As preparations get underway for season two’s final production, “The Music Man,” Foothills Community Players finds itself in a situation its members probably didn’t anticipate when they staged their first show just a year and a half ago.
Call it a case of growing pains, but the Blount County-based community theater group has accumulated two seasons’ worth of sets, props and costumes, prompting a search for a local facility that can accommodate not just its storage needs but its rehearsal needs as well.
“We’ve been fortunate to have access to wonderful performance venues like the Capitol Theatre in downtown Maryville and the new Clayton Center for the Arts,” said FCP president Lisa Blair. “But we’ve recently experienced a growing need for a single space where we can build sets, store set pieces, props and costumes and hold our rehearsals on a full-time basis.”
So far, the group has utilized a hodgepodge of locations around the area - including members’ garages, warehouses, basements and church fellowship halls - to carry out those functions. However, some of those existing spaces have reached their capacity, while others will soon no longer be available due to renovation.
“Ideally, we’d like to find one location, perhaps near downtown Maryville, that could be an ongoing base of operations for us leading up to each performance run at the Capitol or the Clayton Center,” Blair said. “Being able to store materials from previous shows as well as build sets and have rehearsals for the upcoming show would allow us to focus more of our energy on producing high-quality plays for our loyal patrons and all theatre lovers in our area.”
Blair noted that the group’s budgetary limitations make paying a monthly rental fee prohibitive, so they’re appealing to the generosity of area property and business owners to contribute the use of a space.
Foothills Community Players’ next production is “The Music Man,” which will be staged in the main hall of the Clayton Center for the Arts, July 2 to 4 and July 8 to 11. For information, call 865-712-6428.