Thanks to one Cedartown resident, CHS drama students now have a stage they can call their own.
“It seems that no matter how far we are able to raise the bar we still are not able to be competitive with the best, because of the limited resources available to us,” wrote drama students Matt Johnson and Jenny Grove.
Johnson and Grove wrote the Standard in hopes of someone coming forward to help with the needs of the high school’s drama program, which primarily included a space to rehearse their productions.
“We know there are others in our community with a passion for the arts,” they said.
Indeed, there was one in the community that shared the students’ passion for theatre.
Hollywood casting director and Cedartown resident Shay Bentley-Griffin stepped forward and gave the students a small building that she owned on Main Street beside the Welcome Center, calling it the “Little Theatre On Main.”
Griffin had purchased the former Redman Cane building but was not sure what to do with it, though, her involvement with the arts and love for Main Street led her to an obvious conclusion.
“It just clicked,” she said, upon reading the letter that the students had written. “It was just the right combination.”
Griffin said that she has additional plans for the theatre and is hoping for as much community involvement as possible.
On the weekend of Nov. 19, drama students held their first production at the Little Theatre, which was a great success despite lack of advertisement.
The show included improvisation, skits and music, and proved quite successful from just in-school word-of-mouth.
Last weekend, another show was held to a large turnout, and another production is being planned for this coming weekend.
While the theatre is already open, it is still in the process of being renovated, and will undergo several more architectural improvements as time goes by.
The CHS drama program has found success in competitions over the last few years under the direction of Chris Reeves, who said that the theatre will be a great benefit to his students.
“She has agreed to let us use it any time we need it,” Reeves said.
With the theatre already opened, Grove, now a senior at CHS, said she is grateful and excited about the theatre’s possibilities.
“I’m just really pleased at what she [Griffin] has been able to do. It’s a wonderful opportunity and a dream come true,” she said.