Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

News

March 28, 2014

JC’s theater department slates production at new arts center

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville College theater department will mark its 15th anniversary by being the first to claim the former Joe Wright Elementary school as its venue.

“We're excited,” said Mary S. Lewis, chairman of JC's fine arts department, about the college's new performing arts center.

The center will house dressing rooms, storage facilities and classrooms, but the main feature is a “smaller, more intimate” theater that will lend itself to performances,

she said.

“We've always done our productions in Buckner Chapel, which we shared with the music department, which meant we couldn't put up or leave up sets because the choir also needed the chapel for performances,” Lewis said.

Jacksonville College is leasing the former elementary facility from Hobby Lobby Realty, operated by the Green family of Oklahoma, which also has the national Hobby Lobby arts and crafts stores.

This past summer, JISD accepted a $90,000 offer from HLR for the 9.296-acre Kickapoo Street property; HLR had agreed to lease the site to the college for a specific period of time before exercising an option to gift it to the college, according to JC president Dr. Mike Smith, who echoed Lewis's response.

“We're excited about having the theater program there – it was an area of the elementary that was the most ready for use,” he said, adding that while the soccer team utilized Joe Wright's gym for indoor practice during inclement weather, it wasn't the program's permanent home.

The theater, however, will eventually be fitted with new lighting and sound systems, a cost estimated at $30,000, both said.

“But for now, the theater is ready to be used,” Smith said.

Lewis agreed. “We haven't had to do a lot, just cleaned, then painted the sets” for the April 10-12 production of Pat Cook's murder mystery/comedy, “Murder's Bad but Monday Can Kill You.”

“We've just done general clean up, situating things” for the April performance, she said.

The 230-seat venue is the perfect spot for productions college thespians will stage because of the intimate setting it offers, Lewis said.

“(Buckner) chapel seats 750 to 800, and it's monstrous,” she laughed. “When you have a (theater) audience of 100 to 150 people, that's a good audience, but it looks like no one's there when you're in a bigger place. We're looking forward to offering productions in a smaller setting.”

The college's theater program began offering a single theater appreciation class in January 2000, and students staged “The Diaries of Adam and Eve,” based on the writings of Mark Twain, according to a department press release.

“What started as a single class and show has grown into a department that includes classes in theater appreciation, performance, acting, theater history and theater practicum,” also known as technical theater training, the release states.

The program averages 15 to 20 students per semester, who perform at least two productions during that time frame.

Additionally, members of Cross Act Company and Delta Psi Omega national theater honor society volunteer every summer to mentor the children of the community in the Stars On Stage theater camp.

This year's spring production is a “zany take off of 1950s film noir,” written by local playwright Pat Cook, who began his career in Frankston and whose first play was produced by the theater department at Lon Morris College.

The play begins 7 p.m. nightly April 10-11 at the college's Performing Arts Center on the former Joe Wright Campus. On April 12, a 5:30 p.m. reception for former theater students will precede a 7:30 p.m. production.

To learn more, contact Mary Lewis, Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Jacksonville College, 903-589-7132 or emailing mlewis@jacksonville-college.edu.

1
Text Only
News
  • Body found in bed of truck

    Authorities on late Wednesday had not confirmed the identity of a body found in the back of a pickup truck near Reklaw on Tuesday.
    According to a press release from the New Summerfield Police Department, officials received a report of an abandoned 2001 Ford pickup Tuesday that was located on a parcel of land in rural Cherokee County.

    July 31, 2014

  • JISD sets public hearing for proposed $45M budget

    JISD trustees have set a 6:30 p.m. public hearing Aug. 25 to discuss a proposed $45,047,303 budget and proposed $1.395 tax rate for the upcoming school year.
    The proposed figures are an increase of $9,532,176 from this past year's $35.5 million budget.

    July 31, 2014

  • Public health department extends hours to help parents get students vaccinated

    As summer break winds down for students, parents turn their eye to more practical matters, like making sure their children are on-task with state-mandated immunizations.

    July 31, 2014

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday
    morning.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014