Court Square Theater History
Court Square Theater was once the home of Rockingham Motor Company (RMC), one of the premier car dealers in Downtown Harrisonburg from the 1920s through 1970s. When downtown revitalization began in 1998, Court Square Theater (originally called The Rockingham Theater) was carved out of the existing building along with three other businesses. The architecture of the old RMC was kept intact, with outside RMC crests preserved – and duplicated inside of the theater. The ticket box office came from the historic Kavanaugh hotel, lending another note of history.
In 2000 a group of local citizens who had long dreamed of bolstering the arts within the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities, came together on the Rockingham Theater stage to form the organization now known as Arts Council of the Valley. The new nonprofit was charged with managing the theater as its performing arts branch and creating innovative partnerships in the arts among area civic organizations, businesses, schools, and artists.
Court Square Theater Launches New ACT ONE Educational Program with Willy Wonka Jr Auditions
Court Square Theater (CST) announces the rollout of its new educational program: ACT ONE. The program is designed to foster a love for and understanding of theater through instruction in the various aspects involved in bringing a production from script to stage.
ACT ONE will hold auditions this month for its first production. Children and adults (minimum age: 7) are invited to audition Oct 17 and 18 (6 pm) for roles in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. To audition, please prepare a one-minute monologue and be ready to sing and read excerpts from the show. Acting resumes and headshots are requested, although not required.
Co-Directed by CST Managing Director J.P. Gulla and Second Home Learning Center Assistant Director Leeanne Shepherd, the production is scheduled February 10-19, 2023.
“Our summer theater camps generated such excitement – and an interest in learning more about how to be involved in live theater productions – that we began work right away to develop a year-round program,” explained Gulla. “That’s the backstory of ACT One, and we are thrilled to be able to launch this program!”
Gulla said ACT ONE selected the Willy Wonka JR musical as its first production to provide a fun, whimsical story that offers many great roles for people of all ages.
The delicious adventures of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring enchanting songs from the 1971 film, along with several new tunes, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. is a scrumdidilyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyONE’s sweet tooth.
Located at 41-F Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia, Court Square Theater is operated by Arts Council of the Valley (ACV). Programs are supported by 2022 Cultivating the Arts Platinum Sponsors Kathy Moran Wealth Group, Matchbox Realty, and Riner Rentals.
ACV is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to cultivating the arts and connecting communities in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Since it was established in 2000, ACV has grown into a multi-faceted community organization that fosters innovative partnerships among area businesses, civic organizations, schools, and artists. Today, ACV manages Court Square Theater and Smith House Galleries, funds local art projects through its Advancing the Arts grant program (awarding more than $436,000 since 2001), and coordinates monthly First Fridays of the Valley community gatherings.
ACV is supported in part by the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. To learn more, visit valleyarts.org.
Meet the Team
Managing Director of Court Square Theater
Head House Manager