As she gazed over the completed stage from the finished sound booth, Carol Rezzelle almost had to pinch herself.
“It’s like it doesn’t feel real,” said Rezzelle, who is seeing an almost 25-year dream come into fulfillment at the nearly completed Flowing Wells Theatre on Flowing Wells Road in Martinez.
Rezzelle started the Bible-based Enopion Theatre Co. in 1999 with a one-woman show based on the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The early years saw her traveling from church to church with her show.
Over the years, she wrote more plays that the theater company has performed in a variety of places including the former Fort Discovery theater downtown, the Kroc Center and a small, converted warehouse in Martinez.
All of those buildings led to one dream — the Flowing Wells Theatre, which has been almost a two-year construction project.
On Sept. 27, she walked through the building which has a few details to be worked out before it can receive its certificate of occupancy.
The curtains need to be hung, baseboards are being placed in the warming kitchen, and another coat of sealant will go on the stage. The parking lot is complete, and landscaping crews should be finishing up the next week, she said.
And if all goes well, she said, the debut performances could take place the first week of November as the children’s acting classes present the stories related to Job.
Then, the curtain will go up on a play called The Cure.
“We’ve been rehearsing that for a year,” she said.
Although it’s not a Christmas play, Rezzelle has altered it slightly to give it a holiday flavor.
Rezzelle plans to have plays performed on a continual basis once the theater is fully operational.
The theater will seat 144 unless it’s a dinner theater show. With tables in the space, it will seat about 80. That’s cut down from the original plan, which had to be changed due to the skyrocketing costs associated with building materials after the pandemic.
There is space on the property to expand the theater, and that will be another phase of construction.
Enopion Theatre Co. won’t be the only organization to use the space. Rezzelle said she wants to create a collective of arts groups with a mission similar to hers. She’s spoke to a Christian dance group and a couple of other arts groups who might use the theater as well.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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