The theatre troupe that brought you A Midsummer’s Night Dream brings the Bard to the Beach with its production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet, for one performance only at the Tybee Post Theater.
In Savannah Shakes’ updated take on Hamlet, set in the 1950s against the birth of the Beat Generation, Prince Hamlet returns home from school to find his father dead and his mother married to his uncle, whom he despises. It isn’t until he witnesses his father’s ghost, who charges that he was murdered by his younger broth
er, Hamlet’s uncle, that Hamlet becomes convinced that something is rotten in the state of Denmark and vows to revenge his father’s untimely death.
For centuries, audiences have seen themselves in the brilliant, troubled prince at the center of this ghost story, comedy, seven-murder revenge thriller, and philosopher’s gold mine.
Sunday, Dec. 13, 5 pm, $20 reserved seating; $18 Theater members; $15 Students 16 & Under. Reserved seating … Buy your tickets in advance online and select your seats.
This production is appropriate for all ages.
Doors open at 4:30 pm. Curtain goes up at 5 pm. Our concession stand serves beer, wine, soft drinks and hot movie popcorn; and for this special matinee, we’ll offer mimosas!
Tybee City Limits — Sat. Dec. 19, 8 pm
In the third installment of our hit music variety show, Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music, we’ve got the talented singer-songwriter Payne Bridges; Andrew Gill’s Junkyard Angel, playing foot-stompin’ originals and rock-alt-jam tunes you know by heart; and the Isaac Smith Band, an easy listening Southern-rooted band that displays a versatility of styles from Americana to pop.
It’s a night of live music in the coolest new music hall in the Coastal Empire. Don’t miss this one! Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8. Come in and get a beer, glass of wine or soft drink and hold onto your seat!
Sat., Dec. 19. Tickets are $10 general admission; $9 Theater members
Tybee Comedy Revue — Collin Moulton, Sat. Dec. 26, 8 pm.
Heads up for some holiday cheer! We’ve got a great night of stand-up comedy with Collin Moulton, one of the most sought-after headliners today. He has had his own stand-up special on Showtime, a featured spot on Nickelodeon, regular appearances on Laughs on FOX and has been touring constantly for 15 years.
America knows and loves him. His familiarity and energy engages and relieves the audience before he even speaks. Collin’s show is a steady flow of sharp and relevant humor driven by loose and fun likability. He brings a fast paced and highly engaging mix of clever stand-up and gut busting physical comedy that appeals to people of all ages.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8 pm.
Sat. Dec. 26. Tickets are $15 general admission; $13.50 Theater members.
Tribute to Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass, Fri. Jan. 15, 8 pm
The New South String Band from Atlanta will commemorate the life of “The Father of Bluegrass,” Bill Monroe, twenty years after his earthly departure. This compilation of Georgia champion musicians. who are experts in their own right, will perform an original production at the Tybee Post Theater.
The New South String Band members have numerous awards collectively, sharing their passion for old school bluegrass steeped in the tradition of Bill Monroe.The group includes champion fiddler Kenny Lambert; guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocal champion Brian Stephens; Clog dancing champion and bass musician Maggie Aderhold Stephens; and Joel Aderhold, North Georgia bluegrass pioneer.
The show will honor the musical life of the Father of Bluegrass with his band “The Blue Grass Boys.” Performing songs from different periods of Monroe’s life, The New South String Band will entertain the audience with masterful performance and nostalgic, yet enchanting, vocals.
Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8 pm.
Fri., Jan 15. Tickets are $20 reserved seating; $18 for Theater members.
Tybee Island is kicking off the holiday season by opening the doors to seven of its cottages as well as the Tybee Post Theater on Dec. 5.
The Jane Coslick Holiday Cottage Tour is marking its fourth year of showcasing cottages decorated by the well-known interior designer. Besides offering tour-goers an inside look at the homes, the $30 ticket also supports the Humane Society for Greater Savannah and its goal to open a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in January.
Coslick’s designs are fresh, cool and modern — not cluttered or overly furnished — and oh so cozy. Her real strength lies in her use of colors, because she is not afraid to of them. Her attention to detail is nonpareil. From the light fixtures to linen closets, everyday items are placed with the clear purpose of being showcased while also being useful.
The tour will also take you to the historic Tybee Post Theater. Located in the heart of the Fort Screven Historic District, the theater was constructed in 1930 as a movie house for soldiers stationed at the Army base. The theater was closed in the mid-1960s, followed by many years of neglect, then several years of renovation.
