New digs: Summit Theatre Group gets new home

acannon@lsjournal.comJune 27, 2014 

The Cultural Arts Center at MCC-Longview will be the new home of Summit Theatre Group

COURTESY PHOTO

The Summit Theatre Group has a new place to call home: Cultural Arts Center on the Metropolitan Community College - Longview campus.

Back in May, the Summit Theatre Group board agreed to hold three performances a year in the Cultural Arts Center’s 240-seat auditorium.

At the time, STG wasn’t looking for a home base. The CAC, which also holds an art gallery, actually reached out and offered them the space.

STG president Ben Martin doesn’t know why the CAC approached them, not that it matters.

“They have their reasons, and we’re happy whatever the reasons are,” Martin said.

For the relatively new CAC (it opened in 2008), it was a chance to gain a foothold in the Lee’s Summit’s arts community.

“We were looking for a local group to have a local residency,” said Ryan Morehead, director of the CAC.

After a couple months of hammering out the details, the STG’s 13-member board approved the deal unanimously.

To Martin, the CAC provides a place for STG, which first performed in March of 2012, to call home. STG even has use of office space at the Center.

“It gives us a good, stable base to work from,” he said, noting that he now has a location to tell people when they ask where STG is located.

So far, the match has been nearly perfect. Martin complimented the functionality of the theater space, including its lighting and sound capabilities and the ease of working with the CAC staff. And since it’s only three performances a year, STG still has other venue options during the season.

“That still leaves us the opportunity to do shows out and about,” Martin said.

For instance, STG will perform “Godspell” at Lee’s Summit Christian Church (on the corner of Tudor Road and 291 Highway) Aug. 7-10. The company also uses the Emaline Ballroom (616 SW 3rd Street) for some productions, including the upcoming “Gifts of the Magi,” Dec. 4-7.

STG has used the CAC for performances in the past, most recently for its rendition of Adam Arterbridge’s “Boeing Boeing” back in early April.

Morehead has attended all of the STG shows held at Longview. He’s enjoyed them all, especially “Boeing Boeing.”

“It was hilarious. It was very, very good,” he said. “Very fun to watch.”

Morehead wasn’t the only one. He reported that all the shows at the CAC were attended heavily.

This collaborative move could be just the beginning for the CAC’s increased community involvement.

“I think the success of the Cultural Arts Center depends on the relationships we make with the community,” Morehead said. “It’s Lee’s Summit’s Cultural Arts Center.”

Another Arterbridge play, “All My Sons,” will play at the CAC Sept. 12-13 and 19-21.

Patrons can purchase tickets for all the shows at Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee locations and online at brownpapertickets.com. The price for adult admission is $15 while students and seniors can secure a seat for $12. For more information on the upcoming shows, auditions or how to get involved with STG, visit: summittheatregroup.com.

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