Hipp Stage Productions announces its summer theatre productions of Cabaret (June 22 – 25, and June 30 – July 2) at Peoples Bank Theatre and Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (June 28 – 29, July 1 – 9) at Muskingum Park. Cabaret will be directed by Geoff Coward, with musical direction by David Tadlock, and choreography by Jill Ruff. The Merchant of Venice will be directed by Andy Felt. Both shows are produced in collaboration with the Marietta College Theatre Department.

The first round of auditions for dancers and the roles of Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider will take place January 4 at 6 p.m. at Marietta Dance Academy located at Frontier Shopping Center, 150 Gross Street, Marietta.

Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz are both mature, middle-age, and Jewish. Fraulein Schneider is a down-to-earth realist, and she sometimes mixes speech and singing, so we are interested in hearing those who feel comfortable doing this kind of character voice. Her singing range is very low. Listen to the soundtrack excerpts to get an idea of her character. Those auditioning for Fraulein Schneider will sing TWO song excerpts – “So What” and “It Couldn’t Please Me More.” Refer to the audio files and score excerpts below.

1. So What (Fraulein Schneider)
Download PDF of sheet music – Listen:


2. It Couldn’t Please Me More (Fraulein Schneider, Herr Schultz)
Download PDF of sheet music – Listen:

Herr Schultz is a sweet man, ever the optimist, even when it blinds him to the truth. He sings in a mature, romantic tenor voice that requires some high notes. Those auditioning for Herr Schultz will only sing one song excerpt, “It Couldn’t Please Me More,” available at the link above

For the Kit Kat Dancers at this audition, we’re looking for technically trained dancers age 17 and older with some tap experience. There may be some singing involved with the dancers, so we’d like to hear everyone sing a short verse of “Mein Herr,” using whatever singing voice feels comfortable to you – it can be cute, defiant, or something in between. A guide to the German pronunciation is on the sheet music. (The singing may not be a strict requirement.)

Mein Herr (Kit Kat Dancers)

Download PDF of sheet music – Listen:

It is possible that some of the dancers may also be eligible to play one of the “named” Kit Kat character performers, but this will require a later audition. The primary “named” Kit Kat character roles have solos and duets, and must be good singers as well as dancers.

Please practice with the audio files and score excerpts above. We will use these recorded accompaniments in the audition, in order to make everything equal for everyone. Thanks – We look forward to hearing you!


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to Tanya Tucker’s continuing treatment for an upper respiratory infection, her doctors have advised her to take the rest of this month off from performing. Her concert scheduled for this Friday, October 21, has been RESCHEDULED for Friday, December 9, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

V-M Charities and Peoples Bank Theatre wish Tanya a quick & speedy recovery!

Tanya’s management notes that: “This show is very important to Tanya and it means a lot to her to help the charity. Postponing the concert is not something that Tanya wants to do, but she has been advised by her doctors, and her health is the number one concern at this time.”

Please hold on to your tickets! Tickets already purchased for the October 21 concert are still valid for the December 9 concert date. If you are unable to make the rescheduled date, please email the box office at tickets@nullpeoplesbanktheatre.com with your confirmation number and contact information, or call the box office at 740-371-5152. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Heritage Ohio presented the Historic Theater of the Year to Peoples Bank Theatre. The award was accepted by Peoples Bank Theatre, Tuesday, October 11th at Heritage Ohio’s Annual Revitalization and Preservation Awards Ceremony held at the historic Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati. The Awards Ceremony is held in conjunction with Heritage Ohio’s Statewide Conference.

Built in 1919 as the Hippodrome and renamed the Colony Cinema in 1949, this Marietta landmark closed in 1985. Almost one hundred years after the initial opening; thirty years after closing; and after more than ten years of hard work and $7.5 million in restoration by the non-profit Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association, Peoples Bank Theatre opened January 8, 2016. The activities that have taken place since then have served as a dramatic exclamation point to the beautiful restoration work by general contractor, Grae-Con Construction. Since its opening the theatre has had a number of sell-out shows and hosted Ohio Governor, John Kasich’s, “State of the State” address.

“We are really excited to receive this award from Heritage Ohio,” says Hunt Brawley, Executive Director of the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association and Peoples Bank Theatre. “As the leading advocate for historic preservation in the state of Ohio, Heritage Ohio has always been supportive of this project to restore our historic theatre. They were instrumental in establishing the Ohio State Historic Tax Credit, which was a major funding piece for this theatre. This award is a reflection of a lot of hard work by our board and staff, as well as the support of the people of Marietta and the surrounding community.”

Heritage Ohio is the statewide, not-for-profit preservation organization, dedicated to encouraging and assisting people and organizations to protect, preserve and revitalize Ohio’s heritage. Formed in 1989, is the coordinating agency for the Ohio Main Street Program. In 2002, Heritage Ohio was designated as the statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Heritage Ohio mission is to help people: save the places that matter, building community, and live better. Learn more at www.heritageohio.org.

