SKOWHEGAN, Maine (NEWSCENTER) - Veteran theater producer and Skowhegan resident Jon Kimbell will be exploring ways to revitalize and improve the Skowhegan Opera House located on the second floor of the town's municipal building.
The Opera House has served as a venue for well-known artists and musicians like Susan Tedeschi and Grammy winner Shawn Colvin. However, over the last several years, the location has been used for town meetings and dance recitals.
According to Kimbell, the appearance of the theater will not be changed, but rather there will be structural changes to make it a more desirable venue for performers. He noted that one of the changes will be more restrooms, specifically backstage for performers. Currently, there is only one public restroom for both patrons and performers. Additional upgrades will include the addition of dressing rooms backstage, installation of heat and air conditioning, adding insulation to soundproof the performance areas, and building elevators to move equipment to and from the stage.
Town Manager Christine Almand says that the project is in the preliminary stages and neither a cost estimate or timeline can be determined. She did say that she is very excited about the project because it will draw in more traffic for surrounding businesses like restaurants and lodging.
As the former artistic director for the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston, Kimbell is well-versed in the industry and knows what needs to be done. Through this revitilization project, Kimbell looks put the town of Skowhegan in the limelight while setting up the theater for its encore.