By Kristin Rover
Residents and guests in New Richmond will soon be able to grab a bite to eat and then enjoy a live theatrical performance right in the village.
A group of volunteers have joined together to bring the live theater, which will be called RiverStage Theatre, to the village before the end of the year.
According to Linda Shuck, vice president of the new committee, the idea came from Bob Baker, a New Richmond High School Graduate.
“Bob has operated a volunteer community theater for 28 years,” Shuck said.
Shuck said this summer, Baker contacted the village about creating a theater that would give residents something fun to do and help add to the business district of the village.
Shuck said that in August a group of individuals met and discussed the idea.
“The group hit the ground running electing officers, then meeting with Superintendent Bird for permission to use the Market Street School auditorium stage for a temporary home,” Shuck said.
Shuck said the volunteer group also worked to raise funds.
“Fund-raisers are essential before the stage can be ready for the first production due to the fact that lighting, sound system and curtains were removed some years ago,” Shuck said.
Fund raisers included two Victorian Teas hosted by Vicki Hale at the Susanna House Bed and Breakfast and a craft show at Market Street School.
Shuck said they also received donations, including lighting equipment from Indian Hills High School.
Shuck said the first play, which is written by Baker, will be Standing by Tammy Wynette.
The play tells the story of Baker’s niece, Donna Chapel, who lived in New Richmond and toured as a backup singer with her step-mother, Tammy Wynette.
Shuck said Baker will bring actors and actresses from his theater in Alabama, The Renaissance Theater, to perform in the first play.
“This show he is bringing totally up from Huntsville,” Shuck said.
Shuck said the goal, however, is to transition into having local actors and actresses perform and be responsible for all aspects of the performances.
She said they are looking for adults who may have been involved in theater in high school and college as well as children.
“We are in contact with the school and the drama department and they are very supportive of what we are doing,” Shuck said. “We are reaching out to all of those people to come play at our play house.”
Showings of Standing by Tammy Wynette will be at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Tickets are $12 for either show and can be purchased online at www.ShowClix.com or by mailing a check to Riverstage, P.O. Box 185, in New Richmond.
An After the Show Gala will follow the evening show at the Gibson Historic Home and guests will be able to meet the actors and special guest Donna Chapel. Tickets for the gala are $13.
For more information about RiverStage Theatre or about the show, contact Linda Shuck at (513) 543-9149 or email email@example.com.