When entering The Prizery, the building still has the look and feel of an aging tobacco warehouse with some of the crop's history — and the role it played in Halifax County — lining the walls with pictures, dates and information.
However, by just turning one corner of the hallway, guests are taken somewhere else entirely.
"You walk around the corner and you say 'Oh my gosh' and there is the theater space," said Chris Jones, The Prizery's artistic director. "People aren't expecting to see that. That is the wow factor."
The 250-seat Chastain Theatre is just part of the 38,000-square-foot building that is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places as part of the South Boston Historic Tobacco Warehouse District. The Prizery, which once served as a tobacco warehouse, is now a lively center for the arts attracting thousands of visitors from outside the area each year.
It is believed that the building was constructed in the late 1800s by RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and it was of similar structure that it is today. The basement was used for manufacturing the 1,000 pound tobacco barrels where the tobacco was "prized" — pressed layer by layer into the hogshead barrels. The first floor was used for storage and the second floor was for pickups and drop offs and the top floor was for drying the tobacco.
We are hoping to house approximately 20 theatre performers and technicians during summer theatre in multiple locations. Housing will be needed during the weeks June 2 though July 21.
Summer theatre housing in the past has included the following types of housing: cabins, spare quest bedroom, rental house, garage apartment.
No cooking, laundry or transportation is expected to be provided by those offering housing. Kitchen privileges are helpful. Let us know if you are able to help.
Winston Harrell: firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Prizery at 434-572-8339 if you have questions.
Young people interested in auditioning for "Oliver" should be between the ages of 8 and 18. There are also roles for high school age students in "Legally Blonde". Adult roles are available for both shows, "Oliver" and "Legally Blonde"
During the summer, a company of 20 professional singers, dancers and artists will live in our community for 8 weeks as they rehearse, design, build and dazzle with three "Broadway" style musical theatre shows.
The season opens on June 20th with "Oliver", the musical theatre interpretation of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist! Great music and a great story combine to make this a family favorite.
Following "Oliver" is "Red, White and Broadway", a musical review featuring your favorite patriotic songs and great hits from the American Musical Broadway stage.
Rounding out the summer is the ever popular "Legally Blonde", winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2010, a story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. "Legally Blonde" opens on July 11 and runs through July 21.
"Oliver" - June 20, 21,22,23,26,27,28,29,30
"Red, White and Broadway" - July 4,5,6,7
"Legally Blonde" - July 11,12,13,14,17,18,19,20,21