EATON — The Star Theatre, which will be housed in the old Eaton High School auditorium at Eagles Point, is deep in the planning and building stages for its opening in 2019.
A new non-profit, created and founded by Lisa Marling, will provide live theatre, film, children’s theatre, musical concerts, and various community outreach opportunities. Marling and the Board members: Chris Waxler, Elaine Buckler, D. Scott Marling, and Starla Wing have spent 2018 building and designing the infrastructure. Positive Points, Inc. has been busy preparing the theatre for the excitement of housing these community activities.
“We are excited to be working with Positive Points, Inc. to create a community theatre that will both entertain and educate the community through and with the community. Positive Points has been and continues to be supportive and engaged in helping us meet our goal of opening for a 2019-2020 season,” Marling said. “When I approached Mary Bullen with this plan, she did not hesitate. She said, ‘Let me show you what we have.’ When I saw the empty, but obviously loved, auditorium with the names of student actors and actresses all over the stage walls, I teared up. This is definitely something to have; it is a community star!”
The opening production will be Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” This inaugural production will be directed by Marling who has 55-plus years of theatre experience and teaches for Miami University and Indiana University East. She first stepped on the stage at the age of 5 in a Richmond Community Theatre (RCT) Junior Players Production of “Rip Van Winkle.” S
“We chose ‘Our Town’ as a way to honor the community of Preble County and do so with a visit to Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, a place much like our own,” Marling said. “A call for auditions will go out in the spring. “We will need a cast of 34, plus a small choir. The ages will range from 10 to 100, although if an actor/actress can do it, the age can go higher,” Marling smiles, “there is an opportunity for people who have not acted before to get their feet on the stage, while there is also a need for seasoned actors and actresses. I believe Preble County and the surrounding areas can and will provide the talent we need.”
Marling is also looking for a set designer, make-up director, lighting designer/director, sound designer/director, and a backstage team. “Chris Waxler will be heading up costumes and will be looking for a team, as well. It will take our town to produce ‘Our Town’ and we are excited that we are already hearing from people who want to get involved.”
The Star Theatre recently launched its first membership drive. Letters went out to community businesses and individuals who had been identified as strong community supporters. Non-profits rely on community involvement and support. The Star Theatre Board recognizes that the community has many strong and dedicated non-profits and they are excited to be one of them. Marling shared her excitement over the Preble County Art Association’s move to Main Street. “We will now have both the visual arts and the performing arts within a few blocks of each other. Preble County is truly blessed in this!”
As the theatre’s season moves forward, it will be offering the musical “Quilters,” a “Preble’s Got Talent” show, a Fun Film, a musical concert by Aberdeen Green from Nashville, and a children’s production which will be decided once the theatre refurbishing is complete and dates can be solidified.
Anyone who is interested in getting involved, becoming a member, or supporting the theatre, can contact Marling at firstname.lastname@example.org or Elaine Buckler at Elaine.Buckler@thestartheatre.org. Visit the theatre’s website at www.thestartheatre.org and its Facebook page. Donations can be made through the website or by check.