By Stacy Keith
During the shutdowns of COVD19, the Lubbock Community Theatre (LCT), like many businesses, had a huge problem. Live venues of all types were closed due to the pandemic, the theatre couldn’t offer its normal programming and it’s difficult to pivot a theatre company in a situation like this. Lubbock Community Theatre, however, got creative by producing some virtual performances via Facebook and a unique dinner theatre experience combining a delivered meal along with a code to a virtual play. It was an incredibly difficult time, but the upside was that it allowed Executive Director Heather May (pictured) along with her Board and key volunteers to begin planning something they’d been dreaming of for a number of years. To purchase a new home for the theatre where larger audiences could attend, and children’s programs could have the expansion space they needed.
Two years later, they’re there! Lots of hard work, generous contributions and armies of volunteers have opened doors for the Lubbock Community Theatre to now inhabit the former YWCA building located at 3101 35th Street). A gym became a black box theatre (pictured), upstairs workout and yoga rooms transformed into dance and rehearsal space, the front office has become a box office and the enormous space which housed the pool has become storage and a workshop for props. In another building on the campus – classroom spaces have been transformed into spaces for theatre skills workshops for children of all ages (as young as 6 months old) and a costume workshop.
The space offers audiences some unique opportunities too. For parents who want a night out, a little upcharge on the ticket price provides childcare while parents enjoy the show. The summer programs continue to grow – there are so many opportunities now that the space has provided. May anticipates 400 children being enrolled in one of LCT’s many summer camps in 2022.
The Youth Artist Guild and camps are offered for ages 7 to 11 and for middle school and high school students 12 to 17. All different experience levels are welcomed whether a child is a beginner or working toward theatre as a college major – there is a program for them. The Guild provides youth an opportunity to take part in administration, meetings, workshops and production activities on stage, behind the curtain, tech crew and front of house.
Theatre isn’t just for aspiring actors, it is also great for building leadership skills, teamwork knowledge, speech development and enhancing public speaking skills. LCT also offers programs for children who are neuro diverse. Creating unique opportunities for these kids through a sensory friendly room and teachers who are on staff who have taught special education classes in schools.
Then, there’s the performance season. In its new theatre space, LCT will be offering a great line up beginning in August to include:
- Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical August/September 2022
- She Kills Monsters – October 2022
- Best Christmas Pageant – December 2022
- The Cake – February 2022
- No Room for a Picture and the Blank Wall – March 23
- Chicago – May 2023
Coming up soon is Little Shop of Horrors later this month and Guys and Dolls, Jr. by LCT’s Horizon School of Performing Arts. Tickets and showtimes may be found at the Lubbock Community Theatre’s website. https://www.lubbockcommunitytheatre.org/
May still has big plans for capital improvements. Filling in the former pool is a priority as is transforming the outdoor space to allow for outdoor productions and music. There’s lots in store at the Lubbock Community Theatre – they are one to watch in Lubbock!