Evansville Civic Theatre moving to Coliseum

Evansville Civic Theatre moving to Coliseum
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Civic Theatre Director says the upcoming season, the 97th season, will be its last in the Old Columbia Theatre, located on the corner of Fulton Avenue and Columbia Street.

“The old Columbia Theatre holds nearly a half century of memories - of great shows, of impassioned performances … of shared experiences and the lifelong friendships built through them,” said Managing Artistic Director Kevin Roach. “Leaving that behind is bittersweet - but times change, and the time has come for Evansville Civic Theatre to move on to a bigger, brighter future … back where we started.”

Ultimately, ECT plans to return to its first official home: The Evansville Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum. ECT officials are working alongside Vanderburgh County, Visit Evansville, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, and numerous other organizations toward the goal of renovating and revitalizing the Coliseum. Upon that project’s completion, the Coliseum would become the new home of both ECT offices and productions.

“It is exciting to envision Civic Theatre performing in a restored and modernized Veterans Coliseum,” County Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave said.

Recently Volunteer Historian, Joe Gilpatrick, has discovered photographs and programs from performances of the organization’s early days on the Coliseum stage, and the entire Civic team is elated to have this unique opportunity to “return home,” and take The Evansville Civic Theatre full-circle to its early beginnings, nearly 100 years ago.

Until the Coliseum’s completion, though, ECT will work alongside the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and Bosse High School to produce shows on the Bosse High School stage.

At the same time, ECT and the EVSC will launch a partnership to offer theatre education, production, and performance opportunities to students at Bosse and across the EVSC.

“Bosse is excited to forge a partnership with the Evansville Civic Theatre!” said Bosse High School Principal Aaron Huff. “For the past two years, Robert Hunt and Tiffany Ball have worked with Bosse students to create the ‘Bosse Theatre Project.’ The project takes the stories of students, families, and the community, pulls them together and crafts a theatrical production centered on themes that are near and dear to the hearts of students at Bosse. I am excited that the Evansville Civic Theatre will come alongside to support the continued growth and development of the Bosse Theatre Project. This is a win-win for both organizations!”

Those educational programs will begin during the 2022-2023 academic year - while ECT continues to perform in the Old Columbia Theatre.

ECT officials also announced the content of that final season in the Old Columbia:

Evansville Civic Theatre’s 97th Season opens in late August with the musical TICK TICK BOOM. This autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of Rent, is the story of a composer and the sacrifices that he made to achieve his big break in theatre, and a Broadway blockbuster.

In October, ECT will present FAIRVIEW, a searing fourth wall-demolishing play about the examination of families, drama, and the underlying racism that still exists in our modern culture.

In December, ECT will break from its traditional Christmas shows to present the popular comedic drama STEEL MAGNOLIAS. Set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Louisiana, and set around a group of gossipy southern ladies, this play will make you laugh and cry as the characters learn about the true bonds of friendship when confronted with difficult life events.

For the annual NEXTWAVE production in January, ECT will preview its new, temporary home at Bosse High School, presenting the comedic drama SHE KILLS MONSTERS on the Bosse stage. The play tells the story of young woman who discovers more about her late sister, following her tragic death, after finding her Dungeons & Dragons notebook, and begins a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge.

April brings ECT’s classic literature play of the season, FARENHEIT 451, which tells the story of a fireman who works as a civil servant burning books, who must choose between continuing his nonexistent existence or risking everything for the right to think.

Finally, the season - and ECT’s tenure at the Old Columbia Theatre - concludes in May with BIG FISH. The musical follows Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose larger-than-life stories are called into question by his son, Will, creating a magical musical theatre experience that’s richer, funnier and bigger than life itself.

Season Tickets and show information are available at evvcivic.org. Season Ticket holders will now be able to reserve their seats, while tickets for each individual show will be made available to the public three weeks in advance and will be general admission.

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