North Carolina History Theater Opens with Orville Benefit

Bill Hand as "Orville"
Bill Hand as Orville Wright. Photos by Gray Whitley.

The North Carolina History Theater is on the way! Or better said, is taking off with Bill Hand’s Orville as its first presentation. On November 4 at 6:30 at Captain Ratty’s at 202 Middle Street. This new non-profit will hold a benefit dinner with delicious fare and Bill Hand portraying the younger Wright brother Orville as he looks back on how he and his brother were inspired by the concept of flight, then created one of history’s greatest inventions using little more than ingenuity, spare change, and equipment they fashioned from things lying around in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. His story ends with a description of the famous First Flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

You are invited to have dinner with Orville and to help launch this new effort with old friends. Tickets are $50 and include the show and dinner featuring beef short ribs and grilled salmon. Tickets will be available starting Sept. 20 at and must be purchased by October 28.

What is the North Carolina History Theater? Well, imagine the perfect blend of entertainment and history led by playwright, journalist, actor, director Bill Hand. Hand’s story-telling ability, his sense of comedy and fun, and his dedication to historical accuracy promise many delightful and fascinating offerings. And it all kicks off with a presentation of his one-man show Orville.

What to expect from this new theater beyond Orville? Hand envisions Honour, the Musical as the centerpiece, with an annual run. “We want to reach out to all of Eastern North Carolina with this compelling story of the Spaight-Stanly duel.  We are imagining this as an annual outing for families throughout the region.” Plans are underway for a Spring 2022 run.

You can also expect a good helping of comedy fun. The Theater is considering popular comedies and powerful dramas past eras. Some hilarious presentations from recent history are set to make an appearance in January and February with the “Mobile Mystery Comedy Troup” offering to come to your place with Murder in the Manor. And Hand’s Mark Twain, Day and Night is on tap for March 2022

So, many things are in the works for The North Carolina History Theater, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. If you would like more information, or are interested in supporting this new endeavor as a donor or as a volunteer,  go to or contact Bill Hand at 252-229-4977 or email Mailing address is P.O. Box 1242, New Bern, NC 28562.

The North Carolina History Theater is a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to create, celebrate and present theatrical works that teach and share the history of Eastern North Carolina and our nation.

Submitted by: Kathy Morrison