Southern Coalition for the Arts Rocks The Coalfield Jamboree in Logan
Southern Coalition for the Arts, a non-profit community theatre and community
workshop based in Logan, WV, opened their holiday production of A Christmas Carol at the Coalfield Jamboree theater (pictured at right) in downtown Logan this past Friday to a delighted audience of about 250 people.
Southern Coalition for the Arts, led by Managing Director Jamie Butcher, has been getting a lot of attention this year. (The good kind!) The relatively new organization caught the eye of statewide media with their production of Shrek the musical this past “Shrektember,” and made their way into national news as the winner of Create West Virginia’s Pitch Your Idea contest in October 2014.
The mission of the Logan-based organization is to “better southern West Virginia by teaching new skills and life values through artistic exposure and creative expression.” Joshua Butcher (pictured at right), who starred in the production as Ebenezer Scrooge, said that he also hoped the group could help make Logan a cultural destination for high-quality community theater.
The partnership between Southern Coalition for the Arts and the Coalfield Jamboree theater is a testament to what’s possible when civic groups roll up their sleeves and work in collaboration to make their community a better place.
The Coalfield Jamboree, once a thriving Vaudeville theatre in downtown Logan, had fallen into disrepair by the mid-20th century. But, thanks to the efforts of the Logan community, the venue has been remade into a modern event space – while retaining its original design and grandeur. Jackie Tomblin (pictured below), wife of the late Tom “Rose” Tomblin, said that when renovations began, you could see daylight through the ceiling of the old theater.
Both Butcher and Tomblin said that the partnership between Southern Coalition for the Arts and the Coalfield Jamboree was beneficial for both groups. “Before now, the space was mostly used for concerts and graduations,” Butcher said. Tomblin, who is involved in preserving and promoting the Coalfield Jamboree, remarked that she was glad to see so many young people involved in theater and the community.
Southern Coalition for the Arts has announced its 2015 season, which features musicals Smoke on the Mountain, Big Fish, and The Addams Family, and the classic holiday drama Miracle on 34th Street. Season tickets are available for purchase on Southern Coalition for the Arts’ web site.
We’ve already got our season tickets. We hope to see you there!