GROVE CITY – Amanda Rumbaugh believes that Grove City has great potential for a successful community theater program.

“It brings people together,” she said on Thursday afternoon at the Guthrie Theatre, where she’s worked since July.

Rumbaugh is director of the new Community Theatre at the Guthrie and the live entertainment manager, and her mission is to help provide a space to cultivate the love and pursuit of art. 

The Community Theatre’s inaugural production will be “Miracle on 34th Street” with performances set for Dec. 13 through 15.

“We wanted it to be something classic and recognizable,” she said.

It’s one of Rumbaugh’s favorite Christmas movies, and the stage version is a fun adaptation of the original black and white film, she said.

Area residents of all ages are encouraged to come out and audition. Theater experience is not required, and auditions will include a reading from the script.

“I really want everyone to audition,” she said.

Auditions will be held 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 20, and 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21 at the Guthrie, 232 S. Broad St., Grove City.

Those wishing to audition must register in advance by visiting theguthrie.org/audition or emailing Rumbaugh at amanda@veritasarts.org

Rehearsals will be held at the theater, and the first session is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 8. Rumbaugh is planning to hold rehearsals from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon every other Saturday.

Certain actors will not be needed for every rehearsal.

An audition workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 with Outta Theatre at 109 Blair St., Grove City. For more information, visit “Outta Theatre” on Facebook, or email Angie Settlemire at outtatheatre@outlook.com

It’s those kinds of partnerships that has Rumbaugh excited about the future of the arts in the Grove City area.

She wants the Guthrie to collaborate with others in a move toward an “artistic revival,” especially in Olde Town Grove City.

“It should be about the community,” she said, taking a break from blowing up red balloons for the premiere of “It Chapter Two.”

Other Community Theatre productions in the works are Neil Simon’s “Fools” March 13 through 15; and “Into the Woods” May 22 through 24.

Volunteers are needed to help with Community Theatre performances and set and building design.

“I need crew people of all sorts,” she said.

Rumbaugh, a Grove City College graduate who spent time teaching theater in Germany, loves how the Guthrie continues to transform.

“It’s an exciting vision with more than just movies,” she said.

The theater, owned by nonprofit Veritas Arts, reopened in April after extensive repairs and renovations. It had been closed for nearly a year.

It has hosted first-run and classic movies, fundraisers, a comedy night, and more, and the new floor seats and expanded stage are near completion.

The stage has been built with help from George Junior Republic students, and there is a new sound and lighting system, Rumbaugh said, noting that the Guthrie’s liquor license has been approved.

She is also looking forward to the Guthrie’s first season of concerts, starting with I Am They, a Christian band that will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.

The concert calendar includes “Adventures in Opera” on Oct. 13; “The Voice” contestant Pryor Baird on Nov. 15; The Brilliance on Jan. 24; Carlene Carter on Feb. 14; and the Bumper Jacksons on April 17.

Season passes are available, and there are sponsorship opportunities to help fund live shows.

Also coming up at the Guthrie:

Free monthly movies start today, Sept. 7, with “The Goonies” at 1 p.m.

The “Guthrie’s Got Talent” talent show will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 5 in conjunction with Grove Fest – there’s a $500 cash prize. Register online by Oct. 1.

The Veritas Film Festival will be held April 24 through 30.

For more information about the Guthrie Theatre, visit the box office at 232 S. Broad St., Grove City; call 724-458-9420; or visit “The Guthrie Theatre” on Facebook, or theguthrie.org

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