By: Brooke Curley
WILLCOX – For anyone interested in an aspect of the performing arts, the Willcox Theater is bringing an opportunity for education and creativity.
The Willcox Historic Theater is creating a community arts and activity space, naming it Studio 128. The new studio is located at 128 N. Railroad Ave., adjacent to the Willcox Historic Theater. According to the news release by Gayle Berry, President of the Willcox Historic Theater Preservation Inc.
“One key program of Studio 128 will be a Friday art program for youth,” Berry said. “Plans under development include regular and varied art programs on Fridays throughout the year that will actively involve students in a variety of visual and performing activities.”
However, the studio is not necessarily linked with any school or college. Gary Clement, Director of the Willcox Historic Theater told Gila Valley Central that the studio will act as an open lab for students who may need to finish a project.
“Basically, what we’re going to do is we’re not really going to link with them,” Clement said. “We will be here; Think of us as a fill-in. You can schedule time to finish your projects. There will be people who know how to handle and help you out with your project. If you need editing done or if you need to lay tracks down, we will be here to help.”
One major aspect of the new studio is that the live performances, which previously had to be scheduled around movie showings in the historic theater, now can now be given their much-needed space. The front of the new studio includes a room for dinner theater and original film viewings. With a retractable screen for convenient viewing and digital lighting, the large main room of Studio 128 is an area of many uses.
Hiring knowledgeable individuals to aid anyone who wishes to make use of the green screen and sound recording equipment, Clement will oversee the studio’s progress. However, creativity will be given the leeway it needs to thrive.
“Studio 128 will have both the space and the programming for people to exercise their creative muscles,” Berry said. “People may bring many more ideas to use Studio 128 in creative ways, so we are very excited to be underway.”
The grand opening of Studio 128 will be Jan. 14. There will be music, snacks and workshops, including creative crafts. The front of the studio serves as where live performances and screenings will be scheduled, while the back of the studio is where the green screen and sound studio is still in construction. According to Clement, the necessary grants for finishing the construction of the back of the studio have been approved, they are simply waiting for them to process. Clement said he estimates construction will be complete in several months.
For more information visit www.willcoxtheater.com.