With ‘Jekyll & Hyde,’ Steve Jones is stepping down as River City executive director
Reedley’s River City Theatre Company is gearing up for the final weekend of “Jekyll & Hyde,” the musical based on the famed novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Congratulations to reader Kevin Conorich for winning a pair of tickets to Saturday’s performance at the historic Reedley Opera House.
I checked in with Steve Jones, the show’s director (and the company’s executive director), for a quick update on the company. In his words:
• Recently, River City Theatre has added additional members to the board of directors. It has been very exciting to see our board grow. The board has taken the leadership of the theater and making plans to cultivate growth.
• River City has always been a place for new performers to learn and grow in performance skills. We do have cast members that are fairly new to performing in “Jekyll and Hyde”; what is special about this production is a number of former River City Theatre veterans have returned to the stage. This is much to the credit of the renewed spirit in the board of directors. Returning to the Opera House stage after several years off are: Michael Angel, Jeff Lusk, Stacey Hall, Chrystal Laita, and Jacquie Nuckels. Mike Westpy (RCTC’s John Valjean 2013 “Les Miz”) from Fresno has also joined the cast after a few years off from performing. It has been a delight to direct these RCTC veterans.
• Lastly, this show will mark my last River City Theatre production as executive director. I’m not leaving the company. I will just be cast in a different role. The day-to-day leadership of the company will be resting in the hands of the board until a new executive director is established. My new volunteer role will be assisting the board in transition, and tossing my name in the hat for future production teams (directing, tech directing, stagecraft, etc.) and mentoring future directors.
My thoughts: A tip of my hat to Jones for his hard work with the company. Local theater can be a very delicate creature, indeed, and takes lots of loving care and nourishment. Here’s hoping the new board can continue the Reedley magic.
I’m glad Steve isn’t leaving. He was thrown into the fire trying to fill the biggest shoes of Mark Norwood, and he faced many challenges and low funds. He did so with dedication and a public smile. I hope to see him on stage more and here’s a wish for a keen and tireless executive director to up the stakes in Reedley.
Here’s also a prayer the board procures funding to keep that place alive for years to come.