BY STAFF REPORTS
Greenville Little Theatre unveiled the company’s 93rd season lineup at a special reception tonight (Saturday, January 19) and to great fanfare, a new name, simply Greenville Theatre,
After over a year of surveys and community interviews, Greenville Little Theatre Board of Directors has voted unanimously to change its name to Greenville Theatre effective immediately. Greenville Theatre will transition for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season with full rebranding completed for the 2019-2020 season opening.
The 2019-1920 season will open in September with the Disney musical “Newsies.” The comedy “The Game’s Afoot” by Ken Ludwig will be in October, followed by the return of the “The Christmas Carol” musical.
The Upstate premiere of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” is set for March 2020, while “The Dixie Swim Club” is the spring play. “The Producers” will close out the Mainstage Season.
Three concerts are planned next season as well including the Cherry Cherry, the Neil Diamond Experience,;Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon: A Tribute to John Denver; and Rumors, the Fleetwood Mac cover band.
Greenville Theatre’s traveling show for young audiences in “Miss Nelson is Missing” and the season’s youth show is “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
The modification in name is a response to the high volume of people confusing the theatre with a children’s theatre (or a small theatre), and potentially missing tourists or newcomers who have not been exposed to the theatre’s rich 93 year history.
“The name Greenville Theatre reflects not only our growth, but also the growth of the Upstate’s arts scene as a whole.” said Emily Dymski, Greenville Theatre Director of Marketing and Development. Adding, “It was important for us to maintain the brand equity we’ve built as the largest locally producing theatre in the Upstate, but have a name better reflective of what we offer.”
The Board of Director’s strategic planning committee, tasked with developing a long-range plan in preparation for the theatre’s 100th birthday in 2026, was led by co-chairs Mary Freeman, Steve Chamness, and Greenville Theatre Executive Artistic Director Allen McCalla. Committee members included Mark Blonstein, Catherine Christophillis, Lee Elmore, Tracy Hardaway, Leslie Provence, Carl Sykes, and Sydney Taylor. This special committee launched a year long effort to research what the community’s response would be to a name modification.
“We were able to interview a wide representation of the community from people who know us very well, to those not as familiar with our theatre” said McCalla. “Overwhelmingly, we heard that the word ‘little’ is confusing and does not accurately represent who we are.”
A written audience survey was conducted in December 2017, producing approximately 1500 responses. 94% of the surveys voted to change the name, and of those 37% voted to change it to Greenville Theatre.
For more information about the new season, visit greenvilletheatre.org