Since the Richard E. Greene Theatre was established in 1993, the main curtain has been opening and closing across the stage and the seats have been sat in by countless audience members.
Over two decades later, the second hand seats, that were originally from Radio City Music Hall, are breaking and the curtains are wearing out. Recently, the theater has already received some updates, and Principal Amy Rhoney thought it would be fitting to finish off the entire renovation by updating the curtains and seats.
“We got our screen, our projector, and they refinished the floor . We just thought new seats, carpet, and paint on the floor…once we get that done it pretty much had a remodel so we just wanted to get everything,” Rhoney said.
According to theatre teacher Sarah Leary, it was Rhoney who decided that it was necessary to take action and request county funding to upgrade the theater, along with the need to maintain up to code fire safety precautions.
“It’s actually a fire law that curtains in a theater without a fire curtain are replaced once every 10 years,” said Leary, “It is also just because Mrs.Rhoney noticed them falling apart and said ‘Well if we’re going to have this nice theater with this nice new projector unit and have all these nice meetings in here, we should have the equipment and facilities to back it.’ so she proposed the idea to me of seeking county funding for curtains.”
The county approved to fund the replacement curtains and according to Leary, the curtains are being created right now and will arrive at the school in mid to late September.
“I think they were a necessity. The black legs (a type of curtain) have huge holes in them which only does not look good, it’s a danger when you’re moving sets around backstage and it’s dark,” senior and president of drama club Elizabeth Miller said.
As for the seats, this summer the county will consider funding to completely replace them, and Rhoney hopes to see brand new seats in the theater before the next school year. Choir Director Aleisa Baker, who Rhoney says is a key player in the whole process, says the curtains will look exactly the same, but she does have her own preferences towards what the new seats will look like.
“My personal hope is when we do get to the point where we get to pick the seats, hopefully we’ll be a part in that deciding process, I advocate for seats without fabric on the back so that there is less fabric in the room and acoustically that will help us in choir,” Baker said.
Miller believes that revamping the entire theater will not only make it look nice, but even help performers on stage.
“I really think it will give a whole new motivation to the actors to perform better to match the facilities that we’ll have, and I think that aesthetically it will improve the Richard E. Greene Theater,” Miller said.
Drama Club secretary, senior David Fine, also has his speculations on how updating the theater will improve things.
“It might draw a bigger crowd because we’ll have nice seats,” Fine said.
In the upcoming year TC Roberson’s theater will leave behind it’s decades old equipment and step into a new age.
“I’m ecstatic. I think it’s long overdue and I’m really glad that they found the funding to do that (replace the seats and curtains); we’re very thankful,” Miller said.