The Bank of Statesboro and the Kelly Theater are two downtown Statesboro historic landmarks that uniquely combined to make of the Davis H. Averitt Center. They’ve just recently opened the Mical Whitaker Black Box Theatre.
The Averitt Center offers a variety of courses as well as services to the Statesboro community.
The Black Box Theatre is a separate entity from the Averitt Center, located down West Main St. It is equipped with black walls, dark curtains and a brand new sound and lighting system.
Jackie Gordon, Theatre Instructor for the Averitt Center, explained that the building was originally rented out by the gentleman who owns the shoe shop behind the lot, and they wanted the space because of the size and the location on West Main.
“The building was actually wide open so we just had to come in and put in all the fixtures, structures and clean it up. It was part of our capital campaign which helped raise money for the building,” Gordon said.
“First there is the gallery and gift shop that sell gifts that are from the region, state of Georgia and the southeastern United States. Next there are the grande and demi ballet studios that are both designed with green board flooring to reduce the risk of accidents for the dancers. Lastly is our Black Box Theater for small theater production and intimate theater space,” Tony Phillips, Director for the Averitt Center, said.
Averitt used to have a dance studio directly behind City Hall and the theatre classes were just where ever they could find an open space, Gordon explained.
“So now it has a dedicated space. Also, our old studio will be renovated to become our new visual arts center for all of our ceramics and arts classes,” Gordon said.
“Part of our goal is to have a positive foot print in the downtown area so we’re trying to reuse and grow as we go. We’re just trying to revitalize the area. My students and all the dance kids have all just been so excited about the space, many of them haven’t ever seen anything like it.” Gordon said.
Mical Whitaker, the artistic director of the Statesboro Youth Theater, is who the theatre is named after. He is also currently a GSU professor.
He had directed more than 100 productions during his 20 years at GSU, according to the Statesboro Herald. Whitaker serves as director for the Averitt Stars community theater productions. He was even inducted into the Georgia Theatre Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Averitt Center for the Arts periodically holds open auditions for local theater productions and calls for art for juried shows.