Fauquier Community Theatre, which marked its 40th anniversary in 2018, has been busily expanding its theatre education programs and upgrading the technical aspects of its venue while still producing five or six well-attended main stage shows each season.
FCT performs at Vint Hill Theatre in Warrenton, which provides a house that seats more than 200, and the company recently invested $80,000 in a massive sound equipment overhaul. “Patrons and productions marvel at the outstanding difference it has brought to the current theatre facility,” Artistic Committee Chairperson Sheryl Solow said. “The use of a digital soundboard and new technology has greatly enhanced the auditory experience of the shows.”
Vint Hill Theatre has recently been updated with new seat upholstery, carpeting, and aesthetics, and Solow says a lighting design project on the scale of the sound system upgrade is next. Solow says FCT hopes to have its own dedicated space someday. FCT has also sometimes partnered with other local companies in producing shows at Vint Hill Theatre, with the hope of mounting FCT productions at their usual venues in turn.
FCT’s season usually opens and closes with musicals, with a mix of comedy, drama, mystery, and Shakespeare in between. FCT also produces a family-friendly holiday show each December. The 2019-2020 season will kick off with “Seussical: The Musical,” followed by “Lost in Yonkers” in the fall and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in December. The new year will see “Rabbit Hole” in the winter and “The Night Must Fall” in the spring, with the season closing with “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
Solow names several musicals produced within the past few years as among FCT’s greatest triumphs, including “1776,” “Big Fish,” and “Mary Poppins.” Other big successes of recent seasons include “The Lion In Winter” and “Steel Magnolias.”
FCT also mounts a youth show each June with a cast ages 8-17 and runs two summer camps. A one-week camp focusing on the craft of acting as well as opportunities to learn about other aspects of theatre arts like set and makeup design. A two-week camp produces a full show, offering the same opportunities as the shorter session but culminating in a full production.
The company has experienced consistent growth in season subscriptions over the past decade, and Solow says dedicated audience members come not just from Fauquier County, but parts of Prince William County and elsewhere.
Fauquier Community Theatre has also been expanding its theatre education program as part of its goal of offering a range of challenging creative opportunities that inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in theatre. The company is introducing a summer Adult Musical Audition Workshop for the first time this year. The company plans to offer more summer workshops in the future.
For more information on Fauquier Community Theatre, click here.