Learn more about the ways to support the continued preservation of the historic Peoples Bank Theatre at peoplesbanktheatre.com/support/.


On September 16, 1986, country music legend Randy Travis performed at the Colony Theatre in Marietta, Ohio, just as his career was taking off. Almost 30 years later on Thursday September 15, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., Travis will return to the stage of the present-day Peoples Bank Theatre. Travis will not be performing, due to a stroke he suffered three years ago, but he will make an appearance to be honored and enjoy the show. Chuck Lipps, VP of Rick Modest & Associates, was a member of the opening band The Breeze at the 1986 show and opened many others for Travis from 1987 through 1997. He has continued his friendship with Travis over the years and is very proud that RMA could put this show together.

The show will feature The Randy Travis Band with special guest vocalist Kevin Denney. Opening the show will be two former members of the Breeze, drummer Lipps and bass guitarist Ron Bevan, along with lead guitarist Dave James and steel guitarist Gary Carter. Carter was in Travis’s band at the 1986 show.

“To come full-circle almost 30 years to the date in the same venue is historic and certainly a part of country music history for Randy, myself, and the theatre’s executive director Hunt Brawley,” Lipps says. “From 1986 CMA Horizon Award winner to 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Randy has cemented his place in country music forever, and part of it started right here.”

Having Travis there in person is a miracle in itself. In July, 2013, he suffered a heart virus followed by a stroke that left him unable to sing. But with his intense therapy and determination, he has made great strides and “giant baby steps” in his abilities in the past three years.

“I was fortunate to visit with Randy this past December and again in May, and I saw improvement over that time,” Lipps adds. “His wife, Mary, is his rock. I truly believe he will sing again. I couldn’t think of a better way to honor him. He’s a big reason I’m still in the music business.”

Rick Modesitt & Associates is producing the show, and all proceeds will go to the newly established Randy Travis Foundation for Viral Cardiomyopathy Detection, Stroke Rehab and Music for Underprivileged Children. Tickets will go on sale at noon on August 24 at peoplesbanktheatre.com and at the Box Office: 740-371-5152.

All Esbenshade Series performances are free and open to the public. Beginning August 22 you may reserve your seats for free at https://peoplesbanktheatre.com/events/category/esbenshade-series/ or call the Peoples Bank Theatre Box Office at 740-371-5152. Subscribe to our email list to be notified when reservations open.

For anyone who hasn’t attended an Esbenshade Series performance at Marietta College in recent years — or if you have — you should be in for a real treat this year as the schedule is filled with exciting acts.

Musical acts are the driving force behind this year’s five events — four of which will be held at the new Peoples Bank Theatre in downtown Marietta — including Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, as well as the Branford Marsalis Quartet with Kurt Elling.

“We have an exciting line up of performers for the 2016-17 season,” said Tanya Wilder, Director of the Esbenshade Series. All performances are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats for free at peoplesbanktheatre.com or call the Peoples Bank Theatre Box Office at 740-371-5152.

The 36th season begins with author Kao Kalia Yang on Friday, September 16. She will give a lecture to the freshman class at noon, meet with international students and education majors later in the afternoon, and then give a 7 p.m. lecture for the community in the Alma McDonough Auditorium.

Yang is a teacher, public speaker and writer. She is also the author of the award-winning book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir and the book, The Song Poet. She is a graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her family.

The rest of the Esbenshade Series performances will take place at Peoples Bank Theatre, beginning with Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn at 3 p.m., Sunday, October 9. Fleck has been called one of the world’s premiere banjo players. Fleck was raised in New York City and love watching The Beverly Hillbillies as a young boy. The bluegrass sounds of Flatt & Scruggs flowed out of the TV set and into his young brain. Earl Scruggs’s banjo style hooked Béla’s interest immediately. Fleck’s wife, Abigail Washburn, is a well-known Nashville-based claw hammer banjo player. Abigail and Béla are touring the world as a “trio” with their young son, Juno.

Gavin George, a 13-year-old piano prodigy from Westerville, Ohio, will close out the fall semester with a concert at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 20. George was a gold-medal winner in 2010 and 2011 in the American Association for the Development of the Gifted and Talented International Piano Competition, and he performed twice in Carnegie Hall. He made his orchestral debut at the age of 7 and is hailed as one of the world’s most talented up-and-coming pianists.

The Esbenshade Series returns in the spring semester with The Shaolin Warriors from China, known throughout the world for their deadly martial-arts prowess, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 5. Beginning at a very early age, the Warriors are trained in mental and physical disciplines that allow them to perform stunning, spectacular feats of athleticism. This wonderfully colorful and choreographed theatrical production features many forms of Kung Fu.

