Have you been to Village Square Theatre in Lexington lately? There are so many things going on at the venue that it’s hard to find a reason not to.
Now, Village Square is embarking on an ambitious fundraising drive to expand its classroom space and build a theatre-in-the-round for smaller productions. The capital campaign has kicked off with $10,000 of support on the way to a $185,000 goal.
Serving the Midlands since 1963, and operated by the Lexington County Arts Association, Village Square Theatre works “to encourage and stimulate the practice and appreciation of arts among people of Lexington County and the surrounding area.” For the theater, that goes beyond acting to music and visual arts as well.
This community theater presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” December 8-17, a comedy about six rambunctious siblings who hijack the town’s annual Christmas pageant “in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds and six rowdy kids.”
In February, the theater will present “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” a madcap musical with a twist on the classic tale.
Presenting shows to the community is a significant part of Village Square Theatre’s work, but it’s not the theater’s sole mission. The organization might better be described as an educational center for all ages. It provides group acting classes and private acting lessons to help participants hone their acting chops or, if they’re not interested in becoming actors, improve their communication skills and become more comfortable in front of a group. The organization also offers group music lessons, and private voice and piano lessons.
The theater’s Junior Arts Summer Workshop sold out this year, hosting 140 children who had the opportunity to experience live theater in a unique way that culminated in a summer production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The program has been a hit not just because it inspires budding actors, or because it gives kids something constructive to do during summer vacation, but because live theater sparks the imagination, brings stories in books to life, bolsters confidence and imparts a host of lessons about communication, teamwork and more.
Village Square Theater also offers theater-themed birthday parties and special events that bring children onto the stage for professional instruction in improvisation and scripted performance. Members of the birthday party go to make-up (boys get scary monster make-up), stand in the spotlight, learn how to use a microphone and generally get comfortable on stage.
A working theater, Village Square is active seven days a week, all year. With the professional productions, the acting classes, the summer production and everything else going on at 105 Caughman Ave., the theater is seeking to expand its physical footprint. The capital plan calls for construction of a separate Education Center that will afford the theater additional classroom and storage space. Accompanying that will be a secondary theater that provides a better fit for smaller productions.
There are two ways you can help Village Square Theatre continue to thrive and serve the community. One is to support the capital campaign with a contribution by visiting villagesquaretheatre.com. The other is to join the show! Village Square invites community members to add their talents as actors, tailors, costume designers, set builder and backstage hands.
For more information, visit villagesquaretheatre.com or call 803-359-1436. As Shakespeare noted, all the world’s a stage!