The NarroWay journey is a story of faith and a testimony to the faithfulness of God.
Although NarroWay was incorporated in South Carolina in 1996, the NarroWay story begins much earlier. Founders K. Rebecca Martin and Yvonne "Birdie" Clark have been working together for over 40 years. It was in the early 1980's that they began to refer to their original Broadway-style collaborations as "A NarroWay Production." Working as church staff, they incorporated the name, "NarroWay Productions," in Kentucky in 1987.
In the spring of 1996, Teresa Brown, Rebecca's sister and close friend of the team, called them from her home in Charlotte, NC. She told them how the Lord had brought an old, deserted amphitheater to her mind. The amphitheatre was located nearby in Fort Mill, SC and she felt it would be the perfect place for a Christian theatre.
That call was the first step in a long journey of faith.
After journeying to see the location and with much prayer, conviction, fear and trembling, Rebecca and Birdie negotiated a lease on the property, resigned their church staff positions and stepped out with nothing but faith and called the company NarroWay Productions.
With the help of a multitude of volunteers, Martin and Clark renovated the old, deserted amphitheatre, dubbed it “King’s Arena,” and opened their first show on May 22, 1997 – just eight months after beginning renovations.
For just over 9 years, King’s Arena was home to NarroWay Productions. The cast performed outdoors from May through October as well as for Christmas and Easter from May 1997 until December 2005.
- 01 Directors
- 02 Amphitheater
- 03 Kings Arena
- 04 Two Thieves
- 05 Heaven
- 06 Jerusalem In Lights
- 07 Deliverer
- 08 Lord Light
- 09 Anno Domini
- 10 Prodigal Son
- 11 Twenty Years
- 12 Wounded Warrior
- 13 Forum Theater
- 14 Fishes Loaves
- 15 Jerusalem Lights
- 16 Amphitheater Gone
- 17 Gambling Hall
- 18 Renovations
- 19 New Theater
- 20 Love Story
- 21 Patriotic
- 22 Real Christmas
- 23 Gospel Tennessee
- 24 Thriving Theater
- 25 Martin Clark
Martin and Clark knew that if NarroWay was to continue, the company needed to purchase property for a permanent home. They began aggressively searching for a suitable location in 2000. In 2004, the owner of the leased property notified Martin and Clark that the acreage on which the amphitheater sat had been sold to a developer. NarroWay's lease on the amphitheater would expire in December 2005, and the new owner had other plans for the property.
In October 2004, Birdie was diagnosed with breast cancer. On the evening before she was to have surgery, she contacted the owner of a prime piece of property located less than 1/2 mile from I-77. Though they had passed by on numerous occassions, until now, Martin and Clark had never considered the property as an option because signage indicated it was only available as a rental. Furthermore, the warehouse on the property had once been a thriving gambling business. But that evening, Rebecca and Birdie were able to negotiate and secure the deal that would allow NarroWay Productions to purchase the valuable property on Carowinds Boulevard.
On March 17, 2005, NarroWay finalized the purchase of her new home. What had once beeen a gambling hall would now become a Christian theater and NarroWay would move indoors. Renovations on the facility began in January 2006 and the NarroWay Theatre opened her doors to the public on July 8, 2006.
Since that time, NarroWay has become increasingly more visible within the national tourism industry. As one of the few premier Chrisitan theater companies in the world, NarroWay has entertained guests from all 50 states as well as many foreign countries.
Today, NarroWay boasts a cast of more than 400 performers and a schedule that runs year-round. New shows are regularly added to the line up and old favorites sometimes reappear. Martin and Clark have written more than 35 original productions. And the company that did not exist in 1987 is now a thriving, world-class Christian theater called "NarroWay."
Learn more about how NarroWay got started in our "20th Anniversary Series Blog!"