Summer music series serves as fundraiser for Edgefield theater

A summer cabaret music series will benefit The Piazza, which once renovated will be the home of Edgefield County Theatre Company. The new space will have a 99-seat theater with a raised stage and fully functional set, costume and prop shops. Also, the lobby will include space to highlight the art of local artists. SPECIAL

During the summer months, several singers will lend their voices to raise money for Edgefield County Theatre Company’s new home. The summer series will feature three cabaret performances at the Piazza in Edgefield. The opener will be Saturday, June 17, with Rebekah Robeson and Ryan Abel.

 

“I’m really excited to be able to perform with Ryan again,” said Robeson, who is also a member of the theater company’s board of directors. She and Abel performed the lead roles in Beauty and the Beast with Aiken Community Playhouse in the fall. The two will each perform solos as well as a few duets.

Other concerts include Paul Jones and Katie Reagan on July 15, and Cara Doolittle, Whitney McDonald and Karlton Timmerman on Aug. 19. Most of the concerts will include show tunes.

“Last Valentine’s and Christmas, we had really successful cabaret events. We had ensembles from Aiken, Edgefield and Augusta. They were fun and audiences responded really well,” she said. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to bring in performers who hadn’t done shows in Edgefield.”

These cabaret performances will be on a smaller scale to the ones at Valentine’s Day and Christmas, which featured about six performers.

The shows will be at the Piazza, but the building, which started as a movie theater and was later used as retail space, needs a lot of work before it can fulfill the vision the organization has for it. The cabaret performances will be held outside the theater with the singers on the porch and the patrons under a tent in the parking lot.

The group acquired the building last fall and has had plans drawn up for renovations. Organization officials are meeting with contractors to determine how much the renovations will cost. The new space will have a 99-seat theater with a raised stage and fully functional set, costume and prop shops. Also, the lobby will include space to highlight the art of local artists.

Robeson said the hopes are to have the lobby space open even when there isn’t a production taking place. And the plans are to open the theater within a year or 18 months.

For the 2017-2018 season, the group will continue to do what it has done over the past season: rent spaces as the need arises.

“We’ve got a great relationship with Mount Vintage, and we’ve done a couple of things at Johnson United Methodist Church. There are a whole array of places that have been very supportive,” she said.

All of the performances will begin at 7 p.m. at the Piazza. Single tickets are $15 or $40 for the entire series. Call (803) 336-8726.

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