A dream to build live theater

The dream is a passion for some to build live theater in Pauls Valley and maybe someday take the idea up with one big step forward.

A good start for Renée Mackey-Myler, who grew up in Pauls Valley and returned to her hometown a few short years ago, is a live play this weekend.

Mackey-Myler is right in the middle of it all as director with a couple more performances of the comedy “Dearly Departed” coming at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 at the PV High School auditorium.

When this play takes its final bows the focus of the Pauls Valley Arts Council Theater (ACT) then turns to more productions in the future.

Looking even further down the road could be some big time improvements, on the wish list for some time, to the PV Arts and Cultural Center.

“My desire is to get the funding so we can not only hold this play but continue this into the season,” Mackey-Myler told members of the PV Tourism Board this week.

“We're having this play based on what we raised since the month of June. We got some sponsors and a lot of us have spent money out of our pockets.

“Hopefully this play will be a big hit and people will jump on board.”

The effort to make this happen included a theater workshop by ACT this summer, while there is a possibility of expanding the idea into a theater camp next year.

Current plans by ACT include performances of “Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus” in December, followed by a play in February 2020 with junior high and high schools students making up the cast and an end to the season with a “big” musical in June 2020.

There are also plans for a spring “thank you” event for sponsors.

As for the arts and cultural center at the corner of Paul and Walnut streets, Mackey-Myler says the hope is to someday get the money to make the upgrades needed to help with the goal of building the live theater scene in PV.

“My dream is to renovate that building and make it a hub for community theater here,” she said.

“I want it to be a place where we can do smaller productions. Dinner theater is a part of that. I think the Pauls Valley community is a place they would like having dinner theater.”

Tourism board members offered support by recommending $9,000 in funding for now, which will need a final approval from the PV City Council.

“I know you're starting from ground zero,” Kathy Tillery said about the push to revive live theater in PV. “It's good to test the attendance and excitement of this play.”

Randy McGee agreed the live theater idea is a good one.

“I think there's an audience for this and people out there who would want to get involved in this,” McGee said.

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