Bell Theater continues to grow

Published 9:22 am Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pineville’s plan to incorporate more culture and art into the city has certainly been in full swing within the past few months, and has no plans to slow down anytime soon, with several events in store for the Historic Bell Theater later this month.

“The response from the community has been incredibly overwhelming. Many feel as though this is something that has been needed for the area,” said Heather Golden, the woman behind the creation of the area’s newest theater troupe, The Pineville Players.

The group was founded by the Bell County native earlier this year, with her ultimate goal being to bring more culture and art appreciation to the area, as well as provide fellow theater enthusiasts with a way to live out their dreams.

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With Christmas classics scheduled to submerge the theater later this month, as well as a New Year’s Bash and even a production put together almost entirely by passionate Bell County teenagers underway, it’s safe to say that Golden is certainly well on her way to accomplishing this goal.

The group will present two separate showings of beloved holiday classics this month, beginning on Dec. 21 with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — which will feature an ugly Christmas sweater contest — and will continue on Dec. 23 with A Christmas Story. Both screenings will feature a special holiday-inspired drink, as well as other available concessions. Ticket prices range from $5 to $10 and can be purchased upon arrival.

Soon after these screenings, a group of students from Barbourville Independent High School will grace the stage to perform their own production of “A Director’s Nightmare — a show they have put together almost independently with the help of Golden.

“I believe this is a great example of how a community can come together to bring the arts into the area, which I feel like we desperately need,” said Hunter Jones, 18, one of the ten students who made the show possible.

A public showing of the production is scheduled for Dec. 30, when the students’ talents and dedication for the theater will finally be on full display, making for both an inspiring and entertaining show.

“They are a wonderful, talented group of teenagers who I truly enjoy getting to know. I look forward to working with them now, and on future productions as well. Everyone should come out and show their support for these kids,” said Golden.

Following the production, the Pineville Players will host a New Year’s Eve bash, complete with a lip syncing battle. A live DJ will be present to further add to the entertainment, and all participants are even encouraged to dress as their favorite performers. It will begin at 9 p.m., and tickets will be sold at the door for $15, with an additional $5 fee to compete in the contest.

The Pineville Players have already left quite a remarkable first-impression throughout the community, with their showing of the critically acclaimed Rocky Horror Picture Show (complete with impressive shadow-acting) gaining praise from all who attended.

Golden has various visions for the group, and plans to include an abundance of variety into the events and performances, as she does not want it to center on one specific form of entertainment. She is excited to bring in the new year with the group, and plan even more diverse events in 2018.

The group is entirely non-profit and all proceeds go back into the company, helping them grow into an even wider range of entertainment for the community. Anyone wishing to be a part of this expressive addition to the area is welcome to, as both actors and directors are always in great demand. If interested, feel free to contact Golden on her Facebook page.

“I believe the new businesses in town and the extra events going on have managed to bring life and excitement back into our area that we lost when the coal industry died,” said Golden. “I am happy to be able to be a part of something so wonderful for the area.”