A new theater company makes its debut in Middletown this weekend with a special gala at which attendees will be invited to pick the productions themselves.
Founded by William “Kip” Moore, the Creative & Performing Arts Company will hold a fund-raising gala at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tried Stone Baptist Church on 621 Lafayette Ave. Performers will include local community luminaries, as well as students Moore has been working with in an acting class since March.
“After working with Middletown Lyric Theatre and others in Dayton, I found there was a need, a hunger to do theater with an African-American theme to it,” Moore said. That’s why his productions will have a more urban bent then typically found in community theaters. Moore has performed with Lyric Theatre several times, in addition to directing and performing his own plays over the years.
The company will not only present two productions per year but will also provide affordable acting classes, Moore said. The class he’s been working with this spring, hosted by the Salvation Army, charged $10 for six weeks.
“I have a lot of friends and other people in Middletown who had a relative or child or someone who wanted to be in the next production,” Moore said. So he set about giving people that chance. The Creative & Performing Arts Company will produce two shows annually — one in the summer and one in the fall — in addition to the acting classes, Moore said.
One of the people performing in the gala is Middletown City Councilwoman Anita Scott Jones, who has acted for Moore before. She will present excerpts from the play “For Colored Girls.”
“It’s another opportunity to allow for people who can’t get into the arts,” she said. “Kip” has always invested in the community, and this is part of his giving back,” she said.
Attendees at the gala will be asked to submit ideas for shows they would like to see from the new company, Moore said. Tickets for the gala are $10. For more information, call 513-464-1108.