by Morgan Yeatts
Here at the Academy Center of the Arts, we love involving the community in our mission to provide quality arts, culture, and entertainment. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is through our Community Through Theatre program. Today, we’re sharing more about the new and exciting changes to the program and how Community Through Theatre will be structured in the future.
The Community Through Theatre program will be restructured to be comprised of 2 year volunteer commitment positions. There will be a committee responsible for choosing theatrical productions, directors, and artistic teams for the productions. There will also be a Director of Community Through Theatre position, whose responsibilities will include leading the committee in these decisions and working directly with the Academy staff to budget and plan the two annual productions.
The Academy is proud to announce that the first Director of Community Through Theatre will be Jim Ackley.
Jim led the theatre program at E.C. Glass High School for 32 years, directing over 150 productions during his time there. He brings extensive knowledge and expertise in theatre arts to the position. He was also recognized in 2013 with the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jim looks forward to his time as Director of Community Through Theatre over the next two years. “I hope the Community Through Theatre program will continue to produce shows that use theatre as a way to help strengthen our community and build bridges across social, religious, political, economic, and/or racial divides.”
Geoffrey Kershner, Executive Director here at the Academy says, “Jim Ackley is a legend of theatre in Lynchburg. His storied past with E.C. Glass Theatre and the Virginia Theatre Association make him an ideal first Director of Community Through Theatre. I couldn’t think of a better person to lead not just the mission of the program but also the complexity of production logistics from budgeting to planning.”
We believe that this restructured program will best serve the community through this amazing program. We love involving the community in something so special and exciting as theatre, and believe this is the most efficient and effective structure to have in place. Kershner says, “For the Academy, the most important aspect of community theatre is community. We know that Jim understands the power of theatre to build and enhance a community.”
Please join us for Follies, the first Community Through Theatre production to be performed in the newly restored Historic Theatre. This incredible show runs May 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19. Tickets are available online or at the Box Office, located at 519 Commerce St., or by phone at (434) 846-8499.