Be prepared to be delightfully impressed.
The Lennox Community Theatre is an unassuming, brick building with an intriguing back story of being a beautifully repurposed church. But it’s the present reincarnation of the building that is drawing audiences – and local talent.
The intimate 80-seat performing space gives way to a unique spot to celebrate live theatre and the arts. Not only was the theatre once a place of worship, but it was further rooted in the community as the former home base for the now-amalgamated Richmond Township.
The Lennox Community Theatre is taking that community vibe to a new level, now staging four full productions in a season running from September to May every year – all with local talent and community at its core.
Andy Palmer, Secretary on the theatre’s board of directors, said that while there has been a theatre group in Napanee since the 1930s, they didn’t always have a permanent place to rehearse or produce shows.
So when the building became vacant after the township offices moved in the early 1990s, the Lennox Community Theatre jumped at the opportunity to be tenants of the modified space. What started there soon transitioned into owning the theatre. “When they started holding performances here, the building was simply an empty space with four walls. It was a clean palette,” Palmer said. So, they got to work.
With a great deal of help from the community, renovations were completed and the first production of the Lennox Community Theatre was staged in the fall of 1994. It has been going strong ever since. “The theatre has marvellous acoustics, actors and singers do not need mics, and there are uninterrupted sight lines from any seat in the house,” Palmer said.
The Lennox Community Theatre has now been providing that home base for almost 20 years, headed by a seven-member board of directors and entirely run on a volunteer basis.
On The Playbill
Palmer said the theatre exists through the dedication of community members who love live theatre. In the same vein, the theatre prides itself on producing high-quality shows, in a variety of genres. In fact, Lennox Community Theatre typically stages four full productions each season.
“We’ve done comedies, murder mysteries, musicals; we’ve been fortunate to do Pantos during the holidays and much more – we get people of all ages on our stage,” said Palmer, adding that there have been a few actors who have started with the theatre and gone on to pursue the performing arts.
Two more productions are in the works to cap off this season at 2219 Country Road 11 in Selby, Greater Napanee.
The Community Variety Show is set for February 9 to 19, 2023, promising the greatest talent the area has to offer! Be sure to check the website for both evening and matinee performance times.
Next up is the musical, Married Alive! from April 28 to May 13, 2023. This musical comedy features a young couple and older couple sharing their different perspectives in a “series of vignettes affectionately exploring the adventure of marriage.”
Palmer said community is what the theatre is all about – gathering together and fostering a love of theatre arts. Palmer noted they aim for open auditions to every show, and encourage new folks to come out, making sure it’s a positive experience for everyone. “The objective is really about creating community and encouraging those important relationships,” he said.
Stay tuned for an announcement in the coming months about the Lennox Community Theatre’s 2023/2024 season, featuring a full complement of offerings. In the meantime, whet your appetite at the upcoming shows this winter and spring: revel in local talent and laugh at the trials and tribulations of wedded bliss.