The final performance of the 2016-17 season features the famous jazz sounds of Branford Marsalis & Quartet, along with Kurt Elling at 7 p.m., Sunday, April 23. Marsalis formed his own quartet in 1986 and, with a few minor interruptions in the early years, has sustained the unit as his primary means of expression. Elling is a jazz vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalist.

In part, these events have been funded by the Frederica G. Esbenshade Memorial Fund, which provides annual income for the purpose of bringing lectures, performing artists or programs of diverse nature to the campus for public appearances. The endowed fund was established in 1980 by Harry H. Esbenshade, Sr. and Harry H. Esbenshade, Jr., husband and son, respectively, of the late Mrs. Esbenshade of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. All events are free and open to the public.

Peoples Bank Theatre is excited to announce the artists for the second half of our 2016 Spotlight Series.

The Summer-Fall 2016 Spotlight Series features 10 performances, encompassing a mix of music, comedy and theatre. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on June 30. PLUS Join us for a FREE season kick-off celebration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on July 17.

The series includes:

Seat Sponsors may order tickets for sponsored seats until June 21 by calling the box office at 740-371-5152, visiting the box office in person 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, or by emailing ticket requests to tickets@nullpeoplesbanktheatre.com.

Members may order tickets beginning on the following dates:

  • June 22 at 10 a.m. for Headliners and Benefactors
  • June 24 at 10 a.m. for Underwriters and Patrons
  • June 28 at 10 a.m. for Supporters and Contributors

General public ticket sales begin 10 a.m. June 30.

Subscription & Flex Plan options:

Get a subscription to all 10 shows and save 10% off regular ticket prices. Members save 20%.

Interested in tickets to 5 or more events? You can build your own season ticket and save on regular ticket prices! Or call the box office at 740-371-5152.

(Subscription and Flex Plan orders follow the same on-sale schedule as outlined above for individual ticket orders.)

Special Guest RUBY AMANFU to appear with Brandi Carlile

Ruby Amanfu will be joining Brandi Carlile for a limited number of shows in June, including her appearance at Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta Ohio on June 7.

Standing Still, the serenely stunning and incredibly intimate album by Nashville songbird Ruby Amanfu, will be released via Thirty Tigers / Rival & Co Records on August 28th. Ruby, backed by a six-piece band, created Standing Still in just five days, recording and living in a secluded log cabin in the rolling hills of Tennessee. Upon arrival at the cabin, producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris) strategically set up guitar and organ amps in bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and the basement, while Ruby set the stage, creating a mystical atmosphere for her performance by lighting candles and burning incense. The band formed a semi-circle in the living room and Standing Still reflects that intimacy. The entire album was recorded live, without bells, whistles or ProTools. “I felt at ease with my feet on those wood floors, gazing out those windows to the forest while I sang,” Ruby remembers. “It was simply nature and it was simply music – both in their purest forms. All that was left to do was breathe.”

Standing Still consists mainly of deep cuts by an eclectic array of songwriters and artists, songs that span a century of music history, from Woody Guthrie to Kanye West. Standing Still includes Ruby’s staggering take on Irma Thomas’s 1964 soul gem, “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)”, British cult hero Richard Hawley’s “As the Dawn Breaks” and Bob Dylan’s heart wrenching “Not Dark Yet”. With Kanye’s deep cut “Streetlights”, Ruby flips hip- hop on its head, transforming the song from a rap dirge into a gorgeous waltz. Patrick Carney of the Black Keys dropped by the log cabin on Day 3 and produced “Shadow on the Wall”, a song written by folk-pop songstress Brandi Carlile. Standing Still closes with Ruby’s own gorgeous composition, “I Tried”. “Everything came together so quickly,” says Ruby. “We came up with the concept and the vibe and the songs and then just went and did it.”

Ruby Amanfu was born in Ghana, and her tight-knit family moved to Nashville when Ruby was just three. Ruby soaked up the sounds of Music City, and it wasn’t long before the town took notice of her incredible gift. Standing Still centers around Ruby’s ethereal and versatile voice, which has been garnering her critical acclaim since the third grade, when she crushed her classmates at the annual talent show and won the grand prize: a pack of 10 gumballs. By age fifteen Ruby was the youngest member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus as well as writing and recording her own material. Soon she was half of Sam & Ruby, whose 2009 album, The Here And The Now, was named Associated Press’s Album of the Year, and is considered a landmark in Nashville’s thriving pop scene. And Ruby has always been a first call as a studio vocalist, collaborating with artists as diverse as Kelly Clarkson, Jason Isbell, Norah Jones, Brittany Howard, Ben Folds, Hozier, Joy Williams, Jakob Dylan, Buddy Miller, Butch Walker, Alison Mosshart, Ann Wilson, Patti LaBelle and Wanda Jackson. In 2011, Ruby was hand-picked by Jack White to be his singing partner on his first solo album Blunderbuss. Their duet, “Love Interruption”, became Jack’s first hit as a solo artist, and Jack and Ruby performed an incendiary version of “Love Interruption” live at the 2013 Grammys.