The curtain was raised for the first time in 50 years this past September. Now it is a place for Tybee residents and visitors to take in the performing arts and movies, along with serving as a wedding venue.
“Although we are raising funds for the Humane Society, I want to let the public know that the theater is doing its own fundraising where you can purchase a brick or granite star and commemorate that special someone,” Sessions adds.
The stars that adorn the pathways give a Hollywood Walk of Fame feel to the space, which adds another charming touch to this tour.
At times, visitors may forget how much history lies within Tybee Island. Serving as a military facility during the Spanish War, World War I and World War II, all buildings were later declared a surplus and sold to the city of Savannah, which later auctioned them off to the public. Many residents have restored and preserved these structures, making the architecture and landscape of the island one that is eclectic and at times whimsical.
Coslick helps bring that history and whimsy to life, Sessions says. It may be impossible to leave this tour without daydreaming of what it would be like to live in one of these homes.
“Jane possesses so much creativity and sensibility,” she says. “Her cottages are like a mermaid’s dream home.”
Odd Lot was voted Savannah’s Best Comedy Team by Connect Savannah readers in 2014 and 2015. Come out and join the show!
Our concession stand offers beer, wine, soft drinks and fresh hot popcorn, so come early, get a drink and hold onto your seat! It’ll be the most fun you’ve had since Dad dropped the turkey on the way to the table!
It’s the second installment of our new monthly music series, Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music, which is quickly becoming the most talked-about local music programming on the coast. Each month Tybee City Limits, modeled after the long-running Austin City Limits television show, features three acts– a singer/songwriter and two of the Coastal Empire’s hottest bands — under one roof in one great show!
Next week’s show opens with the talented singer/songwriter Sarah Tollerson.
In November 2012, Sarah released her second full-length album, “Wherever We Go,” produced by Neilson Hubbard, at his East Nashville studio, and showcasing nine original indie folk-pop songs. Sarah returned to Georgia, and Savannah, in 2013. She considers Counting Crows, Jump Little Children, Sara Bareilles, Bain Mattox, The Civil Wars, and Ryan Adams as influences.
|Waits & Co.|
The City Hotel
The Tybee Island City Council on Thursday agreed to buy $110,000 worth of equipment for the newly reopened Tybee Post Theater.
Council members awarded the $72,000 contract for audio/visual equipment, lighting and sound-absorbing wall panels to the sole bidder, Savannah-based Michael Gaster & Associates.
The city is buying a $38,000 projector system from Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Moving Image Technologies, also the only bidder for the purchase. Funds will come first out of the city’s general fund, but they’ll ultimately be reimbursed out of special purpose local option sales tax proceeds.
City Attorney Bubba Hughes confirmed Thursday that the use of SPLOST funds to purchase the equipment is allowable, and the city will then be able to lease the property to the theater in exchange for use of the facility throughout the year.
The new equipment was all that remained for the Post to become a full-fledged theater — a place to take in not only live music and performance art but also films.
“We can’t do films in there now, but this (purchase) will be the projector and screen,” said Jim Kluttz, president of the theater’s board of directors. “This is going to make it much easier to do productions. And the acoustics are good now, but they’ll be better after this. It’s a big step for us. I’m really talking about Tybee in general, for everyone who’s going to go and enjoy that theater.
“The City Council understands that the theater is a tremendous asset for our community. They want to help, and this is how they’ve chosen to do it. And it’s fantastic.”
During a presentation to the City Council in August, representatives of the nonprofit Friends of the Tybee Theater asked the city to get involved in the purchase to bring the work to renovate and reopen the theater to a close.
Since the Friends of the Tybee Theater purchased the space in 2006, the group has spent nearly $2 million on renovations and repairs.
The money came from a myriad of sources, including a mortgage, loans and sales tax revenue from the city, donations, grants, memberships and special events. Funds raised through these means have provided for a new roof, windows and doors, new electrical and HVAC systems and other renovations.
Kluttz said this week there are more items to purchase and construct — backstage dressing rooms and restrooms, curtains — but those can be added as more money comes in.
“We’re excited about it, because it’s such a fantastic opportunity for Tybee. It’s a great thing for Tybee,” he said. “It’s just been such a pleasure to go in there, to have events. Because of the lack of equipment, we’ve been limited on what we can do. But just to see the people having fun in there — you feel it. I did not expect this great feeling. I think everybody on our board shares it.”
