What once was a dream is now a reality, with Reinhardt University students performing “Little Shop of Horrors” in the brand-new Reinhardt University Theater. Members of the Reinhardt family, friends and the community joined together to celebrate the opening of the theater Oct. 4.
“With the celebration of Reinhardt’s new theater building, we also celebrate the transformative educational opportunity our students will experience,” said President Kina S. Mallard. “We invite the community to enjoy their talent in future performances.”
Designed by longtime campus architect Garland Reynolds and constructed by Carroll Daniel Construction, the state-of-the-art theater brings together the many different puzzle pieces needed to produce a show in one space. The centerpiece of Reinhardt University Theater is a Black Box Performance Space that provides actors and directors versatility, making possible a variety of lighting, seating and floor configurations. The new building includes
David Nisbet, associate professor of theatre, program coordinator for theatre and musical theatre, and director of the inaugural production in the new Black Box Performance Space, was exuberant on opening night.
“This new Reinhardt University Theater is much more than a facility; it is a tangible expression of the University’s dedication to teaching, learning and performing that is critical to the success of this growing, thriving program,” said Nisbet. “The completion of this project is just a beginning for our students and faculty, who have a new, grand sense of pride that the administration sees the growth of this program and the quality of performers we are producing.”
“For me, it means that I played a small part in making this dream a reality,” he added.
Senior musical theatre major Chase Brackett from Rome, Ga. plays the lead role of “Seymour Krelborn” in the inaugural performance in the new theater.
“I simply love performing in the new black box theater as it provides us with such freedom with what types of set and audience it has. You can turn your back to some of the audience and you’re still seen from other sections. This gives us a lot more freedom of motion as actors,” said Brackett.
“What has been the biggest blessing however hasn’t been the stage, it’s been the fact that we have everything in one central location,” he said. “It gives our program extreme flexibility and allows our program to grow to its full potential. I’m so thankful for the new building and blessed I can be a part of the very first production here at the new Reinhardt University Theater.”
Mikensley Clayton, also a senior musical theatre major performing the other lead role of “Audrey,” has great appreciation for Flint Hall in the Falany Performing Arts Center, but she said, “being able to stand in the black box theater and take in the fact that what used to be just a dream has finally become a reality is an unmatched feeling.”
“The first time I sang in Flint Hall – when I came to Reinhardt to audition – I got butterflies because of how beautiful the space was. I have always felt very privileged to be able to perform there,” Clayton said. “However, I could not think of a better way to begin my senior year than being able to open the first show in the new theater. It’s not just a new theater, it’s a new home for our program. And we [students] could not be any more thankful to the special people who made this happen for us.”
Purchase tickets for “Little Shop of Horrors” by calling (770) 720-9167, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting Reinhardt.tix.com. Shows are Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 12-13 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 7 and 14 at 3 p.m.