Bonnie Kate Theater eyes busy new year

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2017

City of Elizabethton officials have been able to reap the benefits of the renovations of a local historic site, and the sky’s the limit heading into the new year.
Nearly removed from the official kickoff of the renovation process for the Bonnie Kate Theater, action has continued to heat up inside the facility.
But the amount of foot traffic coming through the former theater has been accomplished with the support of the community, according to City Council member Jeff Treadway.
During December’s City Council meeting, Treadway provided an update to the public about the recent progress of the facility. While fundraising initiatives are still underway, Treadway, the city’s representation on the Bonnie Kate Board, added the facility was able to hold capacity crowds for performances of “A Christmas Carol.”
And capacity crowds have been a common trend for recent performances. Over the course of 2017, several performances featuring the likes of the Hopwood Players and Elizabethton High School Drama students were met with standing ovations.
Keeping the growth
Having successful showings inside the facility wouldn’t have been made possible without a little hard work from volunteers and support from city officials.
Restoration officially kicked off July 2016 as city officials joined with the Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation to purchase the building after a busy fundraising drive orchestrated by local businessman John Huber.
With the purchase completed, the city put together the Bonnie Kate Board, which handles the day-to-day activities of the facility.
Following the action, the opportunities for grants and other funding measures were made available. But to go along with the opportunities, the facility started offering various projects and programs, ranging from performances in the Bonnie Kate to the inaugural BBQ, Blues and Brews Festival at Covered Bridge Park.
Marcia Ross, events coordinator at the facility, recently told the Elizabethton Star that the various events that serve as fundraisers offer a way for the facility to continue improvements at the Bonnie Kate.
“We appreciate the support from the community,” she said. “We’ve been offering something that a lot of people have been able to take advantage of.”
Performers of tomorrow
A focus on arts and culture started to grow through 2017 with the emergence of the Elizabethton Arts & Cultural Alliance.
While different initiatives took place throughout Historic Downtown Elizabethton, performers were able to utilize the resource provided by the Bonnie Kate.
One of the key beneficiaries from the Bonnie Kate were EHS students. From “The Great Gatsby” performance in November to others over the year, students were able to express their love of the arts, while the community returned the favor with high-grossing crowds.
Never a dull
As 2018 approaches, citizens will have several opportunities to take part in different events at the Bonnie Kate.
• Jan. 20 — The Bonnie Kate will offer a showing of the Disney hit “Frozen” at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children.
• Feb. 6 — The Bonnie Kate will offer a youth theater class that will last eight weeks from 4 to 5:30 p.m. each day. Registration is $50.
• Feb. 16-17, 23-24 — A presentation of “Engaged,” a romantic comedy by William Gilbert, will be performed on the main stage at 7:30 p.m. each night.
Monetary donations are also still being accepted to help with improvements at the facility. To learn more on how to get involved, visit or the Bonnie Kate Theater Restoration Project Facebook page online.

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