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We're Takin' A Flight: Meet IN THE HEIGHTS Ensemble member Nathan Ahlgrim

'In the Heights

I've got today!

And today's all we got, so we cannot stop

This is our block!'

In a community on the brink of change, the residents of New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood face the future with the same patience, faith and strength of all the generations that came before them. Full of rhythm and heart, winner of four Tony Awards, the hit musical IN THE HEIGHTS plays in the Jeffers Theatre at HCT from June 21st through June 29th.

Returning to HCT for this production is Ensemble member and Kay Award winner Nathan Ahlgrim.

Hailing from Elmhurst, Illinois, Ahlgrim moved to Hickory four years ago ("for love"). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in Atlanta—where local school students knew Ahlgrim as "The Brain Guy" for his educational presentations.

Ahlgrim's love of education has led him to work as an instructor at Catawba Valley Community College, a summer camp program director for the Green River Preserve, and now as Academic Manager for The Good Food Institute. A love of dance also sees Ahlgrim teaching ballroom dancing classes at Hickory Ballet & Performing Arts. It's no wonder that Ahlgrim describes himself as "the actor most likely to slip into an accidental waltz."

Ahlgrim made his Hickory Community Theatre debut in THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT, for which he won a 2023 Kay Award for Best Lead Actor. "Everyone wants you to succeed here," Ahlgrim says of his experience at HCT, which he now credits for an appreciation of musical theatre. "IN THE HEIGHTS is the show that made me love musicals."

Performances of IN THE HEIGHTS are Fridays and Saturdays, June 21st through June 29th at 7:30 PM; Sunday, June 23rd at 2:30 PM; and, Thursday, June 27th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for youth and students.

Tickets are available online at, or by phone at 828-328-2283. The theatre box office is open from 12-5 PM Wednesday through Friday, or one half-hour before a performance.

IN THE HEIGHTS is rated PG-13.

IN THE HEIGHTS is produced in association with Alex Lee, Inc. The Hickory Community Theatre’s 75th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, SunBelt Xpress and Green Park Dentistry. HCT is a Funded Affiliate of Arts Culture Catawba and receives additional support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

(Photo by Katie Stone)

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