Little Brown Theatre reopening in Springville

Springville Independent News, 1 October 2011

Article Summary:

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Villa Playhouse Theatre / Rivoli Theatre

Bill and Marilyn Brown opened the Villa Playhouse Theatre 1996.   The Villa closed in 2004 after Bill Brown suffered health problems.

“We regretted closing the Villa and selling the building because of health reasons,” said Bill Brown.

A committee is raising funds to renovate the Rivoli Theatre, which is now owned by Springville City.

Springville Playhouse

The Springville Playhouse will be homeless as its theater is located underneath the Springville Library, which will be demolished after the library moves into its new building.  The Springville Playhouse has operated for more than 60 years.

original Little Brown Theatre

Bill and Marilyn Brown opened the Little Brown Theatre in 1998, in a building across the street from their Villa Playhouse Theatre.  After Bill Brown suffered health problems, the Villa closed in 2004 and the Little Brown in 2005.

new Little Brown Theatre

The Little Brown Theatre is reopening in across the street from its former location, in a storefront donated by VIP Arts, a nonprofit organization founded by local residents Bill and Marilyn Brown.  The building, built in 1898, was most recently home to Gift of Grace Christian Supply. Bill Brown originally purchased the building to serve as rehearsal space for the Villa Playhouse Theatre.  Work is currently being done to renovate the space to accommodate a theater.

The new theater will be a black box theater, with 40 to 50 seats.   “Sets will be minimal and seating areas flexible so they can be moved around to accommodate different shows.”  Shows will typically have less than ten cast members.

Joining the Browns are professional theater technical managers Brent and Sara Harvey, longtime residents of Springville who have 25 years of theater experience.  Their family owned the Villa during the early 1990s.   Sara Harvey will serve as producer and artistic director for the Little Brown Theatre.

“We regretted closing the Villa and selling the building because of health reasons,” said Bill Brown.  “It took me six years before I felt well enough to consider tackling theater again.  With the help of the younger Harveys, the small black box will be a charming venue for many years to come.”

“With the Villa closed and the old library facing destruction, we felt our re-established theater would at least draw some attention to Springville’s wonderful historic Main Street,” Brown said.