Since the grand opening in September, the theater has hosted a talent show, comedy, live music and a play, with more events on deck.
Also rapidly approaching is one of the Friends of Tybee Theater’s single largest fundraisers, the Tybee Polar Plunge. The council on Thursday approved the special event permit for the plunge, in which costumed participants charge into the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day.
The Tybee Post Theater proudly presents the two opening nights of the Tybee Performing Arts Society’s production of “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”
The comedy is set in the 1960s and is about poor Barney Cashman, a middle-aged, married restaurateur, who wants to the the sexual revolution before it is too late. A man with a gentle soul and no experience in adultery, he proceeds to fail miserably in the seduction of three very different gals!
Directed by Dr. Ronnie Stilton. Starring Joshua Stafford, Kim Trammell, Raina Bass and Renee DeRossett.
The first opening nights of the production will be staged at the newly reopened 200-seat Tybee Post Theater, Nov. 6 and 7.
Tickets are $20; $18 for Theater members. The Post Theater will have reserved seating, so go online and get your tickets and select your seats at tybeeposttheater.org or call 912-472-4790.
The Post concession stand offers beer, wine, soft drinks and fresh popped movie popcorn!
The Tybee Post Theater presents Tybee City Limits with Jason Bible and The Train Wrecks, CcWitt and Lyn Avenue, and singer/songwriter Sarah Poole
It’s the first installment of our new monthly music series, Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music, which will quickly become the most talked-about local music programming on the coast. Each month Tybee City Limits, modeled after the long-running Austin City Limits television show, will feature three acts– a singer/songwriter and two of the Coastal Empire’s hottest bands — under one roof in one great show!
This week’s show opens with the talented singer/songwriter Sarah Poole from Savannah. Poole’s a self- taught musician with a smokey indie/folk voice that can’t quite be compared to anyone else. She says some of her influences include Nirvana, Stevie Nicks, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, and First Aid Kit.
Savannah country band Lyn Avenue fronted by the dynamic Cc Witt is up next. Lyn Avenue officially began in 2010 as a pop-rock band playing the basements of Savannah. It wasn’t until 2011, when lead singer Witt, wrote the song “Everyday Guardian Angel,” a pure country ballad, that audiences truly started to take notice. Since then, the band has been enthusiastically embracing their southern roots.
Lyn Avenue was a contender in the GA Music Awards, nominated for “Best Country Band” in 2013 and again in 2014. The band’s latest album titled “The Other Side” produced by Justin Murray, melodically illustrates their country influences with eccentricity and charm.
And, finally, the enormously popular Train Wrecks, who offer up raucous and rollicking Americana and were recently voted Savannah’s best country/Americana band by Connect Savannah. The Train Wrecks are a hard-working band of songwriters and performers.fronted by Jason Bible, who love nothing more than good songs and a good show. They deliver a dynamic, original blend of Americana, ranging from outlaw alt-country and bluegrass to rootsy rock and beyond, all with a distinctive Southern swagger. They’ve opened for legends like Jerry Jeff Walker and BB King, and have been dubbed the Hardest Gigging Band in Savannah.
Our MC is Thomas Oliver, host of the monthly Savannah Songwriters Series, a songwriters-in-the-round show the first Sunday of every month at Johnny Harris Restaurant in Savannah. WRHQ’s 105.3 Quality Rock is promoting Tybee City Limits and will broadcast segments of the show on its Second Sunday podcast.
Our concession stand offers beer, wine, soft drinks and fresh hot popcorn, so come early, get a drink and hold onto your seat!
Tickets are $10 general admission, $9 for Theater members. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Get your tickets in advance by clicking here!
THE LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS, NOV. 6-7
The Tybee Post Theater proudly presents the first theatrical production ever in the newly restored and reopened landmark theater — Neil Simon’s comedy “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” — in a limited two-night opening run Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7.
The Tybee Arts Performing Society’s production stars Tybee favorites Renee DeRossett and Kim Trammell, and introduces newcomers to the Tybee stage Raina Bass and Joshua Stafford. The show is being directed by Dr. Ronnie Stilton, who also directed TAPS’s production of the comedy “Kitchen Witches” last year.
Simon’s hilarious comedy is set in a Manhattan apartment in the 1960s and centers around poor Barney Cashman, a middle-aged, married nebbish, who wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late. A gentle soul with no experience in adultery, he fails miserably in each of three attempted seductions with three very different gals!
