Community theater is thriving in foothills

THE ARTS COMMUNITY SUFFERED A BLOW two years ago when Nevada City’s Foothill Theater closed its doors after 33 years. But community theater has come on like gangbusters, drawing enthusiastic crowds and earning prestigious awards.

The resurgence is led by Sierra Stages, LeGacy Productions, the Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (or CATS) and Placer Community Theater, among others. The shows make for a fun night out or part of a weekend getaway.

This fall, Sierra Stages won an Elly award for its production of Lend me a Tenor. Actor Robert Rossman also won an award for the performance—the latest honor bestowed on Nevada County community theater.

Last year, CATS won an Elly for Snow Falling on Cedars. This spring CATS will present The Teahouse of the August Moon and held auditions in November.

The annual Elly awards honor outstanding achievements of community theater and artists in the Sacramento area. “We are honored that two of our four productions over the past year were nominated for Elly awards,” says Peter Mason, board president of Sierra Stages.

This fall, Sierra Stages performed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy at Miners Foundry.

This winter, the theatre group will present Death of a Salesman, directed by Jeffrey Mason, Jan. 25-Feb. 12 at the Nevada Theatre.

LeGacy Productions also has been growing. After 15 years in local theater, Chris and Sue LeGate, along with their son Alvis, decided to start their own production company. LeGacy’s strength is in reaching out to find unique scripts while casting local actors.

I Hate Hamlet has been showing this fall at Off Center Stage in Grass Valley.

For the holidays, LeGacy is presenting A Christmas Story, a stage play adaption of the classic comedy movie. The show is a fun family experience for Christmas. LeGacy also is presenting Santaland Diaries, starring Gary Wright and directed by Carolyn Howarth. It is aimed at adult audiences.

(photo credit: Tony Finnerty)

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