Shelby County Players plans to build a second floor for the facility as part of its renovation, which will increase space by about 4,500 square feet. SCP raised over $1.5 milion of its $2.5 million goal. Submitted rendering
Shelby County Players plans to build a second floor for the facility as part of its renovation, which will increase space by about 4,500 square feet. SCP raised over $1.5 milion of its $2.5 million goal. Submitted rendering
After leaving the theatre on South Tompkins Street in 2010, Shelby County Players searched for a permanent home for nearly a decade.

Now, the local community theatre group has a new home, following an announcement Friday evening.

Shortly before the premiere of “Bad Seed,” representatives provided an update on SCP’s future home to audience members in the lobby.

SCP is past the halfway point of its $2.5 million goal, having raised a little more than $1.5 million. The goal includes an endowment to support programs and future capital needs, Frank Zerr, a member of the Board of Trustees said.

“We now need the community at large to play their part and help Shelby County Players open their next act in an expanded theatre space,” he said.

The organization unveiled renderings of what the renovated building will look like on the outside, as well as the floor plans on the inside.

The building will be expanded by about 4,500 square feet with the addition of a second floor.

That floor will include a fly system above the main stage, one of the highlights that will “provide seamless scene transitions during a show while creating a safer work environment for volunteers backstage,” said Greg Cox, technical director.

It will also include an orchestra and rehearsal room that can house a band during a performance, he said. That room will double as a recording studio “where local musicians can come in and produce professional, high-quality recordings,” he said.

He also noted that the LED lighting system will be eco-friendly and state-of-the-art, which “will feature some of the newest technology and fixtures on today’s market. With a full spectrum of color and light available for our designers, it will provide them with a world of endless creative possibilities when designing a show.”

The upgrades will rival some of the larger venues in Indianapolis, Cox said.

“The whole system is designed to provide our designers with creative opportunities unlike anything they’ve had before, all while creating a unique and immersive theatrical experience for this community, the city, the county and the surrounding areas,” he said.

On the first floor, the main stage will be 2,180 square feet with 148 seats. The current lobby will remain as such but will add seating.

The first floor plans also include a costume design shop, a costume storage room, a 1,145 square foot space for a set design shop, tool shop and paint shop; and 1,375 square feet for a space designated for a props design shop and props storage.

In 2019, the organization bought the building, which was previously a bowling alley before SCP started leasing it. The location has served as a rehearsal and storage space since 2011. But once the COVID-19 pandemic arrived last year, no shows could be performed and SCP officials focused on where they were going strategically.

While the building was used as a rehearsal and storage facility, during that time the organization performed at the Strand Theatre. That meant moving sets to and from the Strand, adding more work.

Shelby County Development Corp. Executive Director Brian Asher, who also serves on the City Council, told the audience that while most people believe economic development focuses on attracting new companies, it is really about attracting people.

“A project like this is exactly what we need here in Shelbyville,” he said. “Not only in Shelbyville, but this side of town. This side of town is going to be able to attract homes, retail, and the city is 100 percent behind that.”

Likewise, County Council member Tony Titus said when the council meets with site developers, lately they are asked about the arts scene in the community.

The donut counties surrounding Marion County are thriving in population.

“Most of that is because of the arts,” he said. “They have big participation in those areas. It’s interesting that Shelby County is finally going to take the next step with this project.”
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