Aiken Community Theater Hosts Open House to Celebrate 70th Season

September 18—The Aiken community had the opportunity to take a look behind the stage at the Aiken Community Theater on Saturday.

Aiken Community Theater held an open house on Saturday to let residents of Aiken and surrounding areas know about its 70th season and that the theater is back after the COVID-19 pandemic and government-mandated closures to slow down the spread of the virus.

Marketing manager Dustin Turner said the theater at 126 Newberry St. is a gem in downtown Aiken. He said the open house was a way to introduce the theater to the community.

“We missed an entire season after COVID,” Turner said. “We did a season before. We did it last season. Last season was kind of a soft opener. We struggled to get people back. Now that people are out more and that ‘they’re doing things we just want to get the word out.’

Part of the open day was the offer of tours to see behind the scenes of the theatre, including a tour of the stage, workshop, dressing rooms and the smaller Bechtel Experimental Theatre.

Saturday marked the finale of a musical version of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” a 1988 book about a precocious 5-and-a-half-year-old girl who is ignored by her parents and fights with an abusive school principal using telekinetic powers, so there were props all around the stage, including desks and a blackboard.

The theater’s phantom light is also important on stage: a light that is placed center stage and held in an otherwise dark theater.

The theater’s next event will be a coffee series on October 7, followed by “Blithe Spirit” from October 21-29, “Elf the Musical” from December 9-17, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” from February 17-25, 2023, “Lovesong” from April 14-22, 2023, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” from May 19-27, 2023 and “God of Carnage” from July 14-22, 2023.

Aiken Community Theater is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization with the goal of entertaining, educating and enriching the city and surrounding area by providing a quality theater experience. It was founded in 1952.

For more information about the theatre, visit aikencommunitytheatre.org.

Sam D. Gomez