For 50 years now, the Jenny Wiley Theatre has presented live-stage performances at its outdoor location in Prestonsburg. Now officials are opening a second, indoor location in downtown Pikeville.
An open-house-style event was held Thursday for the public.
For centuries, live theater has played a special role in artistic and cultural expression - something officials with Jenny Wiley Theatre say is every bit as true today.
“It's magical. There’s something that happens when you sit in a theater and there are people who are transforming the world that you feel that you're in. They are taking you to their world,” says Miriam Silman, President of the Board of Trustees.
Now that magic will be available in downtown Pikeville with a second Jenny Wiley Theatre, with a new stage, atmosphere and location, which will allow for year-round performances.
“It’s really exciting to see this come about. I've been at Jenny Wiley Theatre since I was a small child and enjoyed many summer theater performances in Prestonsburg, and to see us be able to have a year-round theater, it means a lot to me,” says Penny Stratton, the Campaign Director.
The first performance is still a few days away, but Thursday was an opportunity for the public to get acquainted with the new facility, to meet those who made it possible, and to sample the experience.
“There’s staff and there's volunteers and there's the board of trustees, but at its heart, this is a theater that is for everyone in this community; not just Pikeville, but for the entire area,” says Holly Provance Doggett, the executive director.
Organizers say the realization of this theater has been a dream for many years, and it is a dream they look forward to finally sharing with eastern Kentucky.
The first performance at the new theater will take place on May 29th called "A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel."