By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 20, 2019
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Backstage is buzzing in Valdosta as crews begin building sets for the Peach State Summer Theatre.
The musical theatre series will soon begin its 30-year anniversary season. Cast and crew are in Valdosta preparing for opening day, but organizers say the series is about more than just what takes the stage; it's also an opportunity to shine a new light on Valdosta.
The Peach State Summer Theatre is featuring three rotating musical at Valdosta State University. The first is Mamma Mia, followed by Little Women and Crazy for You.
The theatre employs more than 70 people, most of them from all across the nation. As they call Valdosta home for the season, the shows also help generate local tourism, with an audience from all across the southeast.
"We provide a reason for people to come to Valdosta in the summertime. When they come, they do other activities in the city, they go to restaurants, they go to other historical museums and all of the things that Valdosta has to offer," said Artistic Director Jacque Wheeler. "They experience not only the theatre community, but also everything that Valdosta has to offer for tourists. One of our goals, part of our mission for the Peach State Summer Theatre, is to help to contribute to making Valdosta a tourist destination."
The university is hoping to build a new, larger performing arts center. The project is now on hold, waiting on state funding. Theatre organizers hope that with the summer series, local interest in the theatre continues to grow.
Tickets will be going on sale later this week, with the box office opening Friday. Mamma Mia! will be the first show to take the stage, with opening night on June 7.