In November of 2013, Ruby’s life and career took an unexpected turn. “I was performing at a benefit show called Dylan Fest in New York City, and I sang a Dylan song called ‘Not Dark Yet,'” she remembers. “The lyrics are so beautiful and poignant. They resonated with me, especially at that particular time in my life, and quite honestly, left me onstage in tears.” Ruby’s performance electrified the packed house, (which included Patrick Carney) and earned her a rapturous five-minute ovation. “It was a moment that I will never, ever, forget,” Ruby says, “I saw tears on peoples’ faces in the crowd, much like my own. And the next night, at the second Dylan Fest, I performed the song again and it happened then, too. It was, like, the most wonderful kind of déjà vu.”

After that show, Ruby huddled with the band and the producers of the show and a plan was hatched to regroup and make an album as soon as possible. “The idea was to choose a bunch of amazing, obscure songs that really fit what I was feeling at the time, and could sing like they were my own, and put them through the prism of myself with this band,” says Ruby, who is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter, for her song “Heaven’s My Home.” “I’d originally planned to release an album of all of my own songs, but sometimes the universe just leads you where you’re not expecting to go. Besides, all the greats have made albums of other peoples’ songs. From Aretha, to Emmylou, even Dylan. I felt I could follow in that tradition. I felt I had something to contribute.”

Legendary music man Mark Howard, who has worked with Daniel Lanois on landmark albums like Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind, Willie Nelson’s Teatro and Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball, was brought on board to engineer and produce, and Ruby collaborated with Standing Still’s co-producer (and Dylan Fest founder) Austin Scaggs on an eclectic list of songs to record.

“Every lyric I sang meant the world to me,” she says. “The five days we spent in the cabin making Standing Still feel like a dream…but it wasn’t just a dream, and we have the album to prove it.”


Make it a family event! For Mother’s Day weekend, we’re offering Buy 2, Get 1 free for Ballet Folklorico Mexico!

Call the box office at 740-371-5152 to take advantage of this special offer.


Peoples Bank Theatre is excited to welcome Missoula Children’s Theatre for a summer production of Pinocchio. Performances are scheduled for Saturday, July 23 at 3 p.m. and 5:30.

Geppetto fashioned the puppet in the image of a small boy. Even as the lonely and kind woodcarver worked far into the night, old Geppetto was not aware that the wood under the chisel had come from the trunk of an enchanted tree. But the Blue Fairy was aware, as she watched from afar and gave to that puppet the gift of life. Thus begins the Missoula Children’s Theatre adaptation of one of the most beloved of all children’s stories–PINOCCHIO. Join our wooden-head as he dances with Geppetto’s charming toys, travels the road to Pleasure Isle with Candlewick and his Crew, and is swindled by the unsavory Fox and Cat. After escaping the clutches of the evil puppetmaster, Stromboli, Pinocchio finds himself in trouble once more–this time swallowed by a monstrous whale. Very scary stuff! As Geppetto and the friendly Urchins spin their magical tale, we learn with Pinocchio that there are no shortcuts on the road to becoming a real, live boy.

Auditions for Pinocchio will be Monday, July 18 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students entering 1st grade through 12th grade are encouraged to audition. Approximately 50-60 local students will be cast to appear in the show. (Please note: There is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play.) Students wishing to audition must arrive by the scheduled starting time and stay for the entire two-hour session. The first rehearsal begins approximately 15-30 minutes after the audition.

Due to time constraints, late-comers and anyone missing the initial audition may not be considered in the casting of the show.

Most students in the production will rehearse daily 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Although not all cast members will be needed at every session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week and if selected, be able to attend all rehearsals required for their role. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be distributed at the conclusion of the audition. Cast members scheduled for the full 4½ hours of rehearsal will be asked to bring a sack lunch or snack.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre is a non-profit organization based in Missoula, Montana. This coming year more than 65,000 cast members across the globe will take to the stage to the delight and applause of their families, friends, community, neighbors and teachers!

No preparation or prior experience is necessary for the audition. (But a smile never hurts!) For more info call Peoples Bank Theatre at 740-373-0894.

Peoples Bank Theatre is looking for part-time concession and box office employees. Hours are flexible and include weekends and evenings.
Candidates should possess a high commitment to outstanding customer service in a wide variety of applications, a very high standard of excellence, and (for concessions) an awareness of local, state, and federal health and sanitation laws. Must be able to stand for long periods of time, and have the ability to lift up to 35 pounds.
Desired qualities include:
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written)
  • Diplomacy skills as they pertain to customer interaction
  • Ability to maintain a clean workspace
  • A willingness to learn and grow as an overall team member
  • Upbeat, positive, and professional attitude
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Ability to be flexible in a fast-paced, changing environment
  • Reliable transportation
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume and three references to our Theatre Director, Chuck Swaney: cswaney@nullpeoplesbanktheatre.com.
Equal employment opportunity.