Hugely popular on Broadway, the show opened in 1969 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and ran for two years and 706 performances.
The Tybee Post Theater hosts the two opening nights of this production before it moves to the Tybee Arts Center, Nov. 17-23.
Post Theater Tickets, $20 Reserved Seating; $18 Theater members. Doors open at 7:30; show begins at 8 pm. This is reserved seating and likely to be a sell-out. We recommend getting tickets in advance.
Nationally known comedian
Jerry Farber headlines new Tybee Comedy Revue!
The Tybee Post Theater launches its Tybee Comedy Revue in two weeks! You won’t want to miss this fantastic night of stand-up comedy starring nationally known comedian and pianist extraordinaire, Jerry Farber. Jerry lives in Atlanta and is one of the city’s most recognized and acclaimed performers, entertaining there and in comedy clubs around the country for over two decades. His style is inspired by both jazz and comedy greats, from Dave Brubeck and Errol Garner to Woody Allen and Mark Russell.
His unique style of hip piano finesse and warm blooded humor endears him to fans. Best of all, he personalizes each performance, weaving his audience into each routine. He performs at a near exhausting pace that leaves a crowd roaring at his Georgia Redneck Routine and mesmerized by his music.
Jerry is a local TV and radio personality in his own right, and even ran for mayor of Atlanta twice in the tradition of Pat Paulsen, finishing third twice behind none other than Andy Young and Maynard Jackson. As Farber is fond of pointing out, “A guy like me could never run for office in a country like China or Syria, or Chile…or Mississippi.”
Another Atlanta comedy superstar, Kristi Leigh Snyder, opens for Jerry as we bring a non-stop barrage of stand-up comedy to the post Theater stage for the first time … ever! Kristi’s comedy is authentic and vulnerable delivered with random bursts of theatricality. In television terms, she’s a Carrie Bradshaw-Liz Lemon blend, with a Monica Gellar undertone; a Julia Sugarbaker bouquet on the nose, with a nice Blanche Devereaux finish.
Kristi has worked as a professional stage actress in film and commercials and often features for headliners such as Jerry. She has an original one-woman show called Banter & Ballads that has been acclaimed critically all over the Southeast.
The Tybee Comedy Revue, which will become a regular feature in the Tybee Post Theater’s year-round lineup of entertainment, is produced by Tom Paris of the Savannah Comedy Revue, based at the Bay Street Theatre.
Don’t wait! Get your tickets now!
Only the second ticketed event on the historic Tybee Post Theater’s stage, this performance is likely to sell out. Order your tickets online at the
Tybee Post Theater box office. Pick them up at Will-Call the night of the show.
Cost: $15; $13.50 for members. Tickets are General Admission.
When: Saturday, Oct. 17. Doors open at 7:30; show begins at 8 pm.
Extras: Our concession stand offers wine, beer, soft drinks and fresh popped popcorn!
Tybee City Limits, Oct. 24, 7:30
The first installment of a monthly music series, Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music, will feature three acts– a singer/songwriter and two of the Coastal Empire’s hottest bands.
This month, we’ll have the talented songstress Sarah Poole opening the show; Savannah country band Lyn Avenue fronted by the dynamic Cc Witt up next; and, finally, who else but the enormously popular Train Wrecks, who offer up raucous and rollicking Americana and were just voted Savannah’s best country/Americana band by Connect Savannah.
Tickets are $10 and on sale now at the Tybee Post Theater box office! Get them while they last. This will be a big time!
The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Nov. 6-7. 7:30 pm
The Tybee Post Theater presents the Tybee Arts Association’s production of Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy set in the 1960s about pitiful Barney Cashman, a middle-aged married nebbish, who wants to join the sexual revolution before it is too late. A gentle soul with no experience in adultery, he fails miserably in each of three attempted seductions with three very different gals!
Directed by Dr. Ronnie Stilton. Starring Joshua Stafford, Kim Trammell, Raina Bass and Renee DeRossett.
Come see our inaugural theatrical production! Only two performances in the Tybee Post Theater before the show moves to the Tybee Arts Center, Nov. 17-23.
Tickets are $20 and on sale now at the Tybee Post Theater box office. This will be a sell out. Don’t wait!
Soon, there will be concerts, plays, films and other programs at the historic Tybee Post Theater, which will be celebrated with a grand opening Sept. 26.
“It’s been 15 years in the making,” says executive director Melissa Turner. “It was 2001 when the Friends of the Tybee Theater originally formed.
