MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The newest performing arts organization in Montgomery took another step forward this week. The Cloverdale Playhouse -- a new community theater in the Old Cloverdale neighborhood --hired its first artistic director. And he is someone many theater-goers will recognize.
Greg Thornton was a resident actor at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for more than 20 years. He says all that time in Montgomery gave him a unique appreciation for the city, which helped in his decision to accept the new position.
"My time at ASF was a very dear time for me," he explained. "I don't remember a time when I was an actor in a company when the support from the community was as warm, as potent as it was in Montgomery. I don't want to make it sound like a cliche, but here's a chance to give something back."
Thornton will work with Playhouse Managing Director Emily Flowers and the theater's board of directors, which is chaired by Morris Dees.
It was Dees and his wife who first envisioned the Playhouse when they bought the old Cloverdale Christian Church on East Fairview Avenue. They saw it as a replacement for the old Montgomery Little Theater, which closed years ago. After raising nearly $1 million in donations, they hope to begin renovations later this spring.
Thornton says he hopes to stage small-scale plays and musicals in the theater. But he also hopes it will become a resource for other performing arts organizations and for community events.
He says a series of fundraising events will be held in the space over the summer. The first theatrical event could be a holiday production at the end of the year. The first official season will begin in 2012.
All of the theater's actors, musicians, costumers and set designers will be volunteers. For more information, or to get involved, you can email email@example.com.