RiverStage to ‘raise the curtain’ in January

LEWISBURG — Although Lewisburg High School’s auditorium has a proscenium stage with curtains that part, RiverStage is planning  on “raising the curtain” on this same stage, come January 2017.

Formerly Milton Area Community Theater, RiverStage is the theater group which has been presenting shows in different locations in  the Greater Susquehanna Valley for several years.

In 2012, the name changed in preparation for its 10th anniversary season which included producing a musical, a play and a live staged radio program.

In the 2015-16 “season,” RiverStage partnered with Lewisburg’s Gaspipe Theater Company staging five shows in Washingtonville, Lewisburg and Danville.

Jove Graham, RiverStage president, acknowledges while the group is still committed to bring theater to different locations,  the opportunity “to take advantage of a ‘home base’ main stage in downtown Lewisburg was too good to pass up.”

Although neither details of the building purchase nor subleases for individual spaces have not been finalized, RiverStage plans on leasing space not only for the auditorium, but also for storage.

RiverStage has scheduled meetings both for volunteers and auditions for its next production for Nov. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor meeting space of the Lewisburg Hotel, 136 Market St., Lewisburg.

Open auditions for the 1960 Tony Award winning “Raisin In The Sun” will be held from 7-9 p.m. The show, with a nine member cast, is to be presented in the repurposed Lewisburg High School Auditorium in  February 2017 and will be directed by Derek Scott, Gaspipe founder.

Always looking for “new blood,” RiverStage is also recruiting volunteers for backstage work in set design, costuming,  lighting, graphic design, marketing and box-office.

The technical director and other staff encourage anyone interested in working “behind the scenes” to attend the kickoff meetings set for both nights.

Graham notes that although no formal fund-raising campaign has been initiated, “once local patrons and businesses realize that they now have a vibrant arts center bringing audiences through our space on a year-round basis, we will hopefully find new ways to partner with them.”

Although RiverStage has been discussing with other community groups a move into  Lewisburg High School as a possible permanent base as far back as 2013, the time for this community theater group to “raise the curtain” in a new home is now a rapidly approaching reality.

For more information, email jgraham@riverstageth eater.org.