. The program incorporated top tier acting coaches and teachers from influential conservatory programs such as Julliard, NYU and Carnegie Mellon.

“At the university, our teachers had us explore such famous acting legends as Stanislavsky, Adler, Meisner, Spolin and Grotowski,” says Greg. “I ended up patterning my own style by adopting techniques from each of them. That training has helped me greatly in my roles as an actor, coach and director.”

Greg has also been influenced by his older brother, who is a well-respected drummer in the world of jazz and blues. His dedication to his music and his work ethic have inspired Greg to constantly work at his craft.

“My brother has played with a lot of famous musicians, including Stevie Ray Vaughn and B.B. King,” says Greg. “He got to this level by practicing his drumming for hours every day, starting when he was eight-years-old. Today, he is 70, and he still practices for two to three hours each day. If you are going to be a professional and a master of your craft, that’s what it takes.”

Over his multi-decade career, Greg has directed and acted in many different types of productions, and he has enjoyed working with all of them.  However, he has a particular love for the classics, such as “My Fair Lady”, “Steel Magnolias” and the works of William Shakespeare.

“Classical works inspire me, and they continue to influence modern stage productions to this day,” says Greg. “We wouldn’t have such masterpieces as ‘Hamilton’ without the foundations built by the likes of Shakespeare and Rogers and Hammerstein.”

Since its inception, Actors Point has made a significant impact upon the Hendersonville arts  scene. Along with staging multiple productions each year, the company has also offered annual summer theater camps which have been attended by hundreds of young people, ranging from kindergarten to college age.

“Our camps are designed to be fun-filled experiences for students where they learn far more than just basic theater concepts,” says Greg. “We teach them lifelong skills in areas such as oral communication, creative problem solving, motivation, commitment, self-confidence, adaptability, flexibility and the ability to work under pressure.”

Actor, director, teacher and coach – Greg Wilson is a renaissance man and a Hendersonville treasure.

"Never stop training. Never stop building your craft. There is a price to pay but it's worth it."

Greg Wilson