By Jessica Langston, City of Orange Beach
The arts community of Pleasure Island has received a major shot in the arm with the completion of the Orange Beach Performing Arts Center. While there has already been one show at the P.A.C., “Frozen Jr. - The Musical,” a student production presented by Orange Beach High School, the official Grand Opening has been set for later this month.
The P.A.C. will officially open its doors to the public on Nov. 16 beginning at 3:30 p.m. “There will be guided tours available for anyone who would like to take one,” according to Annette Mitchell, Orange Beach City Council liaison to Orange Beach Performing Arts Center. In addition, the Orange Beach City Council will be holding both their Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting there, directly after the grand opening festivities. The Council’s proceedings will begin at 5 p.m.
Also, Mitchell added, “There will be live music on the grand piano, which is in the foyer, for everyone’s enjoyment. There will be refreshments provided for those attending, along with a special preview of the upcoming “Visions of Christmas” Variety Show presented by the Orange Beach Expect Excellence Music Department.
“Visions of Christmas” is set for Nov. 17-18 at 7 p.m. at the P.A.C. which is located adjacent to Orange Beach Middle/High School on Canal Road. Tickets are free but need to be reserved, due to limited seating. Click here to reserve your free tickets online for Visions of Christmas.
Orange Beach Performing Arts Center
Describing how she felt when she got her first look at the finished product resulting from the 3-4 years of planning and construction, Mitchell said, “I teared up a little bit. This really is such a state-of-the-art facility. I think it’s something that everybody in Orange Beach can be proud of for years to come.”
The land for the 710-seat P.A.C. was donated by the city. The construction of the facility was funded by both the City of Orange Beach and Baldwin County Board of Education; the city and school share ownership of the building. “We have a cooperative agreement with the school, that says, during the day it is theirs to use, and after five o’clock during the week and on weekends it’s ours to use,” Mitchell explained, as a performance venue for the Orange Beach Expect Excellence Community Theater, Expect Excellence Music Department, and other community events. “It’s really beneficial for both of us,” she added.
Mitchell believes the benefits of the P.A.C. are multifaceted because, “We will be able to teach our school children all aspects of theatre production and performance, while also providing quality, family-friendly entertainment to our residents and guests. Live performing arts are one more amenity we are able to add to our quality of life in Orange Beach.”
Auditions for the next production by the City of Orange Beach Expect Excellence Community Theatre were recently completed, according to the city’s creative director, Jessica Langston. They will be presenting “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Feb. 4-6 and 11-13. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m. and Sunday show times are at 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.orangebeachal.gov/events/performing-arts.