Read the Governor’s official announcement.

The Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association is honored by Governor John Kasich’s selection of Peoples Bank Theatre as the venue for his 2016 State of the State address on April 6. The HCHTA and Peoples Bank Theatre are proud to be able to host the Governor, members of the Ohio General Assembly, and their guests in downtown Marietta.

Since 2012, Governor Kasich has taken the State of the State on the road to the communities of Steubenville, Lima, Medina, and Wilmington, showcasing success stories across the state of Ohio. The HCHTA and Peoples Bank Theatre are delighted that the spotlight will be shining—quite literally—on our stage as we celebrate the recent successes of the preservation and reopening of this historic cultural facility, which was made possible, in part, by support from the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and the Ohio Arts Council. It is a privilege to be able to welcome Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly to Peoples Bank Theatre for what will indeed be a historic day for our community.

Tickets the Governor’s State of the State address are available by lottery through the Governor’s office.

Originally published in The Marietta Times on February 6, 2016.

by Art Smith, Marietta Times

The stage at the Peoples Bank Theatre has stood dark for decades, waiting for a rebirth that has finally occurred.

The fact that it was possible to restore the nearly century-old structure as a venue useful today links back to how the theater was original built.

When the new Hippodrome Theatre opened to the public May 9, 1919, it boasted one of the largest “legitimate theatre” stages in the Midwest and was able to stage the large Broadway style plays that toured the country. Theaters built later would have smaller stages that on average were just 15 feet deep. The one built for the “Hipp” is 35 feet deep and 55 feet wide. That large stage is intact today and allows several large productions to use the theater for shows that are due to play at the theater this year.

The theater, which mainly sat unused since 1985, itself was strong.

“Structurally the building was sound. It was built in the golden age of live venues, but it was built after the era of wood construction. It’s concrete and steel so there are no columns under the balcony. The theater has great sight lines from all the seats,” said Hunt Brawley, Director of Development for the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association. “No structural elements had to be replaced during the renovation.”

Through the 1920s the theater was used for Vaudeville acts, Broadway plays, magic acts and silent films. After 1929 the theater also was used for “talkies.”

Movies would be the mainstay for the theater for the next several decades.

In the 1940s, Shea Theatres of New York purchased the theater, remodeled it and changed the name.

Gone was a large stone arch on Putnam Street, replaced with the Southern-Colonial facade seen today. They held a contest to rename it and reopened it as the Colony Cinema on June 25, 1949.

The recent renovation returned the theater to how it looked in 1949.

Fact Box

Shows in 2016

  • – Feb. 5:The Fields of Gettysburg
  • – Feb. 13: Paula Poundstone
  • – Feb. 27: Stage Door Cabaret: Tiffany CasaSante & Friends
  • – March 4 – March 5: 10th Annual Colony Short Film Festival
  • – March 12: Kathy Mattea
  • – March 25: The Johnny Clegg Band
  • – March 26: Rhythm in the Night, The Irish Dance Spectacular
  • – April 1: Charlie Daniels Band
  • – April 3: River Cities Symphony Orchestra: Choral Concert
  • – April 15: Marking Out
  • – April 16: The McCartney Years
  • – April 23: Stage Door Cabaret: Jess Baldwin Quintet
  • – May 7: Ballet Folklorico
  • – May 14: Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • – June 4: River Cities Symphony Orchestra: America’s Greatest Pops
  • – June 15: Cashore Marionettes
  • – June 24: The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)

The theater passed through several corporate owners until 1981 when Marjorie Bee, a former employee, purchased it and operated it with her sons until closing it in 1984. Dan Stephan, Sr. bought it in 1989 with the hope that it could someday be restored. “He thought he could spend a little money and save it, he soon realized it was a lot more than he had bargained for, said Brawley, “but he did keep it from falling apart.”

Stephan owned the theater until he donated it in 2004 to a non-profit organization set up to save it. The organization got a huge boost from Peoples Bank along the way and the theater got a new name when it became the Peoples Bank Theatre.

Twelve years later the theater is fully restored, has staged several shows and is once again an important part of the Marietta community.

Restoration is apparent as soon as one walks through the doors. The tiles on the floor have been matched to fill areas that were removed through the years. A second staircase has been reopened to the balcony area; wall paintings were restored based on what was found under layers of added paint and wall coverings. All the seats were replaced in the theater with 920 period-appropriate, yet slightly wider seats.

