Uniontown, PA – This holiday season, countless Fayette County families will flock to Uniontown’s State Theatre Center for the Arts’ spectacular productions - and rightfully so.
A Fayette County staple, the State Theatre has been entertaining guests from around the world for generations - earning it the distinction of our “December Place” in the Fayette County Public Relations Initiative’s Faces and Places series.
State Theatre Executive Director Erica Miller said the theatre is a “significant symbol” in Fayette, because it brings people from all walks of life together for shared experiences.
“There is a great thrill in bringing large groups of people to a place to laugh together, sing along to great music, or be moved by an emotional experience,” Miller said. “In doing so, the theatre gives us a great sense of community.”
Opened in October 1922, the State Theatre originally served as a vaudeville house, “picture palace” and touring show venue. The Greater Uniontown Heritage Consortium purchased the building in 1989 and established the theatre as a nonprofit organization designed to culturally enrich, educate and entertain audiences.
Designed by Thomas Lamb, the 1920s’ premier theatre architect, the State boasts amazing craftsmanship, stunning decor, and a rich history full of significant milestones, achievements and events.
“For almost 100 years, the State Theatre has stood on Main Street as the major arts attraction in our area,” Miller said. “Our hope is to keep the theatre a vibrant part of our region for at least 100 more years, bringing people to our community to enjoy the best of the arts in Fayette County.”
Today, the State continues to attract visitors to the county seat for all manner of entertainment, including professional touring productions, local dance recitals, professionally promoted concerts, community events and so much more.
Over the last decade, the State Theatre Center for the Arts has seen incredible growth, as Miller’s team began producing its annual Summer at the State musicals and Nutcracker Ballet. Miller said the productions give local actors, dancers and artists opportunities to showcase their crafts in a professional, historic venue.
Miller began working at the theatre in 1997 as a technical crew member, quickly expanding her role and rising through the ranks to executive director. She works every day to keep the theatre a vibrant and attractive part of downtown Uniontown, as the last venue of its kind in the area.
“There was a time when there were several large venues in our downtown; now only the State remains.
Her role, Miller said, allows her to meet an endless stream of amazing and interesting people - from professional performers passing through on tour, to local residents taking in a show for a unique evening on the town.
She said she most enjoys when visitors stop in unexpectedly and ask to look around the historic theatre, because she gets to take them on a one-of-a-kind tour.
“Often, they are people coming to see the historic building, or they are involved in theatre in the communities they live in, or maybe they grew up in the area and are coming to see a place they remember fondly,” she said. “I love talking to these people and hearing their stories. It’s fun to watch people be awed by the beauty of the building, and it’s great to hear stories of the theatre’s past from those coming to reminisce.”
The State Theatre will be caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season soon enough, as the annual VFW Post 8543 Band Concert takes place at 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Admission is gained through donation of nonperishable food items for the Fayette County Food Bank or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.
Miller said the concert audience is “always heart-warmingly generous” and the concert is “excellent.”
Following the concert, the State Theatre team will be busy putting the final touches on the annual Nutcracker Ballet production, which is slated for Dec. 13 through 15.
Over 100 dancers from throughout southwestern Pennsylvania will perform in what has become a holiday tradition for many theatre-goers, with local choreographer Donna Marovic taking the lead on the breathtaking show.
Tickets for the Nutcracker Ballet are just $15 and available online at www.statetheatre.info or by calling the box office at 724-439-1360.
Tickets are also currently available for the theatre’s showings of its December Classic Film, “White Christmas,” which will take place at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20.
Additionally, the theatre team will also sell tickets throughout December for its annual fundraising event, 100 Handbags (formerly the Bag and Bling Bash).
“For those who have Christmas shopping to do, tickets make great gifts,” Miller said. “The State Theatre is honored to be a vital part of downtown Uniontown and to keep the arts alive in Fayette County.”
To learn more about Fayette County, visit www.FayetteCountyPA.org.
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
For more information, contact Kristi Rooker Kassimer, Public Relations Specialist, at 412-691-0262, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kaylie Moore, Journalist, at 724-317-6924, email@example.com.