“We wanted to raise money to restore that old theater. We’ve been working ever since to raise the cash to do it.
“Now the theater is done,” she says. “The only thing we don’t have is the digital projector, the screen, the state-of-the-art sound system and theater lighting, and all that will come in a few months.”
The 220-seat theater is in the Fort Screven Historic District at the north end of Tybee Island. Fort Screven was a military base that was active from the Spanish-American War through the end of World War II.
The red-brick Post Theater was constructed in 1930 so movies could be shown to the soldiers stationed at the fort. It was one of the first theaters in Georgia equipped to show talkies.
Some of the famous patrons who have been to the theater include Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the future president of the United States. Composer Johnny Mercer and base commander Gen. George C. Marshall also attended programs at the theater.
After World War II, the base was declared surplus and sold to the city of Savannah Beach, now Tybee Island. Much of the land and many of the buildings were auctioned to the public.
Until the mid-’60s, the Post Theater was operated as the Beach Theater. When modern theaters became popular in Savannah, the theater went dark and stood vacant for 30 years.
At one point, the building caught fire, which destroyed the wooden stage and much of the roof. In 1999, a developer applied for a demolition permit, but the Tybee Historical Society was able to purchase the building in 2001 and Friends of the Tybee Theater was formed to restore it.
In 2006, the group purchased the building from the historical society and $350,000 in SPLOST funding was used in 2008 to refurbish the walls and install a roof.
A historic preservation grant was used to install new doors and windows. The auditorium was restored, and air conditioning, seats, a stage and an upstairs office were added.
A grant was received from the Georgia Council of the Arts to recreate the marquee and box office. The final project was the installation of the brick plaza and walkway.
The remaining parts of the project will be funded through SPLOST. Bids are currently being obtained, but the theater is completely functional as is.
“We decided we wanted to finish the plaza with engraved bricks and a walkway to open the face of the theater to the public,” Turner says. “It’s ready for the public to come in. That’s why we’re having the grand opening, to thank everyone who has supported this effort for 15 long years.
“We really do think when people walk up and see all the engraved bricks and the auditorium with its great, big beautiful stage, they are going to go ‘Wow!’” she says. “We’re going to have a couple of bands on stage and the sound system sounds great; it just won’t be the permanent one.”
Live music will be provided by the trio Girlfriends and their full band, Sassy Cats and the Toms. Friends of the Tybee Theater are wasting no time in putting the theater to use.
“The following night is ‘Tybee’s Got Talent,’ the first ticketed event,” Turner says. “It was started years ago and has gone on for years and years.
“This is something that is typically Tybee that everyone remembers and loves,” she says. “I really hope that everybody who has been waiting for this theater for all these years will come out and see what we’ve all accomplished together.”
The Tybee Post Theater board of directors has been in place for 15 years, Turner says.
“Members have come and gone,” she says. “They’ve given lots of time and money and we want them to get thanks and recognition.
“We’ve got a board of 16 now who will be there on opening day. We’ll be acting as bartenders and hosts and hostesses while the volunteers take the night off and enjoy themselves.”
Friends of the Tybee Theater have put about $1.8 million into the restoration project.
“Just about $700,000 of that is from the community,” Turner says. “That’s a tremendous amount of money that’s gone into it and it’s still not done yet. We really are hoping to be able to raise $1 million to finish the theater, pay off the debt and show financial success of the theater.”
“Tybee’s Got Talent” will be co-hosted by Kim Trammell and Renee DeRossett.
“There is a $300 grand prize and a $100 second prize,” DeRossett says. “It’s a who’s who on Tybee. We’ll have dancers, singers, a puppeteer, a stand-up comedian and our beach chair brigade is doing a number.”
People have long wanted to restore the theater, DeRossett says.
“I’ve been here 25 years,” she says. “I remember poking my head in the theater with Burke Day in 1994 and saying, ‘This will be a theater again some day.’
“Jim Klutz is our hero. He stepped in and bought the mortgage and kept it from being torn down. That’s when things started happening.
“We were really fortunate,” DeRossett says. “The whole community has wanted to see this happen.”
As an actor and director with the Tybee Arts Association, DeRossett is excited about upcoming events.
“We will have everything from movies, music concerts and theatrical productions to dance concerts,” she says. “The Post Theater will offer so much more to this community in every realm of entertainment.
