Have you checked out Novato Community Theater’s new space at 5420 Nave Drive near Highway 101?
NCT— not to be confused with the downtown Novato Theater—opened this May and has been busy turning the former Calvary Baptist church into a cozy community theater, complete with red velour seats and a 44-foot wide stage.
This Labor Day weekend, the company unveiled “The Lion in Winter,” a comedy/drama about Henry II and set in 10th century France. The show played to a packed house the first two nights and runs through September 22.
Plenty of work remains to be done on the venue, such as risers that will give the audience a better view, and dressing rooms (actors currently have to change behind the stage), all of which require at least another $50,000 in donations. But “Lion in Winter” marks a new chapter of sorts for NCT, which has been without a permanent home since 2004.
“Since the Community House closed, there hasn’t been any local space for performances in Novato,” says Sandi Rubay, past president of NCT and current facilities manager.
The company puts on five shows a year plus a holiday performance and has tended to draw an older crowd. With their new location at Hamilton, organizers want to recruit younger performers and involve local families with the theater. To do so, NCT will soon launch a free program for teens ages 12 through 19 that centering around short productions for smaller kids.
“It will be a show up, throw on a costume and put on the best show,” said Janelle Ponte, a board member who is spearheading the program. “We’re not doing theory or classes. The idea is to have fun because that’s when you learn the best.”
Ponte hopes the program, called TeenSpiration, will not only engage local teens, but also bring together various segments of the Hamilton community, including low-income and middle-income households.
“The beauty of us being in Hamilton and Bel Marin Keys is this area is very rich in families with little kids and teens…It’s all really about family.”
Want to get involved with Novato Community Theater? The company is holding auditions Sept. 14 and Sept. 16 for its upcoming Christmas Pageant. For more info, visit novatotheatercompany.org.
Want to sign up for TeenSpiration? Email Janelle Ponte at email@example.com
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