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Little Theatre To Hold Summer Kick-Off Celebration

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will hold its Summer Kick-Off Celebration on Monday to welcome back the community. Performers are pictured rehearsing in November 2021 for the opening of “All Together Now,” the theater’s first show since the pandemic began. P-J file photo

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is holding a celebration as it officially reopens to the public.

After closing because of the pandemic the theater at 18 E. Second St., Jamestown, is looking to celebrate with the community and welcome everyone back as shows start up again. The Summer Kick-Off Celebration will be held Monday at the theater from 6-7 p.m. and will include activities such as wine-tasting from Johnson Estate Winery, food from Hot Spot Cafe, and other treats from Sweet Lolita’s Cupcakes & Sweet Treats. There will also be live music from Kyle Gustafson.

The board of directors will also be informing the community on updates to the theater space, upcoming shows and how the community can be involved, according to Holly Weston, vice president of the board.

“This is the first time we’ve had this event,” Weston said. “Every June the board has our annual meeting where we welcome members to come to the meeting and we discussed how this would be a good opportunity to welcome back the community after the lack of shows and celebrate getting back to our normal scheduling.”

After having virtual events and radio shows during the pandemic, the theater reopened its doors in November 2021 with its first live performance back on the stage since the pandemic, “All Together Now!” Another performance was held in March 2022, “Almost Maine,” but this event is to celebrate the official reopening of the theater and the upcoming season.

The celebration, scheduled for 6-7 p.m. at the theater’s 18 E. Second St. location in Jamestown, will include a wine-tasting, food and live music. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre originally began in 1920 as The Player’s Club. It became the Little Theatre in 1945, and in 1968 it was moved to its current location and built bigger after running out of space at the original location. In 1991, it was renamed The Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

With the history of the theater spanning back more than 100 years, Weston said she hopes the community is excited to come and celebrate the reopening.

“It really is an amazing asset to the community,” Weston said. “We have our actors, backstage volunteers, volunteers in the pit and the lobby who have all missed it, but we are looking for not just actors but audience members to come back and celebrate with us as well.”

According to Weston, many theaters across the country have had to make the decision to close their doors permanently during and after the pandemic and the board at the Little Theatre were determined to make sure that this did not happen to them.

“Many community, regional and professional theaters across the U.S. had to make the difficult decision to permanently close their doors in 2020 and 2021,” Weston said. “The board of directors at the Little Theatre has worked tirelessly over the past 26 months to ensure that this day would come and that we would be able to celebrate now as a community and look to the future.”

Overall, Weston hopes the community will come and celebrate the theater, and that many more talented people from the community will come and be a part of the shows in the future.

“We’re not just looking for talent, because it is equally important for everyone in the community to be able to come out and enjoy and celebrate what we’ve been missing for the last two years,” Weston said.

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