By BRITTANY MAHER
MARIETTA, Ga. – Marietta’s Theatre in the Square reopened its doors on Wednesday, Nov. 4 with the show, “Letters from the Front.”
The theatre’s grand opening brought a revitalized spirit to local performing arts and plans to bring fresh entertainment to the community in full force.
The original theatre closed in 2012 for financial reasons. With a new owner in place, the theatre has been undergoing renovations since July 2015.
“We were heartbroken to see it close,” said Roxanne Johnson, box office manager and assistant director of “A Christmas Carol.” “This is a theatre with heart – a theatre that’s coming back and being resurrected. It’s is a beloved spot in the community and we hear all the time how heartbroken everybody was when the original theatre closed in 2012.”
The theatre plans to put on regular performances throughout the year, hosting a variety of local talent including musicians, dancers, actors and comedians.
When the holiday season rolls around, Marietta Square transforms into a winter wonderland. Not only will the Square be illuminated by an array of gleaming lights, holiday decorations and ornaments, but it will also soon be the host of its first ever open-air ice skating rink. Amongst the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers, Theatre in the Square will be joining in on the seasonal fun.
With major productions like “A Christmas Carol,” in the works, the theatre’s presentation of the timeless holiday classic is likely to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
“We are doing an original script of the Charles Dickens’ version of a Christmas Carol and we’ve been holding open auditions for three nights now,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a wonderful turnout, a lot of community people and a lot of professional people in the community. Everybody’s been bringing in a picture and a resume, even the children. We’ve got a wonderful group of kids who are talented, adorable, and polite – I can’t wait to get started.”
The first read-through for A Christmas Carol was Nov. 14 and the show will run from Dec. 11 to Dec. 27.
“It’s a really big project but we’re excited to get through the audition process so we can get to the good part. Picking and choosing people is sometimes hard so we’re still in the process of picking and choosing scouts for some of the adult roles,” Johnson said.
Theatre on the Square’s stages aren’t just a vehicle for Broadway style performances. An array of talent is set to hit the stage in weeks to come.
“In addition to live theatre productions, this is a multi-faceted performance venue. We’re going to have movie night, concerts, comedy night, and tons more,” said Johnson.
Justin Ledlow created “Comedy Squared” at Theatre in the Square. According to the theatre’s website, Comedy Squared is a “comedy show similar to Epic Comedy Hour.”
“It’s basically like a showcase style show. We have about six to seven comics plus a host, all the comics get about 15 minutes apiece and really the ultimate goal is to bring in comics from pretty much all over,” said Ledlow.
Comedy Squared is similar to the comedy show Ledlow regularly hosts in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala.
“The show is 18 and up. It’s a little bit more of a break from the norm of the regular kind of fun family outings that a lot of other places seem to have,” said Ledlow.
On Dec. 6, nationally touring comedian Jackie Kashian will perform her new hour standup special “This Will Make An Excellent Horcrux” at Theatre on the Square. Kashian is known for her appearances on Conan, Comedy Central’s @midnight and NPR. Her critically acclaimed podcast, The Dork Forest, has been on-air for 10 years.
Theatre in the Square will host a variety of performances this year including “Deep in the Heart of Tuna” and “A Christmas Carol.” (Photo by Brittany Maher)
The Art of Live Performance
Andrew Scott is a professional actor who is no stranger to local performing arts. Having been an actor for the last nine years, he hopes to eventually grace the stages of Theatre in the Square as well as attend upcoming productions.
“I think the reopening is fantastic news,” said Scott. “The reopening of Theatre on the Square is not only beneficial for the Marietta community, but for local hardworking actors seeking a solid space for creation and expression.”
“Live performances, with the support of an audience, is and always will be important to any community,” said Scott. “It provides a connection to a story that no television show or film can ever accomplish. Since the Theatre on the Square was a long standing staple in Marietta for many years, it’s very refreshing to me knowing that this reopening will provide opportunities to experience live art.”
There is a strong sense of community that comes from a place like Theatre in the Square. It ignites a contagious feeling of imminence only close-knit neighborhoods can bring.
“We are part of the community and the community is a part of us,” said Johnson. “We work in conjunction with the Square. The Square is a wonderful place to be because everybody supports everybody else. When people come to shop, they’re going to want to eat, and when they eat they’re going to want to be entertained. So they might come in for a show. There’s always something happening around the Square.”
Whether you plan to get in on the excitement by joining the production team or you’re just looking to enjoy some high-quality local theatre, Theatre in the Square is ready to embrace the local community with open arms.
“We’re not just a theatre in a certain area of town, we’re an integral part of a community,” said Johnson. “This is something that’s extremely exciting to be a part of.”
Tickets for upcoming shows can be purchased online or at the box office.