“Even though there is still quite a ways to go before we have all the equipment we are going to have, we are excited to have the building restored back to its former glory and beyond. We can now invite the public that has put so much into the restoration of this precious landmark in to see what they have done and offer them a glimpse of what is to come.
“It is amazing to see the work that is going into that building every day,” DeRossett says. “It was so exciting to be in that building for our first rehearsal for ‘Tybee’s Got Talent.’”
IF YOU GO
What: Grand reopening of the Tybee Post Theater
When: 6 p.m. Sept. 26
Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.
Cost: Free, but RSVP under the “buy tickets” button online
What: Tybee’s Got Talent
When: 7 p.m. Sept 27
Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.
Tybee Post Theater premiere!
Historic venue opens its doors after 15 years of fundraising
IT’S taken a decade and a half, a couple of million dollars and whole lot of sweat equity, but the Tybee Post Theater is finally ready for the spotlight.
The curtains are in place and the art deco sconces installed, but painters and carpenters were still scuttling around the lobby of the historic venue this week, taking care of some finishing touches.
But the certificate of occupancy is on the way, and the historic theater will host two grand opening events this weekend, Sept 26-27: A free champagne gathering on Saturday evening, and on Sunday night, the return of an old island mainstay, Tybee’s Got Talent.
“The closer you get to the end, the more things there are to do!” exclaims executive director Melissa Turner. “We’re really excited that people are finally going to be able to come in, sit, and see the stage.”
That there’s anything left to see at all is a feat unto itself. Built in 1930 as a movie house for the soldiers stationed at Fort Screven, the classic Greek Revival edifice passed through both civilian and city hands after WWII and closed in the face of off-season slumps. The building sat derelict for decades, left to nesting pigeons and trespassing skateboarders.
It wasn’t until a developer applied for a demolition permit in 2000 that a group of locals geared up to save it, but the Friends of the Tybee Theater couldn’t have known that it would take 15 years before anyone would eat popcorn inside again.
“To think this almost went under the wrecking ball is extraordinary,” says Keith Gay, vice president of the Friends of the Tybee Post Theater.
“For a long time, it looked like nothing was happening. Now it’s real.”
- Rows of authentic art deco chairs reclaimed from the Trustees Theater have found new life on Tybee Island.
After years of fundraising, construction began in earnest last year with a new roof, and restoration work has been buzzing since. Longtime board members Charlene Grissom and Daniel Turberville helped oversee the project and staved off those who thought the original fluted terra cotta blocks ought to be painted over.
Rows of plush burgundy chairs, bearing a distinct art deco harp design and manufactured by the American Seating Company in the 1930s, were salvaged from the Trustees Theater remodel in 2014 and purchased through a grant from the Savannah Community Foundation’s Alan Gaynor Fund.
While a professional sound system, theatrical lighting and an era-appropriate proscenium are still in blueprint form, the roof overhead and a working HVAC system represent a tremendous bulk of the work.
“When you consider that this was a shell when the effort started, we’ve come a long, long way,” says Turner. “I mean, there was a tree growing in here.”
Much of that effort has been behind the scenes. Since 2001, the non-profit has slowly raised funds with the annual Tybee Wine Festival and Polar Plunge as well as selling engraved bricks and stars for a “walk of fame.” The new Craft Brew Battle at the Beach last spring also added to the coffers.
The City of Tybee chipped in $350K of SPLOST funding for the roof, and Georgia Council for the Arts contributed towards the reconstruction of the historic box office.
The Friends took out a $750K mortgage to cover the rest of the $1.8 million project, banking on the hope that the City of Tybee Island would eventually want to acquire a state-of-the-art cultural arts center that can provide theater, film and other entertainment for locals and visitors alike.
“I do think we should take on the note,” affirms Tybee Island council member Barry Brown. “We can finish it up with more SPLOST funds, just like we did the public safety building. The city owned this theater once and it ought to put back in the city programming.”
Brown, who is up for re-election in November, is including the procurement of the Tybee Post Theater in the bullet points of his campaign, along with the relocation of the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and shoring up the island’s storm water and sewage infrastructure.
The project is on the home stretch, and FOTPT president Jim Kluttz acknowledges that he and the rest of the board just happen to be holding the baton as the Tybee Post Theater crosses the finish line.
“There have been hundreds of people who have kept this project alive, day in, day out, for all these years,” says Klutz, running his hand along the curved wood of the stage.
“We’re all thankful so many have felt that it’s something worthy for the community to enjoy and benefit from for years to come.”