Making the most of local spaces |

Making the most of local spaces

One of the challenges of life in a small town is lack of venues for organizations and artists. That’s especially true in our small town, which has a predominance of arts and entertainment related events for the handful of venues available. I always enjoy seeing how, well, creative the creative-types get in transforming spaces into theaters, concert venues and special benefit events.

The Grass Valley Veterans Building is a good example. A handful of times a year, the space, which houses a basketball court, stage and bleachers, can become the county’s largest concert venue. The Center for the Arts, which uses the building for its Off-Site Series of large shows, has spent the past few months raising funds to install stadium seats on the bleachers. In keeping with the building’s mission, the Center asked the community to donate $125 for a seat, “to honor a family member, friend or neighbor (who) has served or is serving in the U.S. Armed forces,” according to the Center’s website. In all, there are 483 new seats planned for the bleachers.

The Center announced Wednesday it has hit that goal and sold all seats necessary to install the stadium seating.

Another great example of a creative venue is the Synthetic Unlimited Opera House. Housed in a strip mall in Grass Valley, at 120 Joerschke Dr Ste. 2, the black box space has played host to a variety of events within its first year. Currently the Synthetic Unlimited is using it to stage their production of “As You Like It” (see Page 19 for a review of the performance). It has been used for a dance event, concerts and more.

Wednesday the Synthetic Unlimited Opera House will be the setting for local poet Alicia Vandevorst’s new full-length play, “Psyche.” The one-night only show will be directed by Sharon Winegar and feature a cast including Tinley Ireland, Bennett Tyler, Sands Hall, Bevin Bell-Hall, Micah Cone, Kate Tobie, Paulette Sand-Gilbert, Catie Cleary, and Genevieve Toles-Dungan. Stage and production management by Alison Jones-Pomatto and Thomas Taylor. Musician Toon Vandevorst has also created some music for the play, according to Alicia Vandevorst.

There will be a discussion following the performance. Doors open at 6:30, and the show begins at 7 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $10.

With a cast and crew of such notable names, it’s tough to pass up the one-night only event.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at or by calling 530-477-4219.

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