While still a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jimmie Lee Brooks, III was selected to be a dancer in The Lost Colony in 1998. Twelve years later he is busy making plans to spend his first summer as Choreographer for the show. The journey from dancer to choreographer has been an exciting time for Jimmie Lee. Along the way he spent nine seasons playing Uppowoc. This season he will set aside his body paint and create the dances that help to define the Symphonic Outdoor Drama. One thing is for sure, Jimmie Lee is very much a part of The Lost Colony family.
Jimmie Lee credits John Walker with being his mentor and creating a place for him in The LostColony and in Manteo. Mr. Walker was the choreographer for the outdoor drama for over twenty years. He also operated his own dance studio in Elon College where Jimmie Lee studied with him building on the dance experience at The Lost Colony.
It did not take Jimmie Lee long to change his major in college from Biology to Theatre. While his parents may not have been happy about his decision at the time, they are now very proud of his accomplishments and support him in his artistic endeavors. As a Theatre Major he was able to explore his passion and to participate in college productions. The show that really changed his life was A Chorus Line in which he played Richie. Soon he was touring with a Children’s Theatre troupe located in Richmond, Virginia. His next stop was the Joy of Motion Dance Studio in Washington, D.C. Summers often found Jimmie Lee in Manteo performing on his favorite stage.
The New York City chapter followed filled with a variety of experiences allowing time for growth and discovery. Back in North Carolina Jimmie Lee appeared in West Side Story and Cinderella at the North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. In 2009 he moved to Manteo and has remained busy ever since. He has worked with Connie Rose at the Manteo High School and at the Dock Side Theatre, choreographing Hairspray, Peter Pan and West Side Story.
As Mr. Brooks prepares for the upcoming season he has been busy at auditions with the casting team selecting the company for the 75th anniversary season. When asked what he was looking for at auditions, he replied, “strong dancers who work hard and welcome the challenges of working in the environment that outdoor drama provides.” He hopes to bring a sense of ceremonial ritual to the Indian dances that grow out of nature with the excitement of celebration. He will also be working on the folk, country street fair style dances for Plymouth and the more formal courtly dances of Elizabeth’s garden party.
When The Lost Colony opens on June 1, 2012 the new choreographer will be eagerly watching from the house to see how the dances become a part of the story telling tapestry that becomes a symphonic outdoor drama. For Jimmie Lee Brooks the journey has been exciting and rewarding and he is pleased to be a part of The Lost Colony family. Join Jimmie Lee and the entire company of The Lost Colony this summer from June 1 through August 23 in the Waterside Theatre located on the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo.
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About The Lost Colony
First staged in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony’s 75th anniversary season plays June 01 through August 23, 2012 at Manteo’s Waterside Theatre, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. For tickets and information, go to www.thelostcolony.org or call (252) 473-2127.