CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – If we were counting, and we are, it’s fair to say it’s finally time.
“Here we are, almost two years later,” said Chris Timmons.
The marquee in front of Theatre Charlotte lets everyone know — the show is going on. The facility is back after a painful period of the pandemic, fire, water damage, and outdoor performances.
“‘A Christmas Carol’ is fitting, isn’t it?” Timmons asked.
Theatre Charlotte is a volunteer-based theatre company. The troupe works to create outstanding theatre opportunities that are accessible and relevant to the Charlotte region.
Timmons, who serves as the theater’s Artistic Director and Acting Executive Director, remembers Dec. 28, 2020. Theatre Charlotte was wrapping up their 2020 season when disaster struck.
An electrical fire underneath the auditorium floor caused severe damage to the space that the theater has called home since 1941. Everything was destroyed, including the stage, chairs, costumes, and set pieces. Timmons said, for a while, he thought it was all over.
“The first moment I was in the building after the fire, I was looking at the damage in the auditorium, I was like, ‘That’s it. We’re done.'”
Now, everything is new in the theatre.
There has been a bake sale and a few outside shows, and things have come together. They have a new stage, theatre seats, and a reception area. It’s all redone except for a small piece backstage.
The audience never sees it, but the backstage beams showcase all signatures of people who’ve performed there. Somehow, that wood and those signatures survived the fire.
“It’s a sigh of relief to get to this point,” Timmons said.
They still have some last-minute touches to prepare the theatre for opening day on Dec. 9. It’s not been an easy two years.
“People have always asked why I’ve stuck around, and I’ve always gone back to the people, what Theatre Charlotte is,” Timmons said.
And they’re ready to welcome people back to the theatre.
A Christmas Carol runs from Dec. 9-18. Their next production, ‘Something Rotten,’ premieres in January.