Brawley sees the restoration as being a key part of the revitalization of downtown Marietta. “At the center of many downtown revitalizations are the theaters. Fortunate communities saved their theaters. (The Peoples Bank Theatre) was once a center of entertainment in Marietta and we hope it can be again.”

Originally published in The Marietta Times, January 28, 2016

By Brittany Landers – The Marietta Times

Triple-threat Paula Poundstone, an American stand-up comedian, author and actress, will be performing Feb. 13 at the Peoples Bank Theatre.

Best known for her observational, “everyday” humor, Poundstone’s comedic sets often involve audience member participation and a sense of spontaneity with “no two sets ever being the same.”

The Peoples Bank Theatre crowd can expect this as well as witty banter about the comedian’s life, she said in a phone interview this week.


“I talk about raising a house full of kids and animals and trying to pay attention to the news enough to cast a halfway decent vote,” said Poundstone of her set, which she deemed appropriate for most age groups.

Peoples Bank Theatre is hosting Poundstone from 8 to 9:30 p.m. the night before Valentine’s Day, with ticket prices available now for purchase, either online through the Peoples Bank Theatre website or at the box office located at 222 Putnam St. Single ticket prices range from $20 to $30.

“Ticket sales have been brisk… so far this season it has been one of our best sellers,” said Drew Tanner, marketing director for the theater. Poundstone, who has had a 35-plus-year career in the entertainment industry, has worked alongside other hilarious women like Joan Rivers and Caroline Rhea. In the ’90s, she was a correspondent on The Tonight Show and The Rosie O’Donnell Show and appeared on Hollywood Squares, among other TV appearances.

Fact Box

If you go

  • Comedian Paula Poundstone is set to perform Feb. 13 at Peoples Bank Theatre.
  • The acclaimed comic will entertain from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Tickets are available now at the box office or online at the Peoples Bank Theatre website.
  • Ticket prices range from $20 to $30.
  • Peoples Bank Theatre is located at 222 Putnam St. in Marietta.

She has also had a slew of one-hour HBO comedy specials. Named one of Comedy Central’s “Top 100 Greatest Standups of All Time,” Poundstone has most recently done voice over work for the animated film “Inside Out.” She presently partakes in NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me,” an international weekly news quiz show that has a huge following and has won both a Peabody Award and Webby Award for humor.

The comedian likens her stand-up set to her highly-improvised commentator role on the NPR podcast.

“They allow me to say whatever I want…the panelists are unscripted, so it’s perfect for me,” she said. “There is a lot of freedom on that show. People that listen come up to me in the street and tell me they enjoy the ‘free for all’ quality of it, which makes me happy.”

Poundstone added that her jokes are written organically, often inspired by doing her mundane, motherly duties.

“I have a very common life. I try to take care of my kids, pay the bills, put recycling in the right bin on the right day. My desk is full of little pieces of paper with ideas scratched on them. Now if only I could remember why I found those words funny in the first place like ‘latex gloves,'” she said.

Renowned yet relatable, this funny lady will be one act not to miss when she makes a one-night only stop in Marietta as part of her ongoing tour.

“We had a feeling her type of comedy would be well-received here,” shared Tanner. “Also, her frequent role on ‘Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me’ has local ties with an NPR affiliate, WOUB radio in Athens. The theater is actually doing a ticket giveaway in partnership with WOUB. She was a natural selection.”

Originally published January 9, 2016 in The Marietta Times

by Janelle Patterson, Marietta Times

With aerial acrobatics, contortion, juggling and magic, “Cirque-tacular’s World: European Edition” rang in a new era of professional performance and entertainment in Marietta Friday.

As the opening show of the newly resurrected Peoples Bank Theatre on Putnam Street welcomed more than 900 new patrons, local magician Steve Dixon, 57, of Marietta, captured exclamations with card tricks and slights of hand as people waited to be seated.

“I’m creating magic history as the first magician performing on a historic night in a historic theater,” he said as he shocked visitors and volunteers alike. “What a wonderful experience this is to be here and have such a night.”

“I think it’s really cool,” she said. “I have no idea how he did that.”

That awe was merely a precursor to the main event, one for which families, couples and friends all made their way to the theater.

Adele McCombs, 6, of Marietta, said her favorite part of the night was when she was pulled onto the stage by the writer, emcee and magician of Cirque-tacular, Eric Walton, 45, of New York City, for a special trick.

“He pulled the rope through him,” exclaimed McCombs. “It was behind him but then it was in front. I don’t know how it got in his pants.”

Walton said he hoped the audience walked away not only amazed and enthralled but also having learned a smidgen of the historic influences of European cultures to the art of circus performance.

“It’s a global idea that we had to really showcase the heritages and cultures of the world through circus and pay tribute or homage to their contributions,” said Walton.

Also the emcee and a magician in the show, Walton introduced each act with a glance into the European influence.

One other local resident to make his debut that night was Jerry Brock, 77, of Marietta.

“It’s fun,” he said following his part in a magic trick where Walton guessed the location and face of a coin in the hands of five participants.

Brock said the most intriguing piece of the night though was when Jared Rydelek, 30, of New York City, contorted his body into impossible positions.

“I thought it was unbelievable,” he said as he laughed.

Owner of the company and lead acrobat in the show, Tad Emptage, 39, of New York City, spoke before the show about how each piece was conceptualized.

“We start with the performers and try to figure out how we can showcase the things that individual can do through our concept or theme,” he said. “After the concept, it’s written, then the designers build the costumes and I figure out the music and choreography, we rehearse and it all comes together into something I hope the audience enjoys and maybe learns something in a quirky way.”

Emptage and Walton said they both felt honored to be the first to perform on a stage that has been vacant for 30 years.

“What’s beautiful about this is the culmination for those especially around my age, we were the ones who really grew up as the digital age was born and evolved,” said Emptage. “We saw that divide in people as the stage was vacated but now we’re here to bring it back, to bring people back together and enjoy the experience of a live show.”

The pair were joined by fellow performers all living in New York City; Aaron Bonventre, 42, Jared Rydelek, 30, Ellie Steingraeber, 31, and Kelsey Strauch, 33.

Drew Tanner, marketing director for the theater, said having the circus performance on the new stage allowed the theater to showcase all it has to offer both performers and patrons.

“This show is a really cool one to start with because it’s using so much of our stage’s rigging capability,” he said. “What a way to start the season.”

We’re excited to have you join us for our Grand Opening weekend with performances by Cirque-Tacular on January 8 and An Acoustic Evening with Travis Tritt on January 9. Both events are SOLD OUT! There hasn’t been a crowd like this at the theatre in more than 30 years. Whether you’re joining us for one show or both, we’ve put together some tips below to help make your visit to the newly reopened Peoples Bank Theatre a memorable one.

Have your tickets ready


To avoid delays at the door the day of the performance, be sure to have your tickets ready to be scanned by our volunteers. If you have Will Call tickets for Cirque-Tacular or Travis Tritt, we recommend that you do one of two things:

1) Switch your tickets from Will Call to Print-at-Home. Call the Box Office at 740-371-5152 or email tickets@nullpeoplesbanktheatre.com with your ticket order confirmation number to switch your Will Call tickets to Print-at-Home tickets.
2) Pick up your tickets ahead of the show. Beginning January 6, you may bring a photo ID to the Box Office Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to pick up your ticket(s). If you cannot pick up your tickets until the day of the show, the box office will open at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where can I park?

PBT-Parking-MapWhile Peoples Bank Theatre does not have its own parking lot, there are six lots within a short distance of the theatre, in addition to on-street parking throughout downtown Marietta. Our online Parking Map shows the location of parking lots available to Peoples Bank Theatre guests for evening events. Most are within one block of the theatre, which is located at the corner of Putnam Street and Third Street.

Make it a night out!

Dining-300x200Looking for dinner before the show or a drink afterward? From pub fare to fine dining, Marietta restaurants serve up a mixing pot of American favorites and international cuisine to suit every palate.The Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has an online dining guide to help you explore the many options available.

Please download and complete the Oklahoma! Audition Form and bring a copy with you to your audition.

Hipp Stage Productions announces OPEN AUDITIONS for its summer theatre production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Peoples Bank Theatre. Auditions take place at 3 p.m. January 31 and 7 p.m. February 1. Call-backs will begin at 7 p.m. February 2. At 8 p.m., there will be a dance call for ALL those auditioning. All auditionees should arrive wearing comfortable clothing that is appropriate for movement and closed toe shoes. Dance attire and shoes are preferred, but not required.

We are looking for a cast of 30 adults and 4 children. The musical has 9 leading/featured roles: Laurie and Aldo Annie (20s), Curley and Will Parker (20s), Aunt Eller (50-60), Jud Fry and Ali Hakim (30-40s), and Andrew Carnes and Ike Skidmore (50-60s). Six men and six women of the 20 numbered Ensemble have to dance or show a propensity to dance. As stated AUDITIONS take place on January 31st and February 1st with call-backs on February 2nd. at the Peoples bank Theatre in Marietta.

Acting and music rehearsals will begin at the end of February/early March; dance rehearsals will begin at the end of March/early April.

Performance dates are June 10-12 and June 17-19.


Score selections for the auditions

(click the links to download as a PDF)

Decades of work on theater exceeds expectations

Grand opening only three weeks away

Originally published December 16, 2015 in The Marietta Times

by Janelle Patterson, The Marietta Times

After 30 years of a silent stage filling the empty expanse of the Hippodrome in Marietta, new life and light have been brought back to the historic theater.

