Union Street Theatre Bigger Than Ever

Danville, VA - Union Street Theatre in Danville opened its doors a year ago and has become a huge influence in the community.

When theatre leaders first started, they only could handle one show at a time. Now, they work on multiple performances, plus classes.

They say the owe the growth to the community.

"Arts really bring the community together, and that is our mission," said Melissa Charles, the artistic director.

When Charles founded Union Street Theatre, she knew there was a need for arts in Danville but had no idea how much of a need.

"I had a vision for what I wanted everything to look like, but I had no idea how the arts would be able to touch people, bring families together, and also how much it would mean to people and how much they want to keep it going," said Charles.

The performance planning quickly went from one at a time to preparing for 14 shows plus classes.

"This is a whole new avenue opened up to Danville for the young people," said Art Johnson, who volunteers at the theatre.

The theatre runs on volunteers Johnson. When he isn't building sets or performing, he is watching his two young kids develop their acting skills and confidence.

"It keeps the kids involved, if they don't have after school activities to have something here that they can come to keep them occupied," he said.

Charles says they have nearly 70 more young actors than when they started.

As Union Street Theatre grows, so do the kids.

"They basically gain so much confidence that they can use in any career they go into. Not just theater," said Charles.

Charles says that every student who has pursued acting after Union Street Theatre has gotten a scholarship. Their next performance is "Winnie the Pooh" this weekend.

Get more information on the Union Street Theatre.