Five years of Encore Musicals in Owensboro

Five years of Encore Musicals in Owensboro
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 3:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:55 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - For five years, one Owensboro community theater has given local performers a chance to showcase their abilities. But in the beginning, it almost didn’t happen.

Third Baptist Church, apart from being a place of worship, is also where Encore Musicals community theater stages most of its productions. This is a group that truly does believe, no matter what, the show must go on.

For those with Encore Musicals, there’s nothing quite like musical theater.

“Musicals, frankly, are uplifting experiences,” said Encore Musicals Vice President Joe Bob Pierce.

“When you’re in that room watching it happen, there’s just an energy about it,” said Encore Musicals President Emily Malone.

“There’s, like, this very real magic and joy in musical theater,” said performer Justin Miller.

The group started as part of Back Alley Musicals in 2010, when some of today’s leadership was first approached about participating.

“‘Hey, are you going to audition for Fiddler on the Roof?’” said Pierce. “And I said, ‘I can be in Fiddler on the Roof?!’”

Back Alley Musicals suddenly ceased operations in 2017. The remaining members decided to hold one last show, a musical revue at Third Baptist Church, and gauge community interest in possible future productions. They say they printed about 250 programs, and before the performance began it was standing-room-only, with over 800 in attendance.

“It was kind of overwhelming in the best kind of way,” said Malone. “We passed the hat and said, ‘hey, we are starting with nothing, if you’d like to see us continue, we’d love to have your money, we need some support.’”

They say they raised almost $5,000 that night. Since then, they have done three to four shows each year, outside of a brief hiatus for COVID-19. They say it shows not only how much support there is for the arts in Owensboro, but also how much talent there is in the area.

“There’s an immense amount of untapped potential in so many people across the Tri-State area, but especially Owensboro,” said Miller.

They say a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to stage a musical, but it’s a sacrifice they’re happy to make.

“We’re able to do that, we’re willing to do that, because it gives so many people a chance to continue doing what they love to do,” said Pierce.

They say they have seen their shows show people musical theater can exist beyond high school, and they are always looking for more talented people.

If you would like to learn more about Encore Musicals, its upcoming shows or would like to audition, click here.