Meet the Staff

Meet the people who make the magic happen!

Here at HART, we are a small staff with huge hearts! We are hardworking, passionate people who care about the survival of live arts. Our small team works tirelessly to bring as many theatrical opportunities to the community as we can. That’s why we depend on seasonal hires, interns, and volunteers to help us create unforgettable magic on the stage. If you are interested in helping or joining the HART team, head over to the “Get Involved” tab to learn about the many opportunities we have at HART

Steven Lloyd

Executive Director

HART, under the leadership of Executive Director Steven Lloyd, has grown into one of the most successful theatres in the Southeast, producing a year-round schedule of plays and musicals. Steve has guided HART since 1990. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Greensboro, the Winston-Salem native toured extensively as a professional actor and is now an inactive member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. He grew up in a show business family, his grandparents having once owned a carnival and his grandfather once worked in vaudeville. He first worked on carnival midways at the age of eight, became a puppeteer and magician in his teens, performed in shopping malls up and down the East Coast while in college, and even danced as part of the company in the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills.” Steve came to Haywood County as a North Carolina Visiting Artist in 1988. Prior to that, he had written “The Actor and The Assassin,” a two character play based on the lives of brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, which was produced in 1987 staring Steve and actor Jerry Sipp. The production was then picked up by an agent in Atlanta and later New York, and the two actors toured off and on in the production for the next seventeen years. It was the income from that play that made it possible for Steve to work for HART in the early years for little to no money. Steven Lloyd has served as President of the North Carolina Theater Conference and Chair of the Southeastern Theater Conference Community Theater Festival, and he has been honored for his service with the Herman Middleton Award from NCTC.

Candice Dickinson

Artistic Director

Candice Dickinson is a director and actress passionate about furthering the performance arts and their impact on our community. Her roles at HART as Artistic Director include production manager, volunteer coordinator, and Artistic Direction of the Theatre. Candice has been on the stage since she was 5 years old and has never left. Although performing is what sparked her passion for theatre, Candice has loved growing into a director and producer having now produced 3 original plays, 2 of which premiered in NYC, as well as directing countless other pieces. Candice has a BFA in Musical Theater and Professional Acting from East Carolina University where she was trained in the Meisner Technique. After Graduation, Candice spent time in NYC furthering her craft, as well as traveling around the country to act and direct. She has sung in over 50 cabarets, taught workshops and classes on acting, improvisation, directing and musical theater performance, and has raised over $20,000 for charities through self-produced showcases. Candice now resides in Cruso, North Carolina and is proud to call HART theatre her home.

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Shelia Sumpter

Education Director

Shelia has been involved with HART for many years and has worked as a freelance choreographer.  Working with HART Executive Director, Steve Lloyd, Shelia developed KIDS AT HART, our youth drama program. In just a few years she has built it into a major part of HART’s annual programming.

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Julie Kinter

Operations Manager


Julie Kinter began as a volunteer in HART’s box office. This led to her involvement backstage, then as a stage manager, then as a director and finally to leading roles in Cabaret and Chicago. She has served as HART’s Board President and been one of the theatre’s most diligent volunteers and supporters. She became officially a part of the staff in 2017.



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Nichole Sumpter

Graphic Designer


Nichole made her stage debut at age three in The Nutcracker. She has worked behind the scenes at HART for main stage productions such as Billy Goat Gruff, Facility for Living, Say Goodnight Gracie, Stardust, The Foreigner, A Christmas Carol, The Bridges of Madison County, and for Kids at HART to name just a few. Let’s just say that she was born into the arts world. She has been volunteering with HART for several years now, and is happy to have joined this wonderful staff.



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Kristen Hedberg

Box Office Manager 

Kristen Hedberg is an accomplished performer, teacher, director, and musician. We look forward to what excellence she will bring to the staff. Full bio coming soon!

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