Dear Patrons and Friends of Joplin Little Theatre:
In less than two months JLT will begin its 75th Season of producing some of the finest community theatre in the fourstates area. A lot of changes have happened to the Park Playhouse since it first became home to Joplin Little Theatre in 1948. From improvements in seating, parking and staging, to major renovations and upgrades in the 1990′s that expanded the technical capabilities of the theatre.
We’ve also had minor improvements over the years, from paint and carpet, new drapes, furniture and atrium covers. We’ve introduced online ticketing, social media and other behind-the-scenes upgrades.
As we look forward to the coming years, we looked around for some projects that we could tackle that we could tie into our 75th Season. We’ve begun several projects that will be completed in time for our Angel Guild Opening Gala that will give JLT a bit of a refresh, most of them due to the generosity of a special donor (further announcements on this later) and Angel Guild. Along with some new paint and carpeting, we have three major changes in the works.
Our awning on the front of the building was recently damaged by wind. The JLT Board of Directors had already been discussing possible changes and upgrades on the awning to give us more exposure to the community passing by the theatre. (It’s amazing that even after being in the same location for sixty-six years, many in the area still don’t know where we are!) We’re getting a new front awning with signage on three sides to allow us to better advertise our upcoming events.
The other two changes go hand-in-hand. For many years, patrons and donors could make a donation to the theatre and in return receive floor tiles in the lobby of the theatre and have them engraved with their names or the names of loved ones. Over the past twenty years or so, a large number of these tiles were damaged or worn to the point that the entire lobby needed to be retiled. This was no small project and we wanted to see if there was a way to improve upon this important part of our history, to make it more enduring. The type of tile previously used on the flooring is pretty durable, as long as it is laid down, maintained and not disturbed. The process of removing tiles for engraving and replacing them caused problems, however, which led to tiles needing to be replaced completely. The new flooring is a ceramic-based product that should last for many decades longer than the original tile. However, this also prevents us from removing and engraving the floor tiles, so we needed a way to recreate and honor those who were already a part of the JLT history through the lobby floor.
This led to the third major project which will actually be part of the whole 75th season. Joplin Little Theatre will have a photo tile mural (or murals, depending on final size and design) in the lobby. Because of the process used to create the various mural tiles, we can print any photo or design we desire on the individual tiles. Quite soon we’ll be sending more information to all current donors and relatives of those donors who’ve passed on. Imagine being able to create a tile that contains not just your name or the name of your loved ones, but a photo as well! During this season we’ll have a mockup or prototype of the new mural hanging in the lobby so you can see what we’re working towards.
We are also working EXTREMELY hard to find a way to preserve the “masks” medallion that is in the center of the lobby floor. At this time it HAS NOT been removed from the lobby floor, and we are doing all we can to find a way to leave this important piece of art where it resides and protect it.
The Board of Directors understands that change can often be jarring, but we hope that these changes will improve the flavor and allure of the Park Playhouse while honoring those who’ve been a part of its history for so long.
If you have any questions or comments, PLEASE feel free to send us a message via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (mural null@null joplinlittletheatre NULL.org) or postal mail to PO Box 374, Joplin, MO 64802
Thank you for your support of Joplin Little Theatre!
President, JLT Board of Directors