West T. Hill theater survived pandemic; announces new season

West T. Hill Community Theatre survived the pandemic.

That’s the message theater executive director Karen Logue wants to shout at the top of her lungs from center stage. And to celebrate, WTHCT is announcing its upcoming season of performances — pre-pandemic style — with open auditions, fulls casts and, hopefully, sold out shows at full capacity.

“We stayed alive as best we could,” Logue said. “I’m very excited about the upcoming season. But mostly I’m excited that we made it!”

A handful of performances were pre-cast with just a few veteran actors and were performed during the 2020-2021 season, Logue said. The pandemic also caused the theater to drastically limit capacity in the building to 30 people at one time, which included cast, staff, and audience, Logue said.

But when the new season opens in September, “It’s going to be 100% capacity,” Logue exclaimed — room for 125 audience members and unlimited cast and crew.

During the 2020 shut-down of most businesses in Danville, the theater eventually was only allowed to have about 25 people in the audience. Logue said the WTHCT board of directors was concerned that it wouldn’t be able to pay its rent and utilities.

“We had little income. There were no sponsors,” she said.

However, “It’s been great to watch how the board has been supporting the theater,” Logue said. Plus, “We have lots of wonderful patrons.”

Occasionally some patrons sent the theater money throughout the season just to help out financially. “Every time there was a check in the mail, it was like Christmas,” Logue said.

Now, she and the theater board want the public to know that the shows will go on. “We want people to see we have survived.”

So, by announcing the 2021-2022 season (which runs from September to September) and its 43rd season, Logue said, “We are pretty proud.”

Before you know it, open auditions will be held for the production of “Bus Stop,” the first play of the season, she said. Auditions will be held Aug. 1 and 2, and there will be roles for three women and five men.

Those who are interested in performing, whether they are experienced or not, are encouraged to audition.

“We love to cast new people,” Logue exclaimed.

2021-2022 season for West T. Hill Community Theatre

• “Bus Stop” by William Inge

Sept. 17-19 & 24-26

Auditions Aug. 1, 2 (Roles for three women and five men)

• Kids Halloween Show

Two one-act plays for kids

Oct. 22-24

Auditions Sept. 12 (Roles for at least five girls and five boys

• “It’s a Wonderful Life” The Radio Play by Philip Grecian, based on the file by Frank Capra

Dec. 3-5 & 9-11

Pre-cast

• “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley

Feb. 11-13 & 18-20

Auditions Dec. 12, 13 (Roles for four women and two men)

“Motherhood Out Loud” conceived by Susan Rose and Joan Stein

May 12-15

Auditions March 27, 28 (Roles for at least eight women and one man)

• “Singing in the Rain, Junior” by Camden, Green & Freed

July 8-10 & 15-17, 2022

Auditions May 15, 16 (Roles for six girls, six boys and at least eight ensemble singers and dancers)