Attending a performance at a small town theater is akin to witnessing a miracle. See for yourself the twinkle of dreams coming true when you witness the passionate performances of children and adults alike. You can almost feel the fire of ambition as the spotlight falls on the lead character or soloist; their souls bore to an audience of critics. It’s magic in the making.
While many Shenandoah Valley towns and cities have their own such theaters and performance venues, The Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro is the subject of this love letter.
Its doors opened in January 1926 with the Wayne Orchestra seated in the pit as actors pulled emotions from the audience with their portrayals of comedy and tragedy. Sadly to us now, the theater transitioned from live performances to movies, and was eventually closed in 1999. Thankfully, the cavalry of the community created a non-profit alliance to breathe new life into the old, treasured building. On March 1, 2016 a restored Wayne Theatre opened its doors once more.
What’s Happening at The Wayne?
Until its October 20 opening night, actors are working hard to polish up “Dial M for Murder,” a suspenseful tale of a man who married for money, plotted to kill his wife, and wound up on the wrong side of his own scenario. Get your tickets for a showtime between October 20-22 and 27-29.
Live music very much has a place at The Wayne, and Jim Messina is set to take the stage October 21 at 7:30 p.m. His storied career includes time with Buffalo Springfield in the 1960s, the creation of the country rock group Poco with Richie Furay, and in the 1970s teaming up with Kenny Loggins before anyone knew who Kenny Loggins was. Their duo? Loggins & Messina. This is your chance to snag a ticket for an intimate show. His typically sell out, so don’t delay.
Studio Wayne is a place for young aspiring actors and entertainers to learn the ropes through workshops and classes. Catch this younger set in a performance of “Elsewhere,” a story about a boarding school is a haunted house. Eek! It’s akin to “Narnia” as in a magic doorway leads to an unimaginable place. Don’t delay in getting a ticket. This performance will be in the Custin Cabaret with limited seating October 30 at 3 p.m.
Who doesn’t love improv?! Check out the Studio Wayne Improvisators – a teenage improv group – spitting their wit on the fly just to make you laugh. It’s October 30 at 5 p.m. Together with “Elsewhere” and an Escape Room from 5 to 7:50 p.m. this show makes up HalloWayne, a Halloween themed event for all ages.
Just ahead of Thanksgiving is “Nunsense,” the comedic story of five nuns and their failed attempts of managing a fundraiser. Traditionally, audiences have roared with laughter and it is assumed you will as well. Bring tissues! The curtain rises on “Nunsense” November 11-13 and 18-20; get your tickets before they’re gone.
Art exhibitions are available to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and during performances. Through November 20 you can see the curated collection entitled “For the Love of Trees: A Fusion of Art and Poetry,” which features regional artists like photographer Michele Fletcher, painters Rebecca Grace Jones, Jennifer Cox, Karen Rosasco, and John Bell; and fiber artist Mary Beth Bellah. Poetry is paired with each piece, creating a harmonious marriage.
So You Think You Can …
Well, well, well. Do you think you have what it takes to step into the limelight? Great! The Wayne Theatre is looking for you! It’s your chance to land a spot as a Dickens Caroler. Auditions are October 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the theatre.
Header image courtesy of The Wayne Theatre.