Now known as the Peoples Bank Theatre, the combined seating of the balcony, mezzanine and auditorium will soon welcome more than 900 people to enjoy stage acts ranging from Vaudeville acrobatics to country music solos and comedians. The grand opening is now only three weeks away, a culmination of decades of work for some.

“It’s exceeded a lot of our expectations as things have really fallen into place this year,” said Hunt Brawley, the theater’s director. “It really is amazing what has been accomplished and how wonderful everything sounds and looks.”

Hunt Brawley, director of the Peoples Bank Theatre, explains the final acoustic needs of the building Tuesday as preparations conclude for the January opening.

Hunt Brawley, director of the Peoples Bank Theatre, explains the final acoustic needs of the building Tuesday as preparations conclude for the January opening.

Built in 1919 as the Hippodrome, the theater at the corner of Third and Putnam streets was, in its heyday, home to vaudeville acts, off-Broadway plays, magicians and silent films accompanied by a five-piece orchestra.

Thirty years later the theater was transformed into the Colony Cinema with a colonial facade replacing the original stone archway at the entrance of the hall. The film venue stayed open for an additional 36 years before closing its doors in 1985.

But eager to bring the life and light of the arts back to Putnam Street, Dan Stephan Sr. purchased the theater in 1988 with the hope of preserving and restoring the historic landmark in Marietta.

“I remember that theater got us through many tough times,” said Marietta native, Stephan, 79, of Williamstown. “The theater is an institution in Marietta just like Marietta College, the hospital and Peoples Bank. It has served the people through the Depression and World War II, but it was there for our entertainment.”

At the time his family owned the building currently housing Peoples News next door to the theater.

The facade of the restored Peoples Bank Theatre.

The facade of the restored Peoples Bank Theatre.

“When we got in there and looked around we couldn’t see anything else being there but a theater,” he said. “It’s awesome after so long and so much cost to see something so gratifying as getting those doors open.”

Stephan helped to form the Hippodrome/Colony Historical Theatre Association with Brawley in 2000 as a nonprofit raising money to restore the historic Marietta landmark. Then in 2004 he donated the building to the nonprofit and over the next decade the group worked to repair the roof, fire curtain, rebuilt the stairways and other structural elements and cleared the building of asbestos-a $2 million endeavor.

The final nudge to push renovations into high gear was an investment of $3.7 million from Peoples Bank in 2014. Construction and the remaining renovations to the building, including new seating in replica of the original house seats and a new stage and rigging cost the nonprofit an additional $5.5 million. According to Brawley the overall cost of the renovation was $7.5 million.

“We’re finishing up the technical aspects and doors and lights now,” he said. “We’re continuing to have training sessions from our lighting and sound guys since all of this is brand new equipment and setup.”

With the final construction and renovations wrapping up Brawley said some acts have been booked six months out and his staff is working to fill the gaps in weekends between each major performance.

“We’ll also start filling in programs with film,” he explained. “We think it’s going to be more of the classic films like ‘Casa Blanca’ and ‘Gone With The Wind’ as well as some newer offbeat Hollywood films that didn’t make it to the local theater.”

Brawley said the variety of acts to hit the stage beginning Jan. 8 should offer entertainment for any audience.

As the first band to enter the orchestra pit in the Peoples Bank Theatre, Laura Evans and Company, a jazz and adult contemporary group based in Charleston warms up prior to a private event at the theater Tuesday.

As the first band to enter the orchestra pit in the Peoples Bank Theatre, Laura Evans and Company, a jazz and adult contemporary group based in Charleston warms up prior to a private event at the theater Tuesday.

“The stage is really built for one-night shows and we’re trying to have a lot of different things available,” he said. “We’re trying to show stuff that you’d usually have to go to Columbus or Pittsburgh to see.”

Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said she is anticipating an increase in tourism in Marietta thanks to the opening of the theater.

“We think that the theater has the potential to drive up overnight stays,” she said. “Especially from the group and tour travel perspective. Those types of groups are looking for evening entertainment options so I’ll be interested to see how the different shows play to different crowd demographics.”

Knowlton said she is especially excited to attend the Travis Tritt solo show during opening weekend.

“Tickets were gone in a day and I definitely think that shows the local community support this as well,” she said. “I am one of those people who has been waiting to see him for years and years and I couldn’t believe it, he’ll be here in my town.”

Knowlton, who also attended an appreciation event last weekend at the theater, said the acoustics in the building will make the show worth the wait.

“The sound system in the place is impressive,” she said. “I can’t wait to be there and hear him perform.”

Peoples Bank Theatre is excited to announce our inaugural series of concerts in our newly-restored historic hall.

The Winter-Spring 2016 Spotlight Series features 10 performances, encompassing a mix of music, comedy and dance. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 12:00 noon on December 1.

The series includes:

Beginning 12:00 noon December 1, tickets may be ordered online at peoplesbanktheatre.com or by calling the box